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Expat Buy to Let Mortgages

15th November 2023

By James Jones

Expat Buy to Let Mortgages

A buy to let mortgage (BTL) allows you to purchase a property with the intent to rent it back out. Expat Buy to Let Mortgages are a product that ex-UK nationals can take out. This allows expats to rent out a property in the UK whilst they are living abroad. As a result, it will provide expats with income so it will help with their retirement abroad. In addition, expats may also wish to use the property that they have rented out upon their return to the UK.

Most lenders consider expat buy to let mortgages riskier. So having good credit could be crucial to maximising the amount of opportunities presented to you. If you have bad credit, it could severely hurt your chances of securing a good deal. However, If you do have bad credit, there are specialist bad credit mortgage lenders that specialise in helping people who are struggling to get a mortgage deal. 

Beware that if you have no credit footprint in the UK it could make it harder to find a lender as they have no guide to your credit worthiness. Poor credit may be preferable to no credit.


  • The main benefit of an expat buy to let mortgage is that it generates an income for the property owner. This is valuable for expats as it makes living abroad easier and it helps with financial stability. 
  • Another benefit of expat buy to let mortgages is that the value of the property may increase over time depending on the market. It is not guaranteed that your capital will increase. But large investments such as properties have benefited some landlords in the long run. 
  • The rental market is in high demand with many first time buyers looking to rent. Certain people may not be able to take out a mortgage with their current circumstances. With mortgage criteria becoming more strict and housing prices increasing, people seek out renting as an easier alternative. However, there could still be lenders that can help you out. So it is always worth exploring all your options.


  • It may be tougher for expats to get buy to let mortgages than UK citizens because mortgage lenders may charge higher interest or demand larger deposits. 
  • Another concern is that expats can struggle with establishing income and affordability due to having less financial ties in the UK
  • Expats can sometimes have less UK credit history due to them being overseas for a long period of time. Some expats have credit cards of which they can keep track of their credit records through financial associates in the UK.
  • You may need to deal with new / different tax regimes and exchange rates.
  • The legal system may be different to what you are used to. This can lead to costly advice.
  • People – can you trust the people who represent you abroad – or will they rip you off?
  • As an investment property is not very liquid, it’s harder to dispose of. This may be even harder if it’s in a different country
  • Costs of repairs and maintenance – may well be higher or less reliable
  • Local knowledge – do you know the area as well as you should – micro economics can have a big impact on rents and capital appreciation.
  • How do you intervene when something goes wrong

Other avenues to explore

Multi Unit Block

You may want to consider whether you would want to rent out your property as an Expat multi unit block. A multi unit block (MUB) is a property that is usually made up of multiple smaller units within the structure. Within the property, people live separately. So the bathroom, kitchen and washing facilities are exclusive to one of the tenants. Multi unit blocks can sometimes be classed as houses in multiple occupation (HMO). This depends on whether there are shared facilities as well as the individual self contained living quarters.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) are determined by the sharing of a property to 3 or more tenants who are not part of the same household. HMO tenants share their kitchen and bathroom facilities. NOTE: if the property is 3 stories or more and you rent it out to 5 tenants or more then your property will be considered as a large HMO. By law, you must have a licence for the property and it must meet certain criteria. This is known as Mandatory Licensing. Click here to head over to the government website page on Mandatory Licensing. 

Lenders often expect expats to be earning at least £25,000 minimum. Lenders may also require that any income earned abroad is paid into a UK bank account. Although, there are other lenders that are happy to calculate affordability with income paid into a foreign bank account. This can vary depending on the particular country that the expats are located. lenders may not cater for certain countries. 

Applying for a mortgage that can be paid off by the time you’re 70 can boost your chances of getting a mortgage approved. Working with a mortgage broker is a good idea to help boost your chances of getting a buy to let expat mortgage.

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    Promise Money is a broker not a lender. Therefore we offer lenders representing the whole of market for mortgages, secured loans, bridging finance, commercial mortgages and development finance. These loans are secured on property and subject to the borrowers status.

    More than 50% of borrowers receive offers better than our representative examples

    The %APR rate you will be offered is dependent on your personal circumstances.

    Mortgages and Remortgages

    Representative example

    Borrow £270,000 over 300 months at 7.1% APRC representative at a fixed rate of 4.79% for 60 months at £1,539.39 per month and thereafter 240 instalments of £2050.55 at 8.49% or the lender’s current variable rate at the time. The total charge for credit is £317,807.66 which includes £2,500 advice / processing fees and £125 application fee. Total repayable £587,807.66

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    Representative example

    Borrow £62,000 over 180 months at 9.9% APRC representative at a fixed rate of 7.85% for 60 months at £622.09 per month and thereafter 120 instalments of £667.54 at 9.49% or the lender’s current variable rate at the time. The total charge for credit is £55,730.20 which includes £2,660 advice / processing fees and £125 application fee. Total repayable £117,730.20

    Unsecured Loans

    Representative example

    Annual Interest Rate (fixed) is 49.7% p.a. with a Representative 49.7% APR, based on borrowing £5,000 and repaying this over 36 monthly repayments. Monthly repayment is £243.57 with a total amount repayable of £8,768.52 which includes the total interest repayable of £3,768.52.



    Promise Money is a trading style of Promise Solutions Ltd – Company number 04822774
    Promise Solutions, Fullard House, Neachells Lane, Wolverhampton, WV11 3QG

    Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – Number 681423
    The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of commercial / buy-to-let mortgages


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