A-Z of Buy to Let: Jargon Buster
This year we’ll be running through the property alphabet, explaining various terms and how they’re relevant to you, as a landlord. This month:
Asbestos is a mineral fibre that was regularly used in construction between the 1950s and 1980s, mainly because of its fire-resistant properties. However, it was banned by the UK Government in 1999 after it was discovered to be potentially very dangerous. Although it’s not considered harmful when intact, if asbestos is damaged and the fibres enter the human body, it can cause diseases of the lungs and chest, including cancer.
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, you have a duty to minimise your tenants’ risk of exposure to asbestos. It is specifically listed as a hazard in the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
If you had a Homebuyer Report or Building Survey at the time of purchase, that should have picked up if there was any asbestos present. But if the property was built before 1999 and you’re not sure, it may be wise to have an asbestos survey. If you do have asbestos but it’s completely intact, it could just be a case of labelling and monitoring it. However, if there’s already some damage or a risk of disturbance, it should be removed by a professional specialist.
See the HSE’s guide to managing asbestos in buildings
A broker is an intermediary between a client and a mortgage or other product/service provider. In Buy to Let, it’s a good idea to use an experienced mortgage broker, as they can help you find the best products for your particular circumstances, some of which might not be available if you go direct to the lender yourself. Importantly, they know how to progress your application as quickly and smoothly as possible with the lender. Brokers can also be very useful over the long term by letting you know about new deals and helping you refinance at the most beneficial times.
Mortgage brokers are either:
- Independent, meaning they can access every product in the market, or
- ‘Tied’ to a specific panel of lenders - and may be able to access special rates
The most important thing is that the broker you choose is able to deal with the best lender for you. For example, if you need an Houses in Multiple Occupation mortgage, a broker who deals exclusively or mainly with Houses in Multiple Occupation financing can be a huge help.
You should be aware that most brokers are paid commission by lenders and one may be more financially beneficial for them than another. But because they’re legally required to be transparent about their commission, it’s very rare to have a conflict of interest.
YOUR PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.
Embrace Financial Services usually charges a fee for mortgage advice. The amount of the fee will depend upon your circumstances and will be discussed and agreed with you at the earliest opportunity.