Phil Rickards is head of sales at BM Solutions
Welcome to the first of what I’m hoping will become a regular monthly write up over the remainder of what continues to look like an exciting year for the Buy-to-Let (BTL) market. In the coming months I’ll try to pick up on anything topical specifically affecting BTL and maybe drop in the odd update on how things are going from a BM Solutions perspective.
There has already been much talk of continued growth in our market fuelled by strong tenant demand and a continued shortage of housing supply. This is evident in the latest CML figures which show that the buy-to-let sector now accounts for a record portion of total mortgage loans in the UK, In the first three months of this year £4.2bn of buy-to-let mortgage lending. This was 12.4% of the total – up from 11% a year ago and the highest since the credit crunch in 2008.
There has also been much speculation about the lending appetite of BM this year, well I’m sorry, this isn’t the feature in which I reveal all, although I am willing to confirm that we are hungry at least. As the market continues to grow we, and, I suspect, other lenders too, will no doubt be looking to get a larger slice of a bigger pie.
Over the past fortnight, there has been much media coverage and analysis on the Government’s proposals to make landlords responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants. Now, my day job includes responsibility for delivering the right level of BTL Mortgage Lending, so I am by no means an expert on UK politics nor do I have any desire to become one. However, I am not convinced that it is the wisest of moves to make landlords, rather than the UK Border Agency, ultimately responsible” for the immigration status of the population.
That said, there is no harm in clarification of the rules surrounding thorough checks already undertaken by the majority of landlords and letting agents which already involve thorough identification checks including passports and work permits where appropriate. How far this goes in terms of the landlord’s ultimate responsibility in the process for those who have entered the UK illegally and the potential of hefty fines for breaking the law remains to be seen.