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  • Hayley Leith

What Are Buy-to-Let Mortgages?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

A buy-to-let mortgage is a mortgage that is sold specifically to people who want to buy a property as an investment, rather than as a place to live.

Buy-to-let mortgages can be powerful tools for both seasoned investors and for new landlords looking to take their first steps into the rental property market. However, not everyone is entitled to take out a buy-to-let mortgage, though. BTL mortgages are more expensive than typical mortgage loans and also require deposits of between 25% and 40%.

Most buy-to-let mortgages are interest-only, which means you pay the interest each month, but not the capital amount. Borrowers only pay interest on the loan as it accrues every month, generally from the proceeds of the rent they collect. The capital debt (the full amount of the mortgage) is paid at the end of an agreed term.

Who can get a buy-to-let mortgage?

You can apply for a buy-to-let mortgage if you come under the following conditions:

  • You want to invest in houses or flats

  • You can afford to take and understand the risks of investing in a property

  • You already own your own home, whether outright or with an outstanding mortgage

  • You have a good credit record and aren’t stretched too much on your other borrowings, such as credit cards

  • You’re under a certain age. As with all mortgages, lenders have upper age limits, typically between 70 and 80. This is the oldest age you can be when your mortgage ends (not when it starts). For example, if the age limit is 70 and you’re applying for a 25-year mortgage, you will need to be 45 or under.

How much can you borrow with a buy-to-let mortgage?

The maximum amount that you can borrow is linked with the amount of rental income you expect to receive from the property. Typically, lenders need the rental income to be 25-30% higher than the mortgage payment. To find out how much the rent for your property could be, talk to local letting agents in the area, or check the local press and online to find out how similar properties are priced for letting.

Where can you get a buy-to-let mortgage?

Most of the big banks and lenders offer BTL mortgages. It’s always a good idea to talk to a mortgage broker before applying for any type of mortgage, as they will be able to help you choose the most suitable deal for you and offer further advice.

If you are considering applying for a buy-to-let mortgage, contact Mortgage Thoughts today to speak to an award-winning specialist mortgage advisor.


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Our mortgage eligibility tool is operated by Lending Score (a third party) on behalf of Mortgage Thoughts. It is designed to give you an indication of how likely you are to be accepted, should you make a full application for a particular mortgage deal. Your eligibility is determined by a high-level check of your credit record and the additional information you have provided. This does not constitute an offer of credit, and you may be referred or declined once a full assessment of your application has been completed. By providing you with an indicative comparison of mortgage products and the likelihood of you being able to obtain those mortgage products, we don’t look at whether the mortgage is suitable for you and your financial needs. The mortgage eligibility service is not, and should not be construed as, a recommendation, financial or other professional advice. Professional advice should always be sought before taking action. This can be obtained by contacting one of our qualified advisors.

It is important to note that our online mortgage eligibility service only covers a small number of lenders and there are other products available. By contacting one of our advisors we will be able to check your eligibility with a more comprehensive panel of lenders.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.  You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.

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