I recently arranged a buy to let mortgage for a foreign national. Although currently a UK resident, he was working overseas and earning in a foreign currency.
My client in this instance was a Dutch national who lived in Norfolk with his British wife and their baby son. He worked for a large multinational company and work sent him all over the EU, resulting in long periods spent away from the UK. At that time he was working in the Netherlands, and splitting his time between Norfolk and Amsterdam.
He was looking to become a first-time landlord, and wanted a buy to let mortgage to purchase a second property near his Norfolk home.
The much-discussed Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) has led to a general contraction of the foreign national mortgage market. Several high street lenders have withdrawn their offerings from the market entirely, meaning it is now a much more difficult space to navigate.
Although my client was a UK resident, he was not a UK taxpayer; his income was received in euros, and at that time he was paying tax in the Netherlands. Because of this, generally he would have been looking at fairly steep interest rates, from 3.7% all the way up to 5%.
I approached a contact of mine at one of the few high street banks who is still happy to deal in foreign currency. Although they regularly cater to expats, in this case of course my client was not a UK national, and I therefore had to work hard to persuade them to make an exception and consider his application.
I hoped his family situation – his son was only 9 months old – would persuade the lender he had sufficiently strong ties to this country, and had no intention of moving away for good in spite of his links to the Netherlands.
The lender was happy to proceed, and I secured my client the mortgage he wanted at a rate of just 2.27%. This is extremely competitive for a buy to let, and even better considering his situation.