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Urgent Advice Needed on informing mortgage lender of letting!!!

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In a bit of a panic!


We bought our flat for 6 years ago, and now need an extra bedroom and have been looking at places to rent and get someone to rent ours (such is the market, we dont want to sell!)


Spoke to Abbey 3 weeks ago to ask about changing our mortgage to Buy-To-Let, they said there was a £300 admin charge and then it would be swapped.


In the mean-time, we have found tenants for ours (and i believe they have now signed the 12 month lease) and we ourselves have signed a 12 month lease on a property for ourselves.


We called Abbey today to arrange payment of the £300 and when our details were taken the guy said that we do not have enough equity in the property and that we are not allowed to rent it out/change the mortgage to buy-to-let! My partner was shocked and did say "ive just signed a lease on a place we are moving to" and although didnt get angry and shout about it, he kept questioning the guy as to why it would be valued at their low estimated value! The Abbey guy said we would have to get an independent surveyor to value the property and prove it was worth X amount and then we could proceed.


We are now in a predicament. We HAVE to move, we have signed the lease. Our broker has said to phone them back tomorrow and say that we have changed our minds and will have to stay. My worry is that becasue of the call they may check up on us? Will they care that much if the mortgage is still being paid on time every month, and from our usual account?


Bottom line i want to know what the penalty could/would be? Imprisonment? Re-posession? Im sure legally they could do both of those things but is it likely!? Im trying to find cases on line of homes that have been lost in this way?/


Please can anyone help/offer advice?



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Seem to like 25-30% equity before allowing things like this.Thats probably why they want the valuation.I am no expert but have just looked around and found bits related slightly,hope it helps.Be carefull. A residential mortgage is secured by first charge and is covered by, amongst other things, MCOB - Mortgage Code Of Business. A residential mortgage is used for a property which is used principally as your main residence - it's not used as your principal mortgage, then you are breaching the lender's terms and conditions, in particular it leaves the property open to be "squatted" in "legally", putting the mortgage company in a precarious position - hence the reason why they ask if anyone over the age of 17 will be living in the property, because if they didn't ask and they wanted to evict the mortgagees, the occupiers could be allowed to stay, which could cause all sorts of problems. BTL mortgages, along with second charges, are not regulated mortgage contracts and are also, believe it ot not, not regulated by the FSA, although they are "interested" in them!If you didn't tell them then unfortunately you would be in breach of your mortgage contract and your buildings and contents insurance is likely to be unsuitable, if not actually invalid. Many people do this and get away with it, but it's a high risk strategy.Tawnyowl,be carefull.

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they've said no because you havn't the equity. You need to look at 2 things.


1. Are you intending to move back into the property? If so, you may be able to approach them to agree to Permission to Let. This is a short term instance where you are intending to move back in, I don't know if Abbey has this, but most high st do and they may look more favourably at it as a basis that the mortgage would still be paid.


2. If you are not looking to move in and you rent the property out, you will be in breach of your mortgage terms and conditions. What does this mean, well ultimately it means the bank could if they want reposess the property and sell it. What is more likely? If you are renting it out legally and the tenant pays the rent you will pay the mortgage and the bank will be none the wiser.

However the implications of that are huge, if for whatever reason you didn't pay the mortgage and the bank repo'd and evicted the tenants (they would have no rights as there contract is without consent and after the banks charge), then you could be held liable for all the banks costs in eviciting the tenant and for the distress caused to the tenant so make sure of what you want to do.


The independant valuation is if you want to challenge the banks valuation, did you have a surveyor come round and look at it? If not, its likely they've used a desktop vluation which is based on average prices in your area, given that most prices are lower, its likely that's why they've said no as you don't fit their BTL criteria.


Finally, what does the letting contract say, is there a pull out clause?

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