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Skipton insist it’s ‘business as usual’ despite rule change

Skipton Building Society has announced that it has tightened its portfolio affordability requirements to 150% at 5.5%, and at 5% for five-year fixed rates, while its standard buy-to-let affordability test is 145% at 5.5%.

Under the lender’s new requirements, portfolio landlords will now need a minimum income of at least £45,000, but income from rental properties can be included with supporting evidence.

The lender will reveal the full details of the additional documents it will require next month, as part of its tweaked portfolio buy-to-let lending criteria, ahead of new Prudential Regulation Authority rules coming into force from 30 September.

But overall, much of Skipton’s existing criteria will remain unchanged, such as landlords having up to 10 properties in total and five properties mortgaged with Skipton.

Paul Darwin, Skipton’s director of intermediary lending, said: “Whilst being mindful of these new rules, this is very much business as usual for us.

“We have a great deal of knowledge and experience in this area of lending, and this is more a case of aligning our existing BTL portfolio proposition with the new requirements than anything else.

“Skipton has been active in the buy-to-let market for many years and we recognise the amount of changes landlords have had to manage; from changes to income tax, stamp duty, affordability, underwriting, not to mention the new EPC changes for landlords from spring next year.

“We know how important it is for our broker partners and landlords to have all the support they can from us. As a result, we’ll be rolling out our new underwriting requirements shortly to enable brokers to test drive and become familiar with everything in their own time.”

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