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As the UK property market continues to attract investors, landlords have increasingly found themselves subject to tighter assessments by mortgage lenders.


Rental income stress tests that banks use, in order to assess a landlord’s ability to repay a mortgage in the event of tenant default, is just one of the strict assessments that landlord’s must undertake.


But what are Rental Income Stress Tests?


Rental income stress tests are used by lenders to assess the ability of landlords to repay their mortgage. These tests involve evaluating the rental income that a landlord receives from their property, and determine whether it is sufficient to cover the mortgage repayments, even in the event of tenant default or rental voids.


Essentially, the lender is trying to ensure that the landlord has a sustainable source of income that can cover the mortgage payments and any other associated costs.


The repercussions of not meeting Rental Income Stress Tests:


If a landlord fails to meet the rental income stress test requirements set by their lender, this can have significant repercussions. Firstly, the lender may require the landlord to pay a higher deposit on the purchase of the property, or reduce their mortgage balance when remortgaging a property that they already own.


If the landlord is unable to meet the rental income stress test requirements, even with these measures, they may be forced to sell their property to repay the mortgage.


Alternatively, if the landlord understands how the rental income stress test works, they can plan for when their fixed rate ends, and may choose to make overpayments on their mortgage, or leverage other unencumbered properties in their portfolio to reduce the overall loan-to-value ratio.


A controversial subject-should landlords consider slowly increasing rental income in time for their next remortgage?


Given the intensifying pressure on landlords to meet rental income stress tests, it is important to carefully consider their rental income. One option that landlords may want to consider is slowly raising their rental income, in preparation for their next remortgage.


Landlords should be aware of the rental market in their area, and ensure that their rental income is in line with current market conditions. Landlords with longstanding tenants may not have reviewed their rental fees for a few years, and could find that their rental income is not in line with current market rates. If the rental income is too high, it may not be sustained by the valuer, which makes it difficult for the landlord to meet the rental income stress test requirements set by the lender.


The increasing demand for the UK Rental Sector:


Despite the challenges landlords face, the demand for the UK rental sector continues to rise. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of households in the private rented sector in the UK has doubled in the last two decades. This is largely due to the rising cost of home ownership, which has made it increasingly difficult for people to get onto the property ladder.


As a result, the rental market in the UK has become increasingly competitive. Landlords who are able to meet the rental income stress test requirements and provide high-quality rental properties, are likely to benefit the most from the increasing demand in the rental sector.


It’s more important than ever for landlords to be able to navigate the complex world of rental income stress tests. According to a recent report by ARLA Propertymark, the UK rental market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, with 22% of households expected to be renting by 2023. This growth is driven by a variety of factors, including the rising cost of home ownership and changing attitudes towards renting.


Final thoughts:


Rental income stress tests are a crucial consideration for landlords in the UK property market. Although failure to meet these tests can have significant repercussions, there are steps landlords can take to mitigate these risks. By carefully managing their rental income and seeking expert advice, landlords can navigate the complexities of the rental market, and take advantage of the growing demand for rental properties.


How we can help:


Signature Funding Solutions offers tailored resolutions, helping landlords overcome these challenges and secure the funding they need to succeed in the competitive rental sector. With our expertise and guidance, landlords can confidently:


  • Navigate the rental income stress test requirements
  • Build a successful property portfolio
  • Reducing balances on their mortgages
  • Leverage unencumbered properties in order to reduce their loan-to-value ratios
  • Provide access to a wide range of mortgage products to suit their individual needs


If you have any questions regarding the rental income stress tests, or are seeking advice within the rental sector, you can speak to one of our specialist team by calling 01782 617 600