How landlords can avoid getting caught up in Stamp Duty ‘chaos’
By |Published On: 3rd March 2021|

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How landlords can avoid getting caught up in Stamp Duty ‘chaos’

By |Published On: 3rd March 2021|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Mortgages for Business has provided tips for landlords looking to avoid the chaos caused by residential buyers trying to beat the Stamp Duty holiday deadline.

The specialist buy-to-let broker is offering landlords four key pieces of advice: Be prepared to rethink location, choose a broker offering a portal, carefully consider the type of property you are investing in, and Pick the right lender.

Mortgages for Business says if landlords consider all four of these factors, they could get their transactions completed in spite of the chaos affecting the market.

1. Look at your location in a new light

Mortgages for Business says even lenders still capable of doing deals in sensible timeframes are struggling to get mortgages approved where local authorities are dragging their feet.  The slowest local authorities are now taking more than 100 days to undertake property searches, a key element of the conveyancing process, as the surge in transactions coincides with pandemic-related staff shortages. It highlighted Hackney Borough Council (180 working days), Bedfordshire Council (65 working days), Caerphilly County Borough Council (60), Cambridge City Council (50), and North Warwickshire (50) as the worst performers.

Jeni Browne, director of Mortgages for Business said, “Landlords who just want to get a purchase done are sick of the Stamp Duty rush.  If you have the option, you should consider the effect that the local authority you are dealing with could have on your purchase.  One search we ordered recently took 145 days to complete.  If you are considering purchasing a property in Hackney before the turn of the next century, you may want to rethink”.

2. The importance of portals

Data from Mortgages for Business’s landlord portal shows that it takes less time to process applications if they are done via portals, with average deadlines shortening by 20 days, from 73 working days to 53 – cutting down the time it takes to process a transaction by 27%.

Jeni Browne said, “Portals offer clients a space with clear to-do lists, including which documents are required to move the application forward, and the ability to upload all documents quickly and securely, there and then.  While this research is based on our data, I’m sure we’re not the only broker with a good portal. My advice to landlords looking to take control of their own destiny is to use a specialist buy-to-let broker with portal technology.  It is a very simple way to shave a couple of weeks off a buy-to-let property transaction.”

3. Choose the right property

Mortgages for Business says not all property purchases are created equal and that transactions can take 11% longer if the property in question is a flat, rather than a semi-detached house.

Jeni Browne commented: “Even if you’re not trying to hit the Stamp Duty deadline, you may well find that your deal gets caught in the crossfire.  Picking a semi-detached house, rather than a flat will help smooth the way.”

4. Choose the right lender

The specialist buy-to-let broker also took the opportunity to warn landlords that more than half the buy-to-let lenders who are actively lending at the moment are capable of doing a deal within the usual industry average. Those purchasing vanilla properties can expect an estimated normal eight-week completion time.

Jeni Browne concludes: “Most lenders are still quoting application-to-offer times of about three weeks which doesn’t sound too long. But the reality is that these timeframes are not being met. To get deals down relatively quickly, you need to avoid lenders that are dragging their feet. While we’re not lenders in our own right, we can ensure landlords are using the right lender. Go to the wrong one and you could find yourself dealing with a lender that is taking weeks to respond to enquiries. 

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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