How to buy to let

Your guide to buy to let

How to buy to let

Learn more about purchasing a buy to let, becoming a landlord and the responsibilities and costs involved in letting out a property.

  1. 1

    Learn about buy to let mortgages

    Typically buy to let mortgages are based on rental income and lenders will generally expect it to be at least 125% of the monthly repayments on your mortgage. This is called the Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR).

    Often, buy to let mortgages are interest only, meaning you'd only pay the interest off every month. However, it's important to have a payment plan in place for the end of the mortgage term.

    When considering a buy to let mortgage, you may also want to consider the other costs involved in buying a house,  such as valuation fees, legal fees and stamp duty. You should also check whether you meet our buy to let mortgage eligibility.

  2. 2

    Research the property market

    Research is important when buying a buy to let property. The costs, rental income and rental tenancy demand will vary by area, so understanding the local market will help you make a more informed decision if you do buy a property to rent out.

    You may also want to consider whether a property is freehold or leasehold as this could affect whether the property can be rented out or not.

  3. 3

    Select your location and start viewing properties

    Now you can start looking for the property that best suits your needs and your potential tenants' needs.  If you're looking to buy further afield, you might want to consider using a letting agent to manage the property on your behalf.

  4. 4

    Know your rental income

    Understand what your rental income could be. You should consider all of the costs of renting out a property, including mortgage payments, bills, maintenance, insurance and agent fees (if applicable), as well as covering costs for periods of time when the property may be vacant.

    Find out how to calculate the rental yield.

  5. 5

    Choose your buy to let mortgage

    Getting a buy to let mortgage differs to getting a residential mortgage. The amount you can borrow is mainly based on expected rental income, so keep this is mind.

    You can choose from fixed rate or tracker rate (currently not available with NatWest), as well as interest only or capital repayment mortgages. They all have pros and cons to consider when deciding what suits your needs.

    You can compare different types of mortgage, or find out what mortgages we could offer by using our mortgage calculator.

  6. 6

    What's next?

    Once you've bought your property, our landlord's checklist provides helpful information around some of the considerations when becoming a landlord.

Get a buy to let Agreement in Principle

Get an indication of how much you could borrow with a buy to let Agreement in Principle (sometimes called a Mortgage in Principle). This puts you in a great place to start your search for a buy to let property.

A personalised indication in less than 10 minutes

No impact on your credit score

No obligation to take out a mortgage with us

Buy to let guide frequently asked questions

What taxes might I have to pay with a buy to let property?

You may need to pay Stamp Duty (also known as 'Land and Buildings Transaction Tax’ in Scotland and ‘Land Transaction Tax’ in Wales) when purchasing a buy to let. You should also consider whether you need to pay Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax on your rental income. The Gov.uk tax website is a good place to find more information, as there may be other taxes to consider.

Can I live in my own buy to let property?

If you are the landlord of a buy to let property, you can't live in the property if it was purchased with a buy to let mortgage. This would breach the mortgage terms and your lender could ask for the mortgage loan to be repaid.

Can I leave my buy to let empty?

Yes, if you wish to leave your buy to let empty, there shouldn't be any issue, as long as you continue to pay your mortgage payments.

How many buy to let mortgages can I have?

You can have multiple buy to let mortgages with us, as long as your total aggregated borrowing with NatWest Group brands will be less than £3.5 million. See more information on NatWest's buy to let eligibility criteria.

A few more how to buy to let FAQs...

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