BYM let to buy explained
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Let-to-buy explained

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to buy a new property to move into but you’re unable to sell your existing home, then a let-to-buy mortgage could be the ideal solution for you.

Let’s take a look at what let-to-buy means, how it works, and how you could benefit from it.

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What is let-to-buy?

Let-to-buy allows homeowners to rent out their current property while they purchase a new one. It provides homeowners with the flexibility to move without the pressure of selling their existing property quickly.

Essentially, it is the reverse of buy-to-let, which refers to buying a property with the specific purpose of renting it out.

How does let-to-buy work?

Converting your mortgage

To get started with the process, you need to convert your existing mortgage into a let-to-buy mortgage. Some mortgage lenders offer specialised let-to-buy mortgages, which allow you to borrow up to 75–80% of your current home’s value.

To be considered eligible for a let-to-buy mortgage, you must prove that your rental income will be higher than your mortgage repayments and provide a copy of your mortgage offer for your new home.

Some lenders require that you use the same solicitors for both transactions and that you are under the age of 75, but these criteria can vary.

Find out if you’re eligible for a let-to-buy mortgage

Renting out your current property

Once you have secured your let-to-buy mortgage, you can begin the process of renting out your existing home. A reputable estate agent like Whitegates can help you with this by finding suitable tenants, conducting thorough background checks, and ensuring a strong tenancy agreement is in place.

Your estate agent also needs to verify that your rental income will cover the mortgage at a minimum figure of around 125% of the payable interest. Once you have verified your finances with the mortgage lender and have been accepted, you are free to move into your new property.

Related: The top things you should consider before becoming a landlord

Stamp duty

As taking out a let-to-buy mortgage means you become the owner of a second property, you will have to pay an additional 3% stamp duty on your newly-purchased home. This may cost you thousands of pounds up front, so it is important that you remember to work this tax into your budgets.

Benefits of let-to-buy


One of the main advantages of let-to-buy is that it provides great flexibility, allowing you to move into your new home at a leisurely pace. It also makes property searching much more relaxed, as it gives you more time to think things through and find your perfect home.

Additional income

By renting out your existing property, you effectively become a landlord and therefore have the opportunity to generate rental income. This can be a valuable source of passive income and contribute to long-term financial stability.

Property appreciation

By not selling your existing property when you move out, it is possible it will increase in value over time. This can potentially result in a higher return on investment when you eventually decide to sell.

Disadvantages of let-to-buy

Financial issues

One of the main potential challenges of let-to-buy is rental income failing to cover the mortgage payments on your existing property. If you have a period of vacancy where you cannot find a tenant for your property, it could become difficult to finance both homes.


When you rent out your property, you need to make sure you meet all the regulations that come with being a landlord, including conducting inspections and making sure you have the necessary insurance coverage.

Property maintenance

Renting out a property comes with the added responsibility of property management. Things to take care of include tenant selection, rent collection, maintenance, and dealing with any issues that may arise.

Thankfully, your estate agent can manage all of these things to give you a more relaxing let-to-buy experience. Using their expertise and market knowledge, they can guide you through the intricacies of the let-to-buy process, ensuring you make well-informed decisions throughout.

For more advice, contact your local Whitegates branch today

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