Renting can be an excellent way to get additional income to either help pay the mortgage payments or supplement your living costs. However, renting out a Help to Buy property can come with a number of risks that you need to be aware of.
Yes, you can rent out a Help to Buy property, however, you need written permission. You may be able to let out one room without it, although a lot depends on whether your personal circumstances make it difficult to live in the property and I’ll highlight other reasons and risks in this post.
When Can You Rent Out A Help to Buy Property?
You may be able to sublet your entire help to buy property if you have specific personal circumstances. These can include the following.
- If you need to move temporarily due to personal circumstances such as:
- Health issues
- Family care issues
- Other personal reasons
- If you’re struggling financially and need to move temporarily due to a recution in income.
- Losing your job
- Reduction in household income, such as being moved to part-time
- Other financial hardship
Permission Needed To Let Out Help To Buy Property
In order to let out your entire property, you need to apply for permission from the help to buy administrator. In this application, you need to provide evidence for a number of factors. These include:
- A letter from your mortgage lender confirming you are able to sublet your entire home.
- Confirmation from your mortgage lender that they will not change your current repayment mortgage to a buy to let mortgage.
- A letter from your home insurance provider that you are allowed to sublet your home.
To submit your application you’ll also have to pay a £50 administration fee and once granted, the permission with only be valid for 12 months.
Can You Rent Out A Room in a Help To Buy Property?
Yes, you can rent out a room without asking for permission, however, as the homeowner you must also satisfy a few conditions.
- You must live in the property at the same time
- Do not give the lodger a formal lease agreement or tenancy which would give them interest in your property
Renting out one room may be a great way to supplement your income, especially if you’re unable to get permission to rent out the entire property.
Risks of Submletting Without Getting Permission
Sometimes help to buy administrators either do random checks or are informed that a Help to Buy home is being sublet. If they find out, they’ll determine if permission has been granted or an application has been submitted. If that has happened, they’ll not take further action.
Applying retrospectively can also incur additional costs including:
- £50 administration fee (same as if you applied beforehand)
- Any costs associated with breaking the rulesand not getting permission such as:
- additional admin costs
- tracing services (if they can’t find you because you don’t live at the property)
- credit reference checks
If you sublet your home without getting permission and the help to buy administrators find out, you will be contacted within 5 days of them being aware of the issue. They will notify you that you have broken the terms of your equity loan and advise the next steps.
I’ve you have already sublet your home but haven’t asked for permission you can apply retrospectively as highlighted above. This is ok if you are able to meet the criteria for subletting, however, if you can’t, for example, your mortgage lender refuses permission and says you have to have a buy to let mortgage, this is an issue.
If you are refused permission you’ll have to move back into your home within 6 months, sell the property or repay your equity loan in full. The administrators will also contact your mortgage lender and discuss enforcement actions, which can include:
- Repossession of your property
- Being asked to pay your equirty loan back in full
- Reporting the subletting to HMRC
- Other agencies or organisations taking action against you
Risks of Making Changes To Your Mortgage
There can be a number of risks associated with changing your mortgage including a few that I’ll highlight below.
- New mortgage application and closing fees. These can range from a few hundred to a few thousnad depending on the lender.
- Increased mortgage payments. If you switch to a buy to let mortgage they can come with a higher interest rate that residential mortgages. You will also need to pay back the equity loan, meaning the overall amount you borrow could also be higher.
- Extended lease term. You may opt to extend your term to reduce the monthly payments although that means you’ll be paying the mortgage for longer.
- Risk of being denied a mortgage. Depending on your circumstances, when a lender reviews your eligibility you may not meet the requirements for a buy to let mortgage.
- Requirement for higher deposit. If you’re thinking about moving to a buy to let mortgage, they usually require a least 25% deposit, whereas residential mortgages can be as low as 5% so may be a difficult transition financially.
- Property not meeting sublet requirements. In order to lease your property there are a lot of rules and regulatons that have been put in place to help protect renters. If these aren’t in place you could be denied a mortgage and also may need to spend a lot of money putting them in place. For example, having locks up to the right standard and in the right places.
These aren’t all the risks of making changes to your mortgage to move to a buy to let mortgage, however, as you can see there are quite a few. If you have any questions, make sure to contact a mortgage advisor that can help guide you through the process and give you advice specific to your circumstances.
If you are thinking about speaking to a mortgage advisor, this post I’ve written on what to ask a mortgage advisor may be helpful to read.
As you can see it is possible to let out your help to buy property, however, if you don’t ask for permission first it can come with a lot of risks, including having your house repossessed and being asked to pay your equity loan back in full.
If you’re hoping to supplement your income with a bit of rent, looking into renting out one room in your property may be an option. If you do have any questions, make sure to speak to a mortgage advisor that can give you specific advice and help you avoid any major issues.
Hi, I’m John. I’ve always had a keen interest in Finance, so much so that I’ve made a career out of it! This site is a place where I can share everything I’ve learned as well as give me the excuse to research certain topics.
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