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Comment: Demand the best from BTL lenders

Bob Young Fleet 2014

Because every lender has a nuanced view on what the rental calculation should be, brokers face a rock or a hard place

There is often a debate around whether regulation should be rules or principle based. Should there be total prescription or should firms be allowed to interpret?

However prescriptive the rules are, there will always be a level of interpretation. We are seeing this currently from authorised lenders when it comes to the new interest coverage ratio calculations required for buy-to-let lending.

Unfortunately, because every lender has a nuanced view on what the rental calculation should be, brokers are left between a rock and a hard place.

I have a great deal of sympathy for them. At the moment it seems almost impossible to have any certainty about each lender’s criteria, and sourcing systems are struggling to give like-for-like information.

The good news is that this is not the case for every buy-to-let lender. So the message for advisers looking at buy-to-let cases, wondering how to conduct a market comparison and anticipating weeks of delay is this: your experience does not have to run along these lines.

Every lender should be making sure it is as easy to deal with as possible, regardless of the new requirements. It should want advisers to keep recommending it, for clients to keep having that smooth passage of business and for both to come back to it again.

If you are not getting that with your buy-to-let lender, I strongly suggest you make your views known by voting with your feet.

Bob Young is chief executive officer at Fleet Mortgages

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