Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Pitfalls of Using The Wrong Finance For Your Sunderland HMO Conversion or Flip

With more and more property investors looking to beat George Osborne's Landlord Tax changes with strategies that give a better return than standard Buy to Let, I thought it worth sharing an excellent article by Lisa Orme of Keys Mortgages about the importance of using the correct finance when purchasing a property to convert into an HMO or even 'buy to sell'

When you purchase a property to convert to a HMO you must use the correct finance to do the conversion

Unfortunately, you cannot simply take out either a Buy to Let mortgage, do the works then redeem it switching to a HMO mortgage

Neither can you take a HMO mortgage at the outset on the basis you intend to convert to a HMO

Buy to Let mortgages are exactly that Buy TO LET not buy to convert or indeed buy to sell

Buy to Let lenders expect that rent is going to be coming in day one to pay the mortgage. Lenders would not allow you to convert or do anything other than minor cosmetic works

Similarly when you take out a HMO mortgage the lender and the valuer has the expectation that the property is let or ready to be let as an up and running HMO, not that weeks or months of work is required prior to the property generating a rental income

If you have a 4 bed 3 reception room property that can be let out as is to 6 tenants with next to no work then that would generally be OK, however if you wanted to add en suites, split rooms, apply for planning etc then this is not acceptable to the lender

The correct options for conversion to a HMO are;

  • Cash purchase / refurb followed by HMO mortgage once the refurb is completed
  • Bridging loan or short term loan and then refinance (with the same or different lenders)
  • Refurb to term type product (usually with the same lender)

If don't follow the above advice and you're lucky your Buy to Let application will get turned down at valuation and you'll just waste a valuation fee, later than that and you'll also face wasted legal fees, broker fees etc.

Complete on the wrong loan and things can get really messy

Using Buy to Let mortgages for conversions or buy to sell and redeem them early and you'll get yourself banned by that lender and potentially find yourself on the CIFAS/Hunter fraud alert system

Don't know what the Hunter fraud alert system is? You should! Click here http://www.nhunter.co.uk/ for their website or here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/11467480/The-secret-database-blacklisting-borrowers.html for a more revealing Telegraph article

Use HMO mortgages to do the conversions and similarly you may find yourself banned by the lender

Please contact me to discuss any aspect of property investment in Sunderland, whether it is Buy to Let, HMOs or anything in-between, call me on 0191 567 8577 or email neil.whitfield@belvoirlettings.com


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