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Matt Bee

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About Matt Bee

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  1. Hi The blog post below suggests: "If the landlord already owns under four buy to let properties in their sole name, they can still purchase a new property in a limited company name and continue to benefit from not being considered a portfolio landlord for the existing properties that are owned. This will allow for existing properties to be remortgaged using a non-portfolio landlord criteria potentially achieving more competitive products." https://www.lendlord.io/post/how-limited-company-owned-properties-can-affect-a-lender-s-criteria Is that correct? My understanding until now has been that properties held within a limited company owned by an individual would also count towards that individual's number of properties for the portfolio landlord test. Hoping someone can clarify this for me. Many thanks Matt
  2. Hi Has anyone used Lendlord https://www.lendlord.io/ which claims to be "Online software for landlords to manage, track and optimise your portfolio"? Any reviews, good or bad, would be appreciated. Also, has anyone used any other similar products? Thanks Matt
  3. I own two buy to let properties plus my residential home. All have mortgages secured on them. I withdrew equity from one of the BTLs (Property 1) before the stricter rental cover tests came into force in 2017. I have been able to refinance since then but choice of lenders has been greatly reduced as many won't touch it due to the large size of the loan against the monthly rent. Property 1 has a value of £375k, outstanding mortgage £246k (LTV 66%), and monthly rent £1075. It is my former home and has seen good capital growth as it is in a prime residential area, but clearly it does not yield well! The second BTL property (Property 2) has a value of £320k, outstanding mortgage £170k (LTV 53%), and monthly rent £1200. The two existing BTLs are owned with my wife. We have so far not converted to a limited company as we have avoided the mortgage interest relief changes by making my wife, a basic rate taxpayer, entitled to the income. That is currently the plan for the new acquisitions too. I am looking to expand my portfolio and have a goal of buying another two BTL properties this year, with hopefully more to follow. I have enough cash saved to use for deposits and fees etc. on the two new BTLs. (I may also look at releasing equity from Property 2 to increase my investable funds.) We can assume that the two new BTLs will have significantly higher yields and wont struggle to satisfy lenders' stress tests when looked at in isolation. However, I have identified that the portfolio landlord rules may be a hurdle to my portfolio expansion plans as the low-yielding Property 1 is likely to skew the rental cover tests that lenders will run on my portfolio as a whole once I reach 4 properties. I would be grateful for any thoughts or advice on the following: 1. At what point do I become a portfolio landlord? I don't think my residential home counts towards the 4 properties, but I have heard that when you own three mortgaged BTLs and are in the process of applying for the fourth BTL mortgage, lenders will apply the portfolio landlord tests at that point. Is that right? 2. Is there a standard portfolio rental cover test which lenders are obliged to use? Or do the exact calculations vary by lender? I have seen 145% @ 5.5% interest rate mentioned a lot. Are some lenders more flexible than this? If not, I think Property 1 is going to be a large hurdle to my expansion plans. 3. Even if I could find a flexible lender who would lend on my portfolio including Property 1, will Property 1 always hold me back when I seek to expand my portfolio and refinance? After all, each time I make a new acquisition I will be potentially approaching a new lender each time - each one will have their own view on my portfolio based on their own criteria. I don't want availability of finance to be a constant struggle as I expand. Therefore, should I consider selling Property 1 and putting the equity of £129k-ish to work elsewhere? I'd rather not sell as I believe future capital growth prospects remain strong, but I am also keen to expand in the short term. 4. Would converting the existing BTLs and/or buying the new BTLs within a limited company help with availability of finance? I understand the portfolio stress tests may be more relaxed when it's a limited company borrower. Looking forward to your thoughts. Thanks Matt
  4. Try checking with The Crown Estate whether it's subject to escheat. And with the Treasury Solicitor whether it's bona vacantia. There's some info about these on the Gov. UK site. Also do a bankruptcy search against the owners name.
  5. Hi leeds8 Tricky one. I agree with Adam that Land Registry is a good place to start. You can search their records yourself with a postal address or title number. However, the property may not have been registered back in the day when your parents owned it (even now not all property is registered) so Land Registry may have no record of it. If it has now been demolished and redeveloped then it very likely is registered now because a sale would have triggered a requirement to register. If someone has demolished it that raises big questions about who thought they had the right to do that. You can't just go around demolishing other people's properties, of course. Have a read into Bona Vacantia land and also Escheat. I expect there is information on the Gov.UK website. These are systems where 'ownerless' land can revert to the Crown under ancient feudal property laws. If your parents were not around to object then it could be that this happened in their absence. Ultimately these systems can allow the Crown to sell the land to a third party to bring it back into use. Your parents' ownership may have been superseded by this but it's a complicated area and you would need advice from a good solicitor. Good luck getting to the bottom of it. MB
  6. Thanks everyone for your responses. Having done a bit more digging it appears that I may be able to release some equity from the property without having to sell it. By fixing into a longer term mortgage product (5+ years), I may benefit from less stringent rental stress tests and there might be some room to release a chunk of equity. Frustratingly, the broker I was using missed this previously and I have only found out about it through my own digging! Any recommendations for a broker who is better informed on BTL mortgages? Thanks, Matt
  7. Thanks David and Katherine. I'm reluctant to sell as I think there will be more growth from the property in the future. Also, the transaction costs are eye watering to sell and replace the property with several others in another area. I am leaning towards holding onto it and saving other funds to invest further. Thanks for your views, really helpful. Matt
  8. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Some interesting points to think about. Cheers, Matt
  9. Should I sell this property? One of my properties is a 2-bed terrace in Bristol. It's my former home which I converted to a buy to let a couple of years ago. It has had good capital growth and is now valued at around £320k. The rent is £1,100 per month. The capital growth means there is a good amount of equity in the property (£160k). As my property investment knowledge has grown over the last couple of years, I have been considering whether this money would be put to better use elsewhere. I have tried to pull money out by remortgaging to invest further in other locations. However, as it is not particularly high yielding, the property does not satisfy the rental stress tests to release any equity. Whilst the Bristol market was taking off in terms of capital growth, I was reluctant to sell despite the low rental yield. Now, with the flat Bristol market, I am really starting to wonder whether now is the time to get rid of this one. In the long term I am confident that this property will experience further capital growth – great area, lots of investment going in etc., but my concern is the lost opportunities that I might be missing out on by not investing in other areas/properties (e.g. with the £160k I might have enough for maybe 3 or 4 flats in one of the northern cities which are currently performing well). Another thing pointing towards selling is that a sale before April 2020 would incur no capital gains tax (as it's my former home, I would get a combination of PPR and lettings relief). The changes to PPR and lettings relief announced in last month's budget mean that, from April 2020, I estimate a CGT bill of around £7.5k (based on a sale at £320k). On the other hand, there's no CGT until you actually sell so if I hold the property for the very long term then that won't be an issue. I appreciate your answers to this might depend on what my strategy is. I'm 34 and aiming for looking to use property to fund retirement at around 50. I generally favour capital growth over rental yield, although as new parents both my wife and I are already working part time and a decent rental yield might help us further cut down our hours in the future. Grateful for any thoughts you can offer. Thanks Matt