With the increase in staycations, the rise in Airbnb and the growing appeal of the UK holiday market, investors are being attracted to the holiday let market as a way of generating income from a property and also being able to use it themselves from time to time.
A property purchased for the purpose of holiday letting can generate significantly more income than a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) on a buy to let.
Securing a mortgage on a holiday let isn’t as straightforward as a main residential property. At Mortgage360, we can guide you through all the different options, for accessing appropriate mortgage lenders and products.
What is a holiday let mortgage, and why do I need one?
A holiday let mortgage is a very specific mortgage product, offered by mortgage lenders to investors wanting to buy a property with the express intention of using it primarily as a holiday let for paying guests.
It’s a business, and a property bought using a holiday let mortgage cannot be used by longer-term tenants on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement.
It is not the same as a second home mortgage, where you are buying a property for your sole use, or for the use of friends and family.
For the mortgage lender, the criteria here is how the property will be let, and what the income from these lets will be.
What qualifies as a holiday let?
Holiday lets are very different from a second home, and the parameters describing it are very specific. It is described as an FHL (Furnished Holiday Let).
The property must be available 6 months a year (known as the availability condition), and must be rented out as holiday accommodation for at least half that time (the letting condition).
If you and your family and friends are using the property, the time you spend there is excluded from this total.
It has to be located in the UK or the European Economic Area. It must be fully furnished, and it must be commercially let.
Other things govern qualification as a holiday let. The pattern of occupation condition states that “If the total of all lettings that exceed 31 continuous days is more than 155 days during the year, this condition is not met so your property will not be a FHL for that year.”
Benefits of working with a Specialist Mortgage Broker for Holiday Lets
Securing the right mortgage for a holiday let can be challenging, involving a more complex application process than a more conventional mortgage. A specialist holiday let mortgage broker will understand the market, have an in-depth knowledge of the current deals and valuable experience with the lending criteria of each mortgage provider.
It is likely that the lender will want to carry out more detailed checks on the property itself, alongside checking your personal circumstances.
A specialist holiday let mortgage broker will be able to guide you through the process and they will also be able to advise you on the most suitable deals and work with you to submit your mortgage application.
Types of Mortgages for Holiday Lettings
You cannot buy holiday lets using a normal mortgage. This is a very specific market; there are a limited number of specialist lenders and their requirements are very specific. If this is not your main property, you need to secure a specialist holiday let mortgage.
Typical mortgage products are structured similarly to main residential deals (options to fix or go variable), albeit with higher interest rates and fees. After the initial rate period has expired it will change to a standard variable rate after an agreed term as charged by the lender and your LTV (Loan to Value) ratio will also affect the rates which you are offered.
It is possible to secure a holiday let mortgage on an interest-only basis, or a mix of interest only and capital plus interest.
It might seem that a holiday let mortgage is the same as a buy to let mortgage, as both are governed by the achievable rent on the property.
However, Buy to Let mortgages are designed for properties on Assured Shorthold Tenancies, and do not permit use of the property as a holiday let. If you use your property as a holiday let when you have a buy to let mortgage, you will be breaching the terms of your agreement. At the very least, your insurance will be void, and your lender could demand repayment in full of the entire mortgage.
Investment property mortgages
An investment property mortgage is just an umbrella term used to describe any mortgage secured on a property which is not for personal use and occupancy. You need to arrange a dedicated holiday let mortgage if seasonal holiday letting is the purpose of your purchase.
Holiday Let Mortgage Eligibility Criteria
Eligibility criteria for holiday let mortgages start with your intentions for the property. To qualify for a holiday let mortgage, the property must be available for at least 6 months a year, and you must let it for at least 105 days (15 weeks).
These must be short term rentals and must not exceed 31 days. Any single rental that does exceed the maximum allowable 31 days will not count towards your compulsory 105 days.
Most lenders will require:-
- A significant deposit for a holiday let mortgage, usually more than 25%, although there are lenders who will consider less. Bigger deposits will usually result in better interest rates on your mortgage.
- Applicants must be aged at least 21, and lenders will also have minimum income requirements. They may also require that you already own your own home.
- As a guideline, lenders will expect you to be able to realise a minimum of 125-145% of the cost of your monthly mortgage repayments in holiday rental income. This is usually calculated using a ‘seasonal average’ which takes into account the low to high fluctuations over the year.
- Personal usage of the property is usually restricted to 90 days per annum.
- Some lenders will have limits on the number of holiday lets that you can own.
How much will a holiday let mortgage cost?
Be prepared for the fact that holiday let mortgages usually attract higher rates and fees than standard residential mortgages.
These can differ based on the actual size of the property, the location, the access and the overall condition. Mortgage lenders will be keener to lend on properties in popular areas where occupation levels over the year are likely to be higher and generate more stable rental income.
The deposit will usually be in the region of 25-30%, and mortgage interest rates are generally slightly higher than for standard buy to let mortgages.
You’ll need to pay stamp duty on your property, as well as complete a self assessment tax return and pay income tax on your rental income. You may also be liable for the additional 3% stamp duty land tax surcharge for owning more than one property in the UK.
How much deposit do I need for a holiday let mortgage?
You’ll need a bigger deposit, usually 25-30%, compared with a home buyer mortgage where typical deposit requirements range from 5-10%.
How can Mortgage360 help?
At Mortgage360, we work closely with our clients, researching and selecting suitable holiday let mortgage products to help them secure their holiday let properties. We have established relationships with to the top holiday let mortgage providers, which means we have the freedom to secure the deal that’s just right for you, whatever your personal circumstances. Call Mortgage360 for a no-obligation chat about your own circumstances.