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Written by Emma Lunn

Mortgage lenders are targeting thousands of so-called "accidental landlords" who let out their own homes without permission.

According to the Daily Telegraph, lenders are trawling the electoral register, social media websites and online letting agencies for signs that a property on a residential mortgage has been put up for rent.

In most cases homeowners who wish to let their main residence either need to gain “consent to let” from their lender (which may involve paying a one-off administration fee or a higher interest rate on their loan), or switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.

The higher costs are because lenders view rental property as higher risk because of the possibility of void periods or tenants falling into arrears.

Lenders have apparently become suspicious that vast numbers are keeping quiet about their arrangements to avoid the extra costs. Brokers have warned that lenders are becoming a lot more pro-active about checking who really lives in a mortgaged property.

Letting a property without permission would break the terms and conditions of the mortgage. In the worst case scenario those who are caught renting out their home without permission could see the loan called in.


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