Buy-to-Let Mortgages in Scotland

Understand the Scottish buy-to-let market and find your ideal mortgage with ease. Get matched with a specialised broker to help you

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Pete Mugleston Jon Nixon

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Reviewed By: Jon Nixon - Director of Distribution

Updated: November 30, 2023
October 4, 2022

In this article we’ll explain how buy-to-let mortgages work in Scotland, how to check your eligibility and how a specialist broker can help you get the best deals.

Can you get a buy-to-let mortgage in Scotland?

Yes. However, they are not as common as buy-to-let mortgages in England or Wales. Of around 70 UK lenders who offer buy-to-let mortgages, only about half provide them to customers in Scotland.

Your choice of lender will be more limited in some areas than others. Half of the lenders in Scotland apply postcode restrictions of some kind, including only lending on the mainland or to a small number of islands. So, if you’re buying off the beaten track, it could be difficult to identify a lender who can help.

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How is the Scottish market different from the rest of the UK?

There are similarities and differences between buy-to-let rules in Scotland and England.

Registering as a landlord

In both regions, you’ll need to register as a landlord before letting your property. You do this with the local council that the property is located in, e.g. Aberdeen City or Aberdeenshire. You’ll need to pay a principal fee of £75 and a property fee of £17 per let property. Discounts are available if you own several properties in different local authority areas.

HMO licensing

If you’re renting out a property to three or more tenants who are not part of the same family, you’ll also need an HMO license from your local council (and an HMO mortgage). This applies in both England and Scotland.

Landlord accreditation

Accreditation is not a legal requirement but can be reassuring to tenants and so make it easier to let your property. In Scotland, you can apply to Landlord Accreditation Scotland. England doesn’t have a single scheme, so landlords can apply to one of many, including the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

Right to Rent checks

In England and Wales, you’re required to perform Right to Rent checks to confirm that your tenants are legally entitled to rent in these regions. These checks are not required in Scotland.

Tenancy deposits

Tenancy deposit protection works in essentially the same way in Scotland and England, i.e. you must protect tenancy deposits through a registered scheme within 30 days of the start of the tenancy. The only difference is that you’ll need to register with the three Scottish deposit protection schemes rather than the English ones.

These are:

Property taxes

In England, you’ll pay Stamp Duty to HMRC when buying a buy-to-let property, while in Scotland, you’ll pay Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT) to Revenue Scotland.

The rates are different, but one thing they have in common is that second homes (including buy-to-lets) incur an additional 3% tax. In Scotland, this is called the additional dwellings supplement (ADS).

LBTT and ADS rates are as follows:

Property value LBTT LBTT+ADS
Up to £145,000 0% 3%
£145,001 – £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 – £325,000 5% 8%
£325,001 – £750,000 10% 13%
Over £750,000 12% 15%

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How to get a buy-to-let mortgage in Scotland

Due to the limited supply of buy-to-let mortgages in Scotland, it’s sensible to work with a broker who specialises in this area. Get in touch and we can match you with the right person for you. They’ll be able to guide you through the application process, including:

  • Deciding whether you’ll own personally or through a limited company. Many people choose to own their buy-to-let property through a limited company special purpose vehicle (SPV) because of the possible tax advantages. Getting a Scottish buy-to-let mortgage as a limited company first requires you to register an SPV with Companies House. Your broker will be able to guide you through all the options.
  • Preparing a business plan. This needn’t be complex, but should include financial projections to show your rental income is enough to cover the mortgage payments and that you have a way to fill any voids when you don’t have tenants. You’ll need to factor in the area of Scotland you’re buying in and make sure your plans reflect the local rental market rates.
  • Preparing your application. You’ll need to provide various documents to your chosen lender. These include ID, rental income projections, and proof of deposit. Your broker will tell you exactly what’s required and help you complete all the paperwork.
Calculator Icon

Buy-to-Let Mortgage Calculator

Our buy-to-let mortgage calculator can show you how much your mortgage could cost you each month and overall. Simply enter the rental property value, deposit, anticipated monthly rent, interest rate, mortgage term and our calculator will do the rest.

Enter the value of the rental property here
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A deposit of at least 20% is usually required for a buy-to-let mortgage
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Most lenders will require a deposit of at least 20%
Deposit must be less than the property value
Enter the anticipated monthly rent here
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Enter the mortgage rate, 5.5% is a typical rate currently but this can vary
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Enter the mortgage term, 25 years is the average but lenders can offer shorter and longer terms
years
Borrowing

Loan to Value ratio (LTV):

Most lenders won't offer buy-to-let mortgages over a LTV of 80%.

Interest Cover Ratio (ICR):

Most lenders require rental income to be at least 125%-145% of the interest repayments for a buy-to-let mortgage.

Get started with a specialist buy-to-let broker to find out how much they could help you save on your monthly mortgage repayments.

Mortgage lenders and typical rates

Lenders who offer buy-to-let mortgages in Scotland include high street banks such as NatWest, Barclays, and HSBC, and smaller lenders including Accord Mortgages and Skipton Building Society. The rates they offer are identical in Scotland and England.

The table below illustrates what interest rates are currently available.

Lender Product Details
Frosted Rates Image

Looking for more rates and deals?

We can match you with a mortgage broker who can provide you with up-to-date bespoke rates and deals from across the entire market.

Last updated October 2023

The rates quoted above were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change at any time at the lender’s discretion. Speaking to a mortgage broker is the best way to keep track of the rates available at any given time.

Eligibility Criteria

Landlord experience

You’ll find it easier to get a buy-to-let mortgage in Scotland if you already have experience as a landlord in Scotland, as it shows you understand the local market and how to successfully manage a rental property. New landlords still have options, but you may need a higher deposit or have access to fewer lenders.

Rental income

It’s rental income rather than your personal income that matters with buy-to-let mortgages, so lenders will want to see projected rental income of between 125% and 145% of your mortgage payments, to include a safety net.

Property type and location

Some more risk-averse lenders may prefer not to lend against properties of non-standard construction, such as timber or steel framed houses or concrete homes. The area you’re buying in can also be important in terms of how much rent you’ll be able to charge and how much demand for housing there is. Some parts of Scotland, like areas around Glasgow for instance, have seen higher than average rental yields in recent years, making them a more attractive option to landlords and lenders.

Deposit

You’ll usually need a deposit of at least 20% of the property value to get a buy-to-let mortgage. This will give you access to around half of the lenders in Scotland. To access the rest, you’ll need a deposit of at least 25%.

Income

Not all lenders in Scotland have a minimum income requirement, but some require an annual income of £18,000, £20,000 or £25,000.

Age

Most lenders in Scotland have a minimum age of 21 or 25 for buy-to-let mortgages. However, around a dozen offer them to anyone over 18, so you could still be able to get a mortgage at this age. A lot of lenders don’t impose maximum age limits as buy-to-let mortgages are more about the profitability of the property than your personal income. Read more about buy-to-let age limits.

Can you get a let-to-buy mortgage in Scotland?

Yes you can. Almost all lenders in Scotland offer this type of mortgage, including the likes of TSB and Metro Bank. A let-to-buy mortgage is for homeowners who want to buy a new home but also keep their current home to let out. The mortgage is secured on the current home.

What are the best areas to buy-to-let in Scotland?

Return on investment for buy-to-let properties is often measured in terms of rental yield, i.e. the percentage of the property value that you receive each year in rental income. Some of the highest average rental yields in Scotland are in West Dunbartonshire (9.05%), Renfrewshire (8.96%) and East Ayrshire (8.58%).

However, there are always other factors to bear in mind. You might want to buy a property in an area that’s convenient for you to reach, or that you know well. So, there are no particular areas that are best for everyone.

Use our calculator below to work out the potential rental yield you could make from the property you’re looking to purchase:

Calculator Icon

Rental Yield Calculator

This calculator will show you the rental yield on your buy-to-let property using either the original purchase price, plus associated costs, or the current value. All you need to do is choose which option you want to base your calculation on and your monthly rental premiums.

Input either the original property purchase price or current value to work out the rental yield.
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Gross Rental Yield:

Net Rental Yield:

Now you've worked out what your current rental yield is, why not speak to a broker to see what buy-to-let mortgage/remortgage opportunities are available? With their expertise in this market they'll be able to identify a range of new deals which could reduce your mortgage payments and, as a result, improve your overall rental yield.

Get matched with a buy-to-let specialist familiar with the Scottish market

If you’re ready to start the process of getting a mortgage, you’ll need to find the right broker. You’ll definitely want to find a specialist in the buy-to-let market, and you might be keen to work with someone based in Scotland, or who knows the market up there well.

We work with numerous brokers who fit these criteria, so get in touch if you’d like to try our free broker-matching service. You can call us on 0808 189 2301 or simply fill out a form online.

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FAQs

Your taxable property income is the total rental income minus your allowable expenses (e.g. maintenance costs and letting costs).

Your taxable property income will be added to your taxable income from all other sources (e.g. salary, pension) to determine the rate you’re taxed at. In the 2022-23 tax year, the income tax bands in Scotland are:

Taxable Income Rate
Up to £12,570 Tax-free
£12,571-£14,732 19%
£14,733-£25,688 20%
£25,689-£43,662 21%
£43,663-£150,000 41%
Over £150,000 46%

Yes. However, you’ll have a very limited product range to choose from, as there are only 10 lenders who offer holiday let mortgages in Scotland. These include Hodge Bank and Together Mortgages.

See our page on holiday let mortgages for more information.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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