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Welcome to Property Hawk Mortgages

Property Hawk Mortgages are specialists in the buy-to-let and commercial mortgage market. Our team has a wealth of knowledge and are dedicated to helping UK landlords and businesses find the best financial products and services available to them.

Why use us?

All our products and services are available online, with the added benefit that you can speak to a specialist at any time should you require help or assistance.

With over 30 years' experience in the buy to let and commercial mortgage markets, we offer:

  • Best in market products researched daily
  • Mortgage schemes that fit your expected rental income
  • Free helpdesk for information and support

Media centre



Going green in buy-to-let - Apr 27, 2021

In recent years, the environmental issues affecting our planet have taken central stage in the media and many people have become more concerned with their own carbon footprint. There are many ways that individuals may modify their lifestyles in an attempt to help fight climate change and protect our home on Earth, such as switching to green energy suppliers, reducing international air travel, or using public transport and cycling to work.

There have also been incentives provided by the government by way of the Green Homes Grant scheme to help homeowners make their properties more energy efficient, although applications closed on 31 March 2021. This scheme was also available to residential landlords who may benefit from improving the EPC rating for the properties in their buy-to-let portfolios.

Since 2018, landlords have been required to comply with the ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard which sets a minimum EPC rating of band E for residential rental properties. From April 1 2020, landlords are no longer able to let any properties that fail to meet this minimum standard and may face fines for non-compliance.

There have also been recommendations to government by the Climate Change Committee that all homes in the UK should have an EPC rating of at least C by the year 2028, so there is rising pressure to improve the energy efficiency of housing stock in the UK to help fight climate change.

There is clearly motivation for landlords to make improvements to the energy efficiency of their portfolio and it seems that some buy-to-let mortgage lenders are showing thei support for environmental concerns by offering incentives for properties with abetter energy performance rating.

Paragon Bank recently launched a range of green buy-to-let mortgages for properties with an EPC rating from A to C. These products offer lower deposit options of 20 per cent (80per cent LTV) compared with a minimum deposit of 25 per cent (75 per cent LTV) for less energy efficient properties.

Paragon also offers a green further advance product to help landlords make improvements to properties with an EPC rating of D or below. Similarly, TMW is offering a green further advance product for making energy efficiency upgrades.

Other green buy-to-let options include Foundation Home Loans with a ‘Green Reward’ remortgage product for applications where sufficient energy improvements can be demonstrated; and Keystone Property Finance who launched a green buy-to-let mortgage in April, which offers a 15 basis point reduction off their core range for properties that are 5years or older with an EPC rating of A to C.

As there are mounting efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock, landlords are playing their part either by choice or obligation. There may also be more pressure on lenders to ensure that properties on their mortgage books meet the new EPC requirements, so providing green mortgage incentives for energy efficiency upgrades makes sense for all parties involved.


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Property portfolio mortgages - Mar 30, 2021

It is approaching 5 years since the PRA regulations relating to rent stress tests and portfolio landlords came into effect in 2017. The significant changes to rent stress tests across the buy-to-let mortgage market meant that many landlords were unable to meet the new rental calculations for short term fixed rates, such as 2or 3 year products.

The PRA regulations do not apply for fixed rates of 5 or more years, so landlords were often obliged to take out a longer term mortgage product. For this reason, the popularity of 5 year fixed rates has rocketed in recent years.

For portfolio landlords, defined as having 4 or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties, additional underwriting requirements were also introduced in 2017. Lenders are now required to stress test the applicant’s entire buy-to-let portfolio as part of their underwriting process, to ensure that it isn’t too highly leveraged. Portfolio customers may also be asked to provide business plans and cash flow forecasts to support their applications.

Due to the increasing regulations and tax changes applied to buy-to-let over the last 5years or so, there has been talk in the sector, supported by research evidence, that some landlords have considered exiting the buy-to-let investment market or reducing the size of their portfolios.

However, for many professional portfolio landlords buy-to-let still makes sense, and for those with 5 year fixed rates that are approaching maturity, now could be a good timeto look at refinancing options.

Portfolio landlords have a diverse range of mortgage needs depending on the property type, LTV requirements, age range, tax bracket, limited company status and a whole host of specific criteria points that lenders will look at when assessing a case. There are lenders in the market who have opted out of the portfolio landlord space, preferring to focus on more ‘vanilla’ customers. This means that professional property investors will often find themselves using more specialist buy-to-let mortgage providers, possibly with a lengthier application process and slower decision making as lenders now have more information to assess.

Some lenders have a limit on how many mortgages they will provide to customers or will only lend to landlords with a portfolio up to a specific size. Other lenders such as Paragon, Foundation and Landbay have large aggregate lending policies or no limit on the total number of properties in the applicant’s portfolio.

Buy-to-let lending policies vary enormously with no two lenders taking exactly the same approach. Some buy-to-let cases can be complex and broad technical knowledge is required by a specialist broker to find the best solution for their clients.

For portfolio landlords looking to remortgage one or more properties in their portfolio, there are some excellent rates available and there are usually solutions for all scenarios, even the most complex cases. Like-for-like remortgages where no capital raising is required are normally a straightforward option providing the portfolio application meets lender underwriting criteria.

If you are looking to release equity from their property, it is worth checking buy-to-let lending policies to ensure that the reason for capital raising is acceptable to the lender. Lenders normally allow capital raising for a further property purchase, but some may not accept paying tax bills or debt consolidation, while others will provide capital raising for any legal purpose.


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