What Is a Portfolio Mortgage?

A portfolio mortgage is a type of mortgage that’s specifically for portfolio landlords, allowing them to place all their buy-to-let properties and first charges on these properties under just one portfolio mortgage with one lender, rather than having multiple buy-to-let mortgages across different lenders. A portfolio mortgage can make managing your properties easier as only a single monthly payment is required and you only have to communicate with one lender.

Portfolio mortgages sit in-between buy-to-let mortgages and commercial mortgages. They’re almost always interest-only like normal buy-to-let mortgages.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of buy-to-let mortgages.

What Is a Portfolio Landlord?

A portfolio landlord is someone with 4 or more buy-to-let properties, including those owned private or through a limited company. This also applies to sole and joint applications.

You don’t always need a portfolio mortgage when you own 4 or more rental properties but it can be valuable for landlords who want to benefit from the flexibility that comes with having one lender for all your transactions.

We’re a specialist mortgage broker with experience arranging all kinds of landlord mortgages. See below to compare rates and find out how we can help you.

Types of Buy-to-Let Portfolio Mortgages

A landlord’s portfolio can include many different types of mortgages across their many different properties. 

As a portfolio landlord, you could have:

  • Individual property mortgages - these are standard mortgages taken out for each individual property within a landlord’s portfolio, such as a buy-to-let mortgage on a rental property
  • Limited company mortgages - a limited company mortgage allows investors to finance properties held within the limited company
  • Portfolio buy-to-let mortgages - these allow you to have multiple buy-to-let properties and limited company buy-to-let properties under one lender, sometimes all on one mortgage. This can give you ease and flexibility with your portfolio finances

The terms and availability of these mortgages vary depending on the specific lender, the size of your property portfolio and the types of properties you own.

If you’re looking at a mixture of residential and commercial properties, then you may require a commercial mortgage.


Talk to Our Experts Today

0330 433 2927

Send Us an Enquiry

How Does a Portfolio Mortgage Work?

A portfolio mortgage works in the same way as a normal buy-to-let mortgage.

They’re both:

  • Secured on rental properties
  • Typically interest-only

The main differences are:

  • With a portfolio mortgage, your properties are managed on a portfolio level rather than an individual asset level. You have one lender that has security across all your rental properties, charges you one monthly payment for all your properties and manages any fees and transactions that cover the whole portfolio
  • With a normal buy-to-let mortgage, you have a single buy-to-let mortgage often - but not necessarily always - with a different lender on each rental property. That means that your properties are managed at asset level and you have to communicate with different lenders for each transaction

If you already have buy-to-let mortgages on existing properties, you could choose to remortgage them onto a portfolio product but you wouldn't need to unless your introductory period was due to end and you didn’t want to go onto your lender’s SVR (standard variable rate).

You can have 4 - 100+ properties with portfolio products. If you wanted a few hundred plus properties than it's worth talking to your broker about diversifying the lender mix.

Portfolio products can be used to finance the following:

  • Normal buy-to-let properties
  • Limited company buy-to-lets – this would require a limited company portfolio mortgage
  • Auction properties
  • Student buy-to-lets
  • Multiple flats under one freehold
  • HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) - HMO mortgages are available as a standalone mortgage product if you don't have a portfolio of 4 or properties

John Charcol Expert Tip - February 2024

"For portfolio landlords, the complexity of managing multiple properties demands specialised knowledge when it comes to mortgages. Seeking advice through a mortgage broker is paramount. A skilled broker, especially one experienced in portfolio landlord mortgages, can offer invaluable insights, as well as help you navigate intricacies and optimise financial goals, ultimately ensuring that you secure the right deal. A knowledgeable broker is an essential tool for portfolio landlords to make well-informed and strategic mortgage decisions."

- Mortgage Technical Manager Nick Mendes, CeMAP qualified

How Can John Charcol Help with Your Portfolio Mortgage?

We Take Care of Everything

With nearly 50 years of service, we've seen it all. We can save you money, time and make buying your property easy.

We're Highly Recommended

We have over 2,100 5* reviews on reviews.co.uk, so you can feel confident that your mortgage is in the right hands.

We Give Personal, Expert Advice

We work around your schedule to help you arrange a mortgage that suits your circumstances, no matter how complex.

What Are the Benefits of a Portfolio Mortgage?

A portfolio mortgage offers landlords several benefits, including the following.

Simplifies Your Property Finances

Rather than dealing with separate lenders and various mortgage applications, you have one lender and potentially all your properties under one mortgage. This can make it much easier to track payments, manage your finances, and monitor the performance of your portfolio.

Potential Cost Savings

You may be offered lower interest rates for a portfolio mortgage(s) with one lender compared to taking out separate mortgages with different lenders for each individual property. This can potentially lower the costs of your overall borrowing.

Boost Your Borrowing Power and Balance Your Portfolio

Portfolio mortgage lenders can look at your overall portfolio, as opposed to judging each property on individual merits. This means your high yielding properties can boost your overall borrowing potential and help you secure a better deal on a low yielding property, as the risk for the lender is spread out across your portfolio, not on an individual basis.

Buy-to-Let Portfolio Process

1. Meeting with Adviser and Mortgage Research

When you phone us, you can either arrange a phone appointment with your mortgage adviser or a face-to-face meeting – whatever suits you. Your adviser will ask you some questions and, once they have all the information they need, they’ll go away and search mortgage deals to find you the best portfolio mortgage for your circumstances and future needs. They’ll also arrange a follow up call to present you with what they’ve found. It may require more than one conversation to gather all the right information, depending on where you are in your property search.

2. Decision in Principle

Once you’re happy with their recommendation, your adviser will go about securing your DIP (Decision in Principle) - which is basically a promise from the lender that they’ll loan you money on the condition that the information you’ve provided is correct and subject to a valuation of the property.

3. Offer on Property/Refinancing

After you’ve secured a DIP (Decision in Principle), you’ll be in a great position to make an offer on a property or move forward with refinancing.

4. Pre-Application and Submission

Following the acceptance of your offer, we’ll send you some information which explains all the documents we need to submit to the lender. You’ll be assigned a client relationship manager who’ll check and submit certified copies of your documents; they’ll liaise with both you and the lender. Your adviser will then submit the fully packaged mortgage application.

5. Lender Underwriting and Valuation

The lender will underwrite your application; this basically means they’ll verify the information you’ve provided and review all your documents for themselves. They’ll also instruct a valuation for their purposes on the property.

6. Mortgage Offer

If the lender is happy with everything they’ve found, they’ll send you a mortgage offer. They’ll also send us a copy.

7. Conveyancing

After you’ve accepted your mortgage offer, you’ll go through the legal part of the process, known as conveyancing. This is where the solicitors/conveyancers draw up contracts and organise the actual, legal purchase of the property/refinancing. If buying, you’ll also need to arrange buildings insurance at this stage, making sure it’s in place from exchange.

8. Exchange and Completion

Once everything is in place, your conveyancer/solicitor will exchange contracts with the seller’s conveyancer/solicitor. It’s at this point that you put down your deposit and are legally bound to buy the property. You’ll lose your deposit if you pull out after exchange. The purchase completes when money is transferred on an agreed-upon date.

Add-on services from John Charcol

Home Insurance

Do you want new home insurance to go with that new mortgage? Our in-house team can arrange bespoke buildings and contents insurance to suit your new requirements.


With John Charcol, you’ll have the option of speaking to your very own expert protection adviser who’ll learn about your situation and find the right cover for your needs.

JC Legal

We can find you a solicitor for the conveyancing part of the process with JC Legal. We choose from an exclusive panel of carefully selected solicitors and conveyancers.

Equity Release

Your home is possibly the biggest asset you have. Find out whether you can release money from your home with John Charcol's partnership with Key Retirement.

Portfolio FAQs

What Is the Best Mortgage for a Landlord?
  • If you have up to 3 rental properties then you’ll require multiple normal buy-to-let mortgages - you may also want to consider purchasing any buy-to-lets through a limited company as this has certain tax efficiencies privately-owned buy-to-lets don’t
  • If you own 4 or more rental properties then you might benefit from a portfolio product for any further properties and/or when you remortgage existing buy-to-let properties
What Is the Definition of a Professional Landlord and Is It Different from a Portfolio Landlord?

You’re a professional landlord if your main source of income is rent from rental properties and you’re a portfolio landlord if you own 4 or more rental properties. Portfolio landlords are normally also classed as professional landlords and vice-versa because if you own 4 or more properties it’s likely the majority of your income will be made up from rent from your rental properties.

Are Mortgages for Professional Landlords the Same as Mortgages for Portfolio Landlords?

The status of being a professional landlord in itself won’t determine which mortgage you need. You’re a professional landlord if your main source of income is rent from rental properties. Therefore, you can be a professional landlord with up to 3 properties – which would make you a normal buy-to-let borrower - or more than 3 – which could make you a portfolio landlord who could benefit from portfolio products.

Are Portfolio Loans a Good Idea?

Portfolio products are specifically designed for portfolio landlords – i.e. people with 4 or more rental properties. Therefore, if you have or want 4 or more rental properties, these mortgage products could be a valuable option if you’re looking to build a relationship with a lender and you’re looking for more flexibility.

How Many Landlord Mortgages Can You Have at Once?

There are no restrictions on how many landlord mortgages you can have whether these are normal buy-to-let mortgages or portfolio products. 

Each lender will have their own criteria and limits on the maximum number of rental property mortgages you can have with them, the maximum number of mortgaged rental properties across all lenders and the maximum amount you can borrow across all lenders.

Will I Need Multiple Property Mortgages at Once or Can I Have One Mortgage Across My Properties?

With a portfolio mortgage, you would normally have a different first charge on each property but this would come under the portfolio finance that covers all of your rental properties.

How Do I Go About Building a Buy-to-Let Portfolio?

Buy-to-let portfolios usually start with the purchase of one property. Then once the landlord has enough money for a deposit on a new property – whether this comes from savings, inheritance, rental profits – they would typically take out a new mortgage on a new buy-to-let property.

When property prices increase landlords will often also look to remortgage or release equity from their existing properties to raise money as deposits for new purchases.

What Information Do Buy-to-Let Portfolio Mortgage Lenders Ask for?

A buy-to-let portfolio lender will typically ask you to provide all the same stuff as a normal buy-to-let lender, except they’ll also ask for a business plan and property schedule.

Both types of lenders will usually ask for:

  • Personal bank statements
  • Business bank statements (for limited companies only)
  • Proof of your ID and address
  • Evidence of earnings – e.g. payslips (for employed) and tax calculation and tax summary (SA302 - for self-employed/directors)

Buy-to-let portfolio lenders will typically also ask for:

  • Full and complete schedule of properties – including: current mortgage details, rent, addresses, etc.
  • Business plan
  • Assets and liabilities

Buy-to-Let Guide

You can now get a buy-to-let mortgage at interest rates to suit almost any circumstances. Our guide takes you through the choices involved in more detail.

Limited Company Buy-to-Let Mortgage

Considering buying a buy-to-let property through a limited company? Read about tax efficiencies, setting up a buy-to-let LTD company, advantages & disadvantages

Buy-to-Let Tax Changes

Our buy-to-let tax changes guide takes you through the latest regarding the Stamp Duty holiday, buy-to-let mortgage interest tax relief and more.

Tax on Rental Income

What don’t you know about the tax on rental income? Our guide gives landlords insight on how it’s applied, the rates you’ll pay and your allowances.

Capital Gains Tax Guide

You pay Capital Gains Tax on the profit you make from the sale of a property that’s not your main residence. In our guide we answer all your questions about CGT.

Becoming a Landlord

You can make a lot of money from becoming a landlord – if you make smart choices. Our guide explains how it all works and contains tips to help you be successful.

Buy-to-Let Mortgage Calculator

Want to know how much you could potentially borrow on a buy-to-let mortgage? Find out with our free and easy calculator below.

Buy-to-Let Rent Calculator

Not sure how much you need in rental income? Use our free buy-to-let rent calculator to work out how much you need in rent to qualify for a buy-to-let mortgage.

Rental Yield Calculator

Here you can use our free and easy calculator to work out the rental yield on your buy-to-let property. You’ll also find information on what a rental yield is and why it’s important.

Buy-to-Let Stamp Duty Calculator

Find out how much Stamp Duty you’ll pay on your new buy-to-let property with our free and easy Stamp Duty calculator for second homes.