Updated: February 21, 2022

SPV Mortgages

Want to make your buy-to-let investments more profitable and tax-efficient? An SPV mortgage could be the answer, and you can find out how to get one in our guide.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: February 21, 2022

Looking for a way to make your buy-to-let investments more profitable, streamlined and tax-efficient? SPV mortgages could be the solution. Read on to find out more about SPV mortgages, how to get one, and how a broker can help.

What is an SPV mortgage?

An SPV mortgage is one that can be used to purchase a property via a special purpose vehicle (SPV). An SPV is a type of limited company that’s set up solely to buy, sell and let residential property, thereby allowing investors to own property through a limited company rather than personally.

It’s becoming an increasingly popular option for landlords who want to keep their business and personal entities separate. The SPV is an entirely separate company with separate assets and liabilities, and it allows an investor to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage through the company rather than in their own name. They’re not the easiest of mortgages to arrange and won’t be right for everyone, but a buy-to-let mortgage broker who specialises in SPV agreements will be able to work with you to help you decide if it’s the right option.

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What can they be used for?

There are several purposes of SPV mortgages, and in turn, several benefits of setting up this form of limited company. These include:

Isolating financial risk

Given that an SPV is a separate legal entity, it stands to reason that any property owned through it will be treated as a separate asset. This means that the investor won’t be held personally liable should the mortgage go unpaid or the business become insolvent, for example, and as such their personal assets (such as the family home) won’t be at risk.

Mixed portfolio purchase

SPV limited company mortgages are often used by established portfolio landlords to purchase several properties of different types (such as standard residential, HMO or multi-unit freehold blocks), as it’s often easier to keep track of such purchases in a company structure.

It can be easier to expand, too, with lenders often looking more favourably at SPV arrangements and therefore typically offering higher mortgage calculations, which means investors could potentially borrow more and expand quicker.

Tax benefits

It can often be more tax-efficient to own properties within a limited company structure, largely because the landlord won’t pay income tax; instead, the SPV will pay 19% corporation tax on any profits, which can dramatically reduce the tax burden of higher or additional rate taxpayers, who would normally have to pay 40% or 45% income tax respectively.

There are also various tax reliefs to benefit from that are no longer open to individual landlords, and there can also be advantages in terms of inheritance tax: any properties held in an SPV can be more easily gifted to children without being subject to capital gains tax, and doing so can legitimately reduce the value of an estate.

Care, however, needs to be exercised as taking money out of a SPV might be quite complicated due to tax legislation and so specialist advice is recommended at each stage.

How to get one

Thinking of applying for a buy-to-let SPV mortgage? These are the steps to follow:

  1. Speak to a broker: This step is crucial if you want to stand the best possible chance of finding the mortgage that suits your circumstances. These are very niche products but specialist SPV brokers will know the lenders to approach and can use their network of contacts to source the best rates – often having access to exclusive deals – and will be on-hand to take you through the application process too, ultimately helping ensure you get the ideal mortgage for your needs.
  2. Seek tax and legal advice: The tax implications of SPV mortgages mean it’s vital to seek tax advice before you start, as although there are clear benefits, there are some scenarios where buying property through a limited company may not be so tax-efficient. Most lenders will require you to seek independent legal advice before you can apply for a mortgage, too.
  3. Get your documents prepared: You’ll need to provide far more documentary evidence for SPV mortgages than for standard residential and buy-to-let deals. Some of the documents you’ll need to show can include:
  • Evidence of trading history
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Resolution of the Board
  • Personal guarantees

Make an enquiry with us and we’ll match you with a buy-to-let broker who specialises in SPV mortgages today so you can get started.

SPV mortgage requirements

There are plenty of benefits to SPV limited company mortgages but there’s also a lot to consider, and it’s important to understand their unique requirements.

Eligibility

  • Company structure. These mortgages will only be available to landlords whose companies meet the criteria of an SPV – that is, if it solely buys, sells or lets property. This means that if the business receives any income from other trading activities, if the SPV has associated commercial property or assets, or if it operates under any other kind of company structure, a buy-to-let SPV mortgage won’t be suitable.
  • Experience. Lenders will normally expect you to be an experienced landlord before they’ll offer you an SPV mortgage. Inexperience is seen as a risk and could mean your mortgage options are more limited, though there may be ways to mitigate that risk, such as offering a larger deposit or having a higher income.
  • Personal circumstances. Your age, income and credit history will all play a part in your SPV mortgage application. For example, you’ll normally need to be at least 21-years-old with a minimum income of £25,000, and should have a decent credit rating, too.
  • Deposit. Most SPV mortgage lenders will only offer a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) of 85% – and some are even lower – which means you’ll need to have a deposit of at least 15%.
  • Your portfolio and business situation. How many properties you own can impact your eligibility, as can the number of directors and shareholders in the SPV. However, this can vary depending on the lender.

Restrictions

  • Properties of non-standard construction. If you’re looking to buy a property that does not meet the “standard” mould – such as those with thatched roofs, timber frames or listed buildings – you’ll be a lot more restricted in your mortgage choices.
  • Country of registration. Not only will the company normally need to be registered in the UK, but it’s likely that all directors will need to reside in the UK as well (though some lenders will accept expats).
  • Government support schemes. Some lenders won’t be able to lend to SPVs that have taken out government support schemes such as a Bounce Back Loan, and proceeds of similar schemes often can’t be used towards a deposit.

How to get the best SPV mortgage rates

SPV mortgage rates are typically higher than for standard buy-to-let mortgages, and they can be higher still if you’re a new landlord, or if your credit rating is less than perfect. These mortgages can also be harder to come by as fewer lenders offer them. Specialists who provide them include The Mortgage Works, where rates start from 2.94%, and Molo Finance, who offer SPV mortgages from 2.99%.

Actual mortgage rates will always vary depending on the market, your circumstances and a whole range of other factors, and the best way to find the deal that’s right for you is to speak to a broker.

Get matched with an expert SPV mortgage broker

Finding a broker who’s experienced in SPV mortgages can sometimes be just as tricky as sourcing a mortgage itself, but we can do the hard work for you. We’ve got plenty of brokers in our network who excel in this field, so just tell us a few details and our unique broker matching service will pair you up with the advisor to suit.

Get in touch or call us on 0808 189 0463 for a free, no-obligation chat, and we can help you find the broker who’s perfectly placed to source the SPV mortgage you need.

FAQs

Does an SPV pay stamp duty?

Yes. Your limited company will be subject to the standard 3% surcharge which usually applies to buy-to-let property purchases. If you were to buy the property in your own name and then transfer it over to your SPV, this would mean paying stamp duty twice.

It is therefore advisable to set up the SPV before purchasing the property to avoid being hit by two lots of this tax.

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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.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

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!

FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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