What Is a Let to Buy Mortgage?

Let to buy is a scenario rather than an actual mortgage product. It's where you remortgage your existing home onto a buy-to-let basis, often releasing additional equity from it at the same time which you can then use as a deposit on a new home. The buy-to-let mortgage in this specific scenario is often referred to as a let to buy mortgage.

How Does Let to Buy Work?

In a let to buy scenario, you take out 2 mortgages: a buy-to-let remortgage on your existing property and a residential mortgage on your new home.

How the Buy-to-Let Remortgage Works

You remortgage your existing property onto a buy-to-let basis so that you'll be able to rent it out to tenants. It’s common to release additional equity from your property by remortgaging for an amount greater than your current outstanding mortgage balance. You can then use this money – along with any savings – as a deposit on your new home.

How the Residential Mortgage Works

The residential moving house mortgage on the new property is pretty straightforward. The lender assesses your income to work out how much you can borrow. The main difference is that they also have to consider how your buy-to-let remortgage will affect your cash flow when calculating what you can afford. Nonetheless, since the buy-to-let remortgage should be covered by the proposed rental income, it will almost certainly be excluded by the lender in the underwriting process for the residential mortgage application.

We explain more about releasing equity from your home to buy another in our Ask the Mortgage Experts.


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Best Let to Buy Mortgage Rates Comparison

As you would typically take out a buy-to-let remortgage and a residential mortgage in this scenario, it’s important to look at both types of mortgages.

You can use our free best buy tools to compare the best buy-to-let remortgages and residential mortgage rates currently on the market. They’ll give you an idea of the kinds of mortgage deals and rates that will be available to you.

Why Should You Use John Charcol?

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We Give Personal, Expert Advice

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


1. First Conversation with Adviser

When you phone us, you can either arrange a phone appointment with your adviser or a face-to-face meeting – whatever suits you. Your adviser will ask you some questions then go away and find you the best 2 mortgages for your circumstances and future needs. They’ll organise a follow up during which they’ll present you with what they’ve found.

2. Decision in Principle

Once you’re happy with both their recommendations, they’ll go about securing both your DIPs (Decision in Principles). A DIP 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. Remortgaging/Offer on Property

After you’ve received your DIPs, you’ll be in a position to move forward with remortgaging your existing property and making make an offer on the new property.

4. Pre-Application and Submission

After the seller of the new property has accepted your offer, you’ll be assigned a client relationship manager who’ll proceed with both full mortgage applications. Your client relationship manager will send you some information which explains all the documents the lenders require. They’ll then check and submit certified copies of your documents, liaising with you and both lenders. Your mortgage adviser will submit both fully packaged mortgage applications.

We always aim to submit any mortgage applications as quickly as possible. This may mean that your applications are submitted at different times if you’re waiting for the seller to accept your offer on the new property.

5. Lender Underwriting and Valuation

The lenders will underwrite your applications; this basically means they’ll verify that the information you’ve provided is correct and review all your documents for themselves. They’ll each also instruct a mortgage valuation on the relevant property.

6. Mortgage Offer

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

7. Conveyancing

After you’ve accepted your mortgage offers, 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 or the remortgage. You’ll need to inform your buildings insurance provider for your existing property that you’ll be renting the property out and arrange buildings insurance for the purchase property at this stage.

Your solicitor will still be able to proceed with the buy-to-let remortgage if you’re waiting for the residential mortgage offer for the property you’re buying, but they won’t be able to proceed with the residential mortgage offer to exchange of contracts if you’re still waiting for the buy-to-let remortgage offer. The buy-to-let remortgage must be in place before the residential mortgage can complete.

8. Exchange and Completion

For the buy-to-let remortgage, your conveyancer/solicitor will set a date to draw down the funds and pay off any existing lender(s) once the mortgage offer’s released. The solicitor will then send the surplus funds you’re using as a deposit on your new home to you, which you’ll pass onto the solicitor handling the purchase along with any savings you’re using. The purchase solicitor will then exchange contracts with the seller’s solicitor and the purchase will complete when the money is transferred on an agreed-upon date.

Let to Buy Mortgage Calculator

Use our buy-to-let mortgage calculator and residential mortgage calculator to work out how much you can borrow on each mortgage.

Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

Here’s how an expert mortgage broker like John Charcol can help you:

  • We make a complicated situation easy – simultaneous remortgage and purchase transactions are required, so it’s a lot easier to have a mortgage broker like John Charcol manage it all for you. We're experts who can help arrange all sorts of specialist mortgages for complex situations
  • Our experts can identify the best let-to-buy deals for your situation – there are a variety of rental calculations for buy-to-let mortgages on the market that are used by different lenders, which can make it harder for you to identify the best deal for your unique needs. We already know how these calculations work, making your journey to the right deal a lot clearer
  • Your adviser will explain all your options, some of which you may not have considered – for example, we can guide you through the benefits of taking out a mortgage for buy-to-let through a limited company and refer you to an accountant for setup advice
  • Non-standard construction mortgages can be challenging for some lenders - John Charcol are acknowledged experts in serving non-standard properties, with access to a broader range of lenders and specialist expertise than other brokers.

Let to Buy Mortgages FAQs

How Much Equity Can I Release if I’m Converting My Home to a Buy-to-Let?

You can take out a buy-to-let mortgage up to 75% LTV (loan-to-value) when remortgaging your existing property onto a buy-to-let basis. This is simply because that’s the standard maximum LTV for a buy-to-let.

The maximum LTV for the purchase mortgage – i.e. the one on your new home – would be subject to an affordability calculation on your monthly earned income. The typical maximum LTV for most residential mortgages in a let to buy scenario is 90%.

Which Let to Buy Lenders Provide These Mortgages in the UK?

As you take out a buy-to-let remortgage and a residential mortgage when you let to buy, most lenders who already offer these mortgages will be able to assist you. The best lenders and products for you will depend on your situation and needs.

It’s worth noting that you don’t have to use the same lender for both mortgages. As a whole of market mortgage broker we have access to all kinds of products, making it easier for you to secure the deals that best suit your needs.

Do I Need to Pay Stamp Duty on the New Property?

You would pay normal Stamp Duty plus Additional Stamp Duty on the new property, even though it’ll be your new home. This is because it’s technically your second property.

You should be able to claim back the Additional Stamp Duty if you sell your original main residence within 3 years of completing the purchase of your new home.

How Much Do I Need for Mortgage Deposit?

The minimum deposit you’ll need for the buy-to-let remortgage is 25% and the minimum deposit you’ll normally have to put down for the residential mortgage is 10%, although most people in this scenario are able to put down a bigger deposit as they’ve usually built up more equity in their existing property. The bigger your deposit, the better the products you’ll have access to.

How Expensive Are Rates?

The buy-to-let and residential mortgage rates available in this scenario are typically the same as the rates available in a standalone buy-to-let remortgage or residential purchase.

However, it’s worth noting that buy-to-let rates tends to be higher than residential mortgage rates.

Use our free tools to compare buy-to-let remortgage rates and residential mortgage rates.

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Protection cover is important when you have one mortgage, so it’s especially important when you have 2. Have us arrange protection tailored to your needs.

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By selecting from our panel of trusted conveyancers and solicitors, we can find you expert legal advice for both of your mortgages.

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