How to get a Holiday Let Mortgage
Find out how to get the best rate on a Holiday Let to buy Mortgage.
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Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert, MD
Updated: December 10, 2021
There’s been a significant rise in UK-based holidays over the last couple of years, due mainly to the recent pandemic. As a result, there’s also been a big increase in demand for holiday let mortgages.
By following this guide you’ll have a better understanding of which type of mortgage best suits a holiday let property, how to find the best rates and what else you should know before starting your business.
The following topics are covered below...
What type of mortgage do you need for a holiday let?
If you’re planning to buy a second home for the purposes of renting it out to tourists when you’re not using it, you’re going to need a holiday let mortgage.
Some lenders do allow applications for holiday rentals to fall under their standard buy-to-let mortgages umbrella but the eligibility criteria can be quite prohibitive as a result.
It’s far better to find a specialist lender who offers tailored home loans for this particular type of venture.
What’s the difference between a holiday let and buy-to-let mortgage?
In terms of the actual mortgages, there’s very little difference. Both are available as either interest-only and repayment (with a preference usually for the former).
The key difference relates to how affordability is assessed.
The main concern lenders have with holiday let properties is what happens if there’s prolonged periods when it’s not rented out?
This will obviously have a knock-on effect if rental premiums can’t cover the mortgage repayments.
As a result, there’s only a select group of lenders willing to consider applications for holiday let business’.
Those that do tend to be focus their criteria on:
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How much can you borrow?
This will be based on the projected rental income for your holiday let property.
Try our mortgage calculator below to get a rough idea of whether your mortgage payments are likely to be affordable based on your property’s rental potential.
Holiday Let Mortgage Calculator
Our holiday let mortgage calculator can show you how much your mortgage could cost you each month and overall. Simply enter the rental property value, deposit, anticipated monthly rent, interest rate, mortgage term and our caculator will do the rest.
Capital and repayment:
Loan to Value ratio (LTV):
Most lenders won't offer buy-to-let mortgages over a LTV of 80%.
Interest Cover Ratio (ICR):
Most lenders require rental income to be at least 125%-145% of the interest repayments for a buy-to-let mortgage.
Get started with a specialist buy-to-let broker to find out how much they could help you save on your monthly mortgage repayments.
How to get a holiday let mortgage
If you’re looking for a holiday let mortgage approaching a mortgage broker with experience in this area is the smart first move and will make the process much more straightforward.
Here’s how they can help:
- Preparing your documentation and business plan: Having your paperwork ready in advance can help you save precious time and a mortgage broker will know exactly what you need. As this is a second home for the purpose of a holiday let business, you’ll need a business plan prepared outlining the expected rental income, along with recent mortgage statements on your main residence. Your broker will be able to offer assistance and guidance here too
- Checking your credit reports: Regardless of what type of mortgage you’re looking at, all lenders will want to check your credit history so it’s also a good idea to have a copy of your report beforehand. This will allow you to correct any inaccuracies and remove any details that are out of date or just wrong. Your broker will show how you can download your credit reports and point out what lenders will typically look for
- Getting the approval you need – first time!: As these types of mortgages are quite unique, having someone with experience in this type of lending will be crucial. This could save you a lot of time going back and forth trying to find the right lenders who can offer the best rates as your broker will already know exactly who to approach
Our free, broker-matching service will quickly assess your needs and circumstances to pair you with a mortgage advisor who’s ideally placed to help you – Make an enquiry to get started.
What is the actual classification of a holiday let property?
Unlike buy-to-let properties that are bought for the sole purpose of renting out full-time, the aim of a holiday home is to only rent them out on a short-term basis.
As such, there’s a number of tax advantages available for holiday let business’ as long as you follow certain rules.
If you’re thinking of buying a property to use as a qualifying holiday let business, the guidelines you need to adhere to are:
The tax advantages of owning a holiday let property
As long as you follow the rules outlined above, your holiday let business should qualify for the following tax benefits:
- Unlike private landlords, you can still claim full tax relief on all of your mortgage interest payments
- Both capital gains tax and entrepreneur’s tax relief are available when you eventually sell the property
- Plant and machinery capital allowances are available on all furniture and fixtures within the property
In addition to all of the above, there’s one other obvious benefit of a holiday home often overlooked. Outside of the 210 days it must be available for commercial purposes, you’re allowed to live in it – and enjoy the benefits of having it – yourself.
Holiday let mortgages are considered quite ‘niche’ so finding the right lenders who offer this type of home loan can be tricky.
Using the services of an experienced mortgage broker – who’ll know exactly where to look – will definitely be to your advantage here, saving you a lot of time.
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The criteria will differ depending on whether you’re applying for a holiday let mortgage or a standard buy-to-let mortgage.
The key difference between the two is the affordability requirements.
As buy-to-let properties tend to have long-term tenants, the rental income you will receive is much more predictable than with holiday lets – which may be left empty for some of the year.
This means you may be expected to have a greater personal income and/or a larger rental income from the property in order to give a lender confidence that your repayments will be covered throughout the term.
For standard buy-to-let mortgages, most lenders expect to see an overall rental yield equivalent to between 125-145% of the mortgage repayment.
However, for holiday lets this may need to be higher. In some cases the yield may need to be at least 170%. But, this can also vary from lender to lender.
Other factors that could affect your chances of approval
In addition to the rental income, the general eligibility criteria for holiday let mortgages will vary between lenders but the following will almost certainly play a part in the decision-making process:
Like all other types of mortgage, your chances of getting approved for a holiday let mortgage will increase with the size of your deposit.
In this case, the deposit required will usually be higher than standard buy-to-let mortgages due to the higher risk involved.
The exact amount required for your mortgage will vary from lender to lender. In general, you’ll need at least a 25%-30% deposit.
The higher deposit you can put down, the better chance you have of qualifying for the best rates.
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How to get the best rates
Interest rates for holiday let mortgages are usually higher than for standard buy-to-let mortgages. Again, this is generally down to the perceived additional risk involved with this type of venture. But, there are some good opportunities available, if you know where to look.
The table below illustrates some typical examples of the best interest rates currently available (May 2023) on holiday let mortgages:
Looking for more rates and deals?
We can match you with a mortgage broker who can provide you with up-to-date bespoke rates and deals from across the entire market and help you secure the best ones available.
Last updated August 2023
All the above rates are purely for example purposes, were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change at any time at the lender’s discretion.
Get matched with a holiday let mortgage broker today
The best way to land a great holiday let mortgage is to use a broker who specialises in that market.
They will have the knowledge, experience and lender contacts to make sure that you secure the best rates and on the best terms.
We offer a free, broker-matching service that will quickly assess your needs and circumstances to pair you with the mortgage advisor who’s best placed to help you.
They will already know which lenders have the expertise to deal with this type of mortgage and will be able to manage your application through the whole process.
Call 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and your ideal buy-to-let mortgage broker today.
Get Started with a Broker
Maximise your chance of approval with specialist advice from an expert in Holiday Let Mortgages.
Letting your property out on Airbnb shouldn’t affect your mortgage eligibility.
In fact, putting your holiday buy to let on Airbnb could take a lot of the hassle and stress out of marketing and organising your buy to let or holiday let.
It goes without saying that the more popular the area, the more bookings you will receive. Think carefully where you’ll buy a holiday let in the UK as this will affect how successful your venture is
Simply put, yes.
If you want to get a mortgage on a holiday let business and qualify for the various tax benefits then one of the stipulations are that the property must be fully furnished.
The good news is, though, you can claim tax relief on all your fixtures and fittings too.
Yes. Holiday let mortgages are available in Scotland and work in much the same way as they do in England and the rest of the UK.
One thing to bear in mind, though, is that there are often postcode restrictions north of the border. Most lenders won’t be keen to offer you a mortgage in the holiday let property is located in the Highlands or away from the mainland.
You can find more information about this topic in our guide to buy-to-let mortgages in Scotland.
Yes, but you might need a specialist lender with an international reach to get the best rates.
The best way to improve your chances of approval is to find a mortgage broker who specialises in overseas investment mortgages, as their knowledge, experience and lender contacts could be the difference between a successful outcome and mortgage rejection.
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We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in Buy-To-Let mortgages. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.
Mortgage Expert, MD
About the author
Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.
Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!