Residential lending criteria

The application


We only accept residential applications on an ‘advised’ basis. We currently do not offer an ‘execution only’ service to applicants.

Minimum loan

The minimum loan is £30,000.

Maximum loan

The maximum loan is £1,500,000 (inclusive of any capitalised fees)*.

*Restrictions applicable to the maximum loan amount: 

  • Maximum loan for Flat/Maisonette: £500,000
  • Maximum loan may be limited due to the maximum HLC/MIG available
  • Mortgage Product criteria may specify a maximum loan amount
  • Maximum loan for new build: £750,000
  • Maximum loan for self-build: £600,000
Maximum LTV
  • 75% LTV for loans up to £1,500,000
  • 80% LTV for loans up to £1,000,000
  • 90% LTV for loans up to £750,000.

The above applies to all residential mortgages except RIO, self-build and new builds which have the following maximum loan sizes:

  • Retirement interest-only £500,000
  • Self-build £600,000
  • New build £750,000.
Maximum term

The maximum term is 40 years.

  • Allowable up to a maximum of 80% LTV. If over 80%, the whole loan must be on a capital and interest repayment basis
  • We require in writing, a description of the repayment vehicle to repay the mortgage at the end of the mortgage term
  • We require the repayment vehicle to have been in place for six months before the mortgage application is submitted.

Examples of acceptable repayment vehicles

  • Endowment
  • 25% of the projected total value of a defined contribution pension plan
  • 100% of projected lump sum value of a defined benefit plan
    Equity ISA
  • Sale of investment property or second home, unless occupied by a family member and then not acceptable. Must be owned in applicant/s name only
    • We will accept sale of an investment property, or second home in England and Wales, provided the equity in the property is currently sufficient enough to cover the amount being borrowed
    • Where a shortfall is identified, this element must be on either a capital and interest repayment basis, or the shortfall made up by means of increasing the deposit
    • It is your clients’ responsibility to ensure they have sufficient capital to repay the mortgage at the end of the term.

Examples of unacceptable repayment vehicles

  • Conversion to repayment in the future
  • Cash ISA
  • Overpayments from income
  • Future inheritance.
The deposit
  • The applicant/s own deposit or a gift from family is acceptable
  • We do not accept builders’ deposits
  • Purchase under value between parent/child can be considered.
Debt consolidation and capital raising

Considered up to a maximum of 80% LTV. If the application includes capital raising for the purpose of gifting the proceeds to a third party, we will require a gifting declaration form to be completed and submitted with the application.

Equity purchase

We will consider equity purchase up to a maximum of 90% LTV.

Home improvements

Considered up to a maximum of 90% LTV. Estimates will be required where borrowing above 80% LTV.


Properties that have been owned for less than six months will be considered on an individual basis. In these circumstances, the 'free legal service' will not apply.

Credit scoring

Our application systems create a soft footprint on decision in principle applications; this is converted to a hard footprint at full mortgage application.

The applicant(s)

Minimum age

The minimum age is 18 (55 for a Retirement Interest Only (RIO) mortgage).

Maximum age

The maximum age is 75 (at end of the mortgage term)

  • We will require written confirmation from the adviser on the broker declaration form if the applicant does intend to continue to work to age 75. The type of employment will need to reflect their ability to work to age 75.
Lending into retirement

Where the proposed mortgage term is likely to exceed our assumed applicant retirement age of 68, the ability to continue to pay the mortgage on a potentially reduced income should be documented.

  • Maximum LTV restrictions will apply for applicants who will be lending in or into retirement
    • Lending into retirement - if the applicant (or in the case of a joint application, either applicant) is in receipt of earned income, and the term of the mortgage extends beyond the age at which the income earner(s) intends to retire (or in the case of a joint application, either income earner) - max LTV 80%
    • Lending in retirement - if the applicants are not in receipt of any earned income, and will be reliant on pension income only - max LTV 70%
  • We will carefully consider affordability into retirement for older applicants nearing retirement age.
  • The applicant/s must have resided in the UK for the past two years
  • HM Armed Forces personnel who have been temporarily stationed abroad are deemed to have been resident in the UK during their period of overseas deployment
  • In the case of Foreign Nationals, the applicant/s must have permanent rights to reside in the UK and be able to evidence this
  • We do not accept applicant/s on working visas.
Credit history - subject to passing credit score, we can consider
  • Bankrupts who have been discharged for at least three years
  • CCJ or IVA – a single satisfied CCJ up to £500 may be considered
  • CCJs and defaults above £500 must be satisfied for at least three years
  • Satisfied defaults up to £250 may be considered where there are none for a mortgage, secured or unsecured loans
  • Two missed payments in the two last years for secured mortgage/rent payments/secured loan now up to date may be considered.

At the time of the application, the minimum length of time in the current job is six months. We may consider three months in the current job, providing same occupation and no employment gaps.

Applicants currently in a probationary period are acceptable subject to underwriter discretion. This means that if the customer is in a probationary period they can apply for a mortgage.

Employees on a fixed-term contract are acceptable providing they are professionals and have worked on fixed-term contracts in the same profession for a minimum of 12 months (i.e. acceptable industries in this category include the NHS and IT, while unacceptable include unskilled, manual or clerical workers).

Contractors working via an umbrella company are acceptable.

Temporary/agency/zero hour contract workers are not acceptable.

We will consider applicants on maternity leave and will assess the return to work salary. Please provide us with:

  • The last pay slip prior to maternity leave starting, showing the full-time salary
  • The applicant/s will need to confirm the following information in writing:
    • The intended return to work date
    • Whether they will be returning to work full or part time and the pro rata salary as applicable
    • Full details of maternity leave pay i.e. how many weeks left at full pay, half pay and SMP
    • What savings provisions they have in place to support the mortgage whilst on reduced pay
    • What childcare costs (if any) will be payable when they return to work.

Affordability and income


The affordability calculator will automatically apply deductions to gross income, based on tax bands and NI contributions to calculate the net income. We will assess an applicants borrowing ability using an affordability calculation based on their income, commitments and expenditure. this will confirm the maximum amount we will be prepared to lend.

Employed income

The affordability calculator will automatically apply deductions to gross income, based on tax bands and NI contributions to calculate the net income. 

Pay rise

We will consider a pay rise where this can be evidenced with a payslip showing the increase and a bank statement showing the new salary credit.

Other income we may assess
  • Car allowance - 100%
  • Large town allowance - 100%
  • Guaranteed bonus/overtime/shift allowance - 100%
  • Regular overtime or bonus (monthly, quarterly, six monthly, annually – evidence of regularity must be provided) - 50%
  • Commission - 50%
  • Maintenance - 50% (with a court order) subject to 6 months' paid evidence on bank statements
  • Child Tax Credit - 50% (excluding child care element)
  • Working Families Tax Credit - 50%
  • State and occupational pension - 100%
  • Investment income - not acceptable
  • Second job income - 50% subject to six months’ track record
  • Cash in hand - where employees are paid in cash, we need to verify this by regular cash payments being paid into the bank account. If corresponding payments are not being paid in, we cannot assess the income.
Self-employed income

Applicants are treated as self-employed where they are a sole trader, are in a business partnership or where they own 25% or more shares in a limited company. The applicant’s latest year’s share in profits will be assessed, or salary and dividends for limited company directors. The latest year’s accounts must not be more than 12 months old, subject to income fluctuating by no more than 20% year on year.

Our minimum requirement is two years' SA302s with the latest dated in line with HMRC requirements.

We reserve the right to request an accountant's reference from a suitably qualified accountant. Acceptable qualifications are; AAPA, FAPA, ACMA, FCMA, ACA, FCA, ACCA, CA, CPFA, FCCA, MAAT, FMAAT, CTA (Fellow), FTII (Fellow), CTA, ATII, ATT, ACPA and FCPA.

Where no suitably qualified accountant is available, we will use a minimum of two years of SA302s, when provided together with the corresponding HMRC tax overview to show that the tax due has been paid in full. Each SA302 and tax year overview must relate to a full 12-month trading period.

Commitments and expenditure

The affordability calculator will ask for all monthly commitments and household expenditure. The household expenditure should be based on the property to be mortgaged. We will take into account any monthly credit commitments (including student loans) where there is an outstanding term of six months or more. We will use 3% of the outstanding balances on any/all credit card as the monthly commitment figure if not disclosed.

Retirement income

We will accept the following retirement income:

  Lending types
Lending into retirement Defined benefits pension Defined benefits pension
Lending in retirement Defined benefits pension
Defined contribution pension
Defined benefits pension
Defined contribution pension (annuity only)
Higher lending charge

A higher lending charge is payable on loans above 80% LTV.

Higher lending charges
Advance Premium
80.00% or below No higher lending charge
80.01% - 95.00% We pay the higher lending charge for the borrower

Supporting documents

For each application we require

Where applicant is employed (including PAYE directors):

  • Where the LTV is 80% or above, the applicant is a first-time buyer or renting, the last three months' bank statements are required. Underwriters may ask for bank statements at their discretion. 
  • Last one months' pay slip. Bonus, overtime, shift allowance and commission must be evidenced by at least three consecutive pay slips.

Where applicant is self-employed:

  • Three years' accounts or SA302s and tax year overviews. We may need to write to the applicant's accountant for a reference
  • Last three months' business bank statements.
ID for each application
  • UK or EU passport
  • UK photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • UK paper driving licence (full only)
  • EU state member ID card
  • UK residence permit
  • Non-EU passport
  • Non-EU ID card
  • Council tax bill.
Proof of address

It is assumed that proof of address will be verified by the electoral roll search we undertake. If verification does not occur, you will be asked to submit one of the following documents:

  • UK photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • UK paper driving licence (full only)
  • HMRC tax code notification
  • Recent utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Tax credit or pension credit letter
  • Local authority tenancy agreement
  • State pension letter
  • State benefit letter
  • Bank statement (postal or printed and stamped in branch)
  • Credit card bill (postal only)
  • Mortgage statement.

We cannot use the same document to check the applicants ID and their address. If you cannot provide any of the above documents, please contact the intermediary support team on 0344 481 2010 and press option two to discuss further options.

Residential applicants who own other properties


Applicants must be current owner-occupiers for us to consider proceeding where there are any other mortgages in the background. We may consider an application where the customer is temporarily living with family or renting, due to work commitments and they still own their ex-residential property. We must be totally satisfied that our security will be the customer's main permanent residence. We may require proof of deposit for the new purchase.


New residential mortgages can be considered up to 90% max LTV where the customer is, for example, upsizing or relocating with their job. We need to be satisfied that the existing mortgages will be converted to a permanent letting agreement and we require:

  • Consent to let confirmation, in writing, from the existing lender or a copy of the LTB re-mortgage offer from the new lender
  • Rental coverage of 125% of the mortgage commitment. This calculation must include any additional capital raising for deposit funds. If the rental coverage is less than 125%, any shortfall will be annualised and deducted from income before applying our income multiples to new residential mortgages. No surplus rental income will be assessed
  • A professional letting agents letter confirming the potential rental income
  • Where the existing property has little equity or is in negative equity, we may not be able to assist and the case should be referred to us before submission.
Existing residential property up for sale

Where the customer(s) have their existing residential property up for sale, but may not have sold by the time they complete on the new purchase. We will assess as follows:

  • Up to 90% LTV, we will treat the existing mortgage payment as a commitment
  • We require a copy of the estate agent's sales details
  • Above 90% LTV the existing mortgage must be redeemed.
Existing matrimonial/dependent relative(s) mortgages to remain

Where the existing matrimonial/dependent relative(s) mortgage is to remain, we must be satisfied that the new residential property to be purchased is for the customer(s) own use. We will assess as follows:

  • Up to 90% LTV, we will treat the existing mortgage payment as a commitment
  • Above 90% LTV the existing mortgage must be redeemed.
Existing buy-to-let properties in background
  • New residential mortgages can be considered up to a maximum 90% LTV
  • Applicants must be current owner-occupiers
  • First-time residential buyers with a BTL property in the background are not acceptable
  • First-time landlords are acceptable
  • Professional landlords will be considered and treated as self-employed and we require 2 years’ accounts and/or tax assessments. They will be required to complete an assets and liabilities statement
  • For non-professional landlords, we will consider treating the BTL mortgage/s as self-financing, subject to:
    • Rental coverage of 125% of the mortgage commitment. This calculation must include any additional capital raising for deposit funds. If the rental coverage is less than 125%, any shortfall will be taken into account in the affordability calculation.  
    • Proof of rental income and mortgage payment/s on the most recent bank statement/s
    • Consent to let will be required or proof the mortgage is on a BTL basis (BTL mortgage statement).
  • Where the existing property has little equity, or is in negative equity, we may not be able to assist and the case should be referred to us before submission.

The property

Acceptable properties
  • Properties in England and Wales
  • The property must be the main permanent residence of the applicants
  • Property must be of traditional construction with brick or stone walls and pitched slate or tile roof
  • The following cladding types are acceptable: brick, block or other robust cladding / rain screen that is inflammable and non-combustible and with the appropriate safety certification
  • Modern timber frame or oak frame
  • Modern steel frame
  • Structurally Insulated Panel Systems (SIPS)
  • Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF)
  • Wimpey ‘no fines’ and Easy Form can be considered subject to a satisfactory valuation
  • Flat roofs are acceptable subject to a minimum of a 25 year insurance backed guarantee
  • New build houses are acceptable up to 90% LTV (we do not accept builders’ deposits)
  • New Build Warranties - we accept NHBC, Premier Guarantee, BLP, Buildzone, LABC, The Q Policy, Protek and ICW. Other warranty policies are not acceptable
  • Flats/maisonettes (including new build) are acceptable for owner occupiers (not for BTL applications) but must be leasehold, and maximum 80% LTV
  • Houses and bungalows with a minimum internal floor area of 50 sq metres, flats and studios with a minimum internal floor area of 35 sq metres
  • If in a block, must be a maximum of 10 storeys
  • We will not lend on flats that are above the fourth floor without lift access
  • If above a shop, flat must have its own entrance separate to the shop entrance
  • Flats that require a EWS1 form, must provide a valid EWS1 form to support the property valuation.
  • Solar panels – houses fitted with solar panels are acceptable, provided that adequate insurance is in place to cover any damage caused to the property by the solar panels
  • For remortgage applications on houses with solar panels fitted under a lease agreement, please note that our ‘free legal service’ package is not available.
Unacceptable properties
  • Pre-fabricated properties
  • Steel framed properties (only modern steel frame acceptable)
  • Timber framed properties with timber cladding
  • Straw bale, Hempcrete, Volumetric construction
  • Mobile home/houseboat
  • Unacceptable roof types; Sedum (living green)
  • Any construction covered by Housing Defect legislation, such as high alumina cement; prefabricated reinforced concrete; large panel system
  • Ex-local authority & housing association (ex-public sector flats) including Right to Buy flats
  • Second homes/holiday homes
  • Self-build products are available via Build Store
  • Purchases where the vendor has owned for less than six months.

All products are subject to valuation. These are instructed via a panel management company and encompass a variety of national surveying firms.


Both freehold and leasehold are acceptable. If leasehold, the minimum required unexpired term on a lease must be at least 85 years from commencement of the mortgage.

Special schemes


Shared ownership/shared equity/Government Homebuy purchases are not acceptable. We can consider a remortgage where the applicant is buying out the final tranche but the free legals service would not be available. We require a copy of the final tranche sale paperwork to be uploaded.

Right to buy

Applications are considered on the following basis:

  • Maximum loan 100% of discounted purchase price plus up to £250 costs
  • No additional borrowing for home improvements is available
  • The RTB is usually restricted to the official tenants who must also be party to the mortgage
  • A copy of the RTB letter should be obtained
  • Remortgage of a RTB property within the five year pre-emption period can be considered if there is no additional monies being raised
  • The second charge will be subject to a Deed of Postponement at extra cost to the applicant/s (unless there is only 12 months of the discount period remaining in which case no Deed of Postponement will apply).