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What is Consent to let?

Thinking of letting out your current property? If you have a residential mortgage on your property, renting it out could breach your mortgage terms and conditions. But if you have a good reason for wanting to leave the property and let it out to tenants, there may be a way around this. You can ask your lender for permission to rent out your property by requesting something called a consent to let. Consent to let is a written agreement between you (the owner) and your mortgage lender that allows you to let your property on a short-term basis without switching your mortgage to a buy to let. If you let your property without your mortgage lender’s permission, this constitutes mortgage fraud so it’s vital you get consent before you let your property out. 

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Do I need consent to let?

Consent to let is available to homeowners who wish to let out their property on a temporary basis. Homeowners that request consent to let normally plan to move back into the property in the future. Others may have plans to sell and let the property out in the meantime. 

Some of the most commonly seen scenarios for consent to let are as follows: 

  • You do not want to transfer to a buy to let mortgage at this time as you are currently within a fixed rate period and would suffer an early repayment charge 
  • You are moving abroad temporarily either for work or travelling for pleasure but expect to return 
  • You’ve relocated to another part of the country for work for a short period 
  • You work for the military and are completing a tour of duty abroad 
  • You are moving in with a relative for whom you are a carer 
  • You’ve moved into your partner’s home and want to let out your current property until it sells 

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How to apply for consent to let?

The process for applying for consent to let varies depending on the lender. You’ll normally need to complete an application form and send it to your mortgage provider. They will then carry out some checks to ensure you meet their eligibility criteria, before providing you with your consent. 

How much does consent to let cost?

Obtaining permission to let out your property is usually not free. Lenders will either charge you a one-off fee of approximately £100-£300 or they will increase your monthly mortgage interest rate by 0.5% or more.  Some lenders may also do a combination of both. Some homeowners in the armed forces may also find that they don’t have to pay charges at all. 

In addition to the associated lender fees, there are other costs associated with letting out your property. You’ll need appropriate landlord insurance, if letting through an agent you may need to pay fees and there can be legal costs. There’s also the potential costs of repairs and renovations to consider.  

How long does it take to get consent to let?

It takes time to process your application and you’ll usually receive a decision within a few days. Lender’s processing times and application procedures can vary and will affect the time it takes them to reach a decision. In most cases, as long as you meet your lender’s criteria, requesting consent to let is straightforward. 


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Can lenders refuse consent to let?

Your lender has the right to refuse consent to let if you don’t meet their individual criteria. Generally, the lender factors the following into their decision making: 

  • How long have you owned the property and how many payments have you made. A minimum of 6 months payments is also sometimes required 
  • Is your mortgage up to date and have you missed any payments? 
  • Will you let your property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement? 
  • What is the reason for requesting consent to let? 
  • How much equity is in the property? 
  • Are there any other external factors prohibiting the leasing of your property? For example, if you purchased your home under the help to buy scheme, you are unable to let your property out without consent from help to buy. 
  • How much is the rent and does it cover the mortgage payment? 

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How long does consent to let last?

There are usually limitations as to how long you can have consent to let for. Individual lenders will have different rules but generally, consent to let is a short-term arrangement. The lender will factor in the reason for your request when determining how long your consent will be for. Typically, you’ll have consent to let your property for between 6-12 months. After this time if you still require a consent to let you will need to apply again.  

Can I extend my consent to let?

Once the agreed period comes to an end, you’ll normally go back to your original mortgage terms and conditions. The lender will also expect you to move back into the property. If you want to continue renting out your property, you’ll need to request an extension. 

It’s worth noting that some lenders have limits on how many extensions they will agree to. If a lender does not agree to extend your consent to let, you will need to switch to a buy to let or holiday let mortgage instead. Your lender may recommend a particular deal but before you take it, it’s worth speaking to our helpful team of mortgage advisors first. It’s possible you may have to pay an early repayment charge to change your mortgage if you are in a fixed term deal. That’s why it’s worth speaking to our friendly team who can help by providing advice on your situation. We can also search the full market on your behalf to find the buy to let mortgage deal that is right for you. 


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