One of my recent cases was a £1.2m offshore buy to let mortgage for a married couple, neither of whom were UK tax residents.
My clients in this case were a married couple. One was a British national working as a fund manager and the other was Malaysian and in private equity. They were currently living in Hong Kong, where they had been based for some years. They were now looking to invest in a buy to let property back in the UK, where they were no longer tax resident.
They already owned a portfolio of five other buy to let properties in and around London. For their sixth property, they settled on a new build 3-bed flat in south west London, valued at £2.4m. They were looking to borrow £1.2m.
The main hurdle in this case was their non-UK tax residence, which meant the number of lenders willing to lend to them was restricted. A private bank was going to be their best option, but the size of their buy to let portfolio meant they wouldn’t be considered at all by certain lenders.
The other complication was that the rental income from the property wasn’t particularly strong, meaning we needed a lender with a favourable assessment metric.
My clients were able to provide interest cover – in other words, security to cover their mortgage payments and give the lender peace of mind.
Originally, my clients were planning to buy the property in a trust structure on behalf of their children, the idea being to hand it over when the children were a little older and looking to get onto the London property ladder themselves. I managed to secure an offer for them on this basis, although ultimately they decided against pursuing this option as they felt it was an over-complication.
I arranged the mortgage offshore, which from a tax perspective was highly beneficial for my clients. The product I secured was a £1.2m tracker mortgage with a private bank at 2.75% above the base rate. No assets under management (AUM) was necessary.