Mortgages For Flat Roof Properties

Looking for a mortgage on a flat roof property? A specialist broker will tell you everything need to know and give you guidance.

Does the property you're looking to mortgage have a flat roof?

Home Property Types Mortgages For Flat Roof Properties
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Nathan Porter

Reviewer: Nathan Porter

Independent Mortgage Advisor

Updated: March 18, 2024

How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continuously monitor changes in the financial space and work closely with qualified mortgage advisors for factual verification.

March 18, 2024

If you’re buying a house with a flat roof you may find it more challenging to secure a mortgage. Flat roof properties are deemed ‘non-standard’, and as a result getting a mortgage for one can be difficult – but not impossible.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about securing a mortgage on a flat roof property, and how a broker can help identify the right lenders who can help, giving you the best possible chance of getting the funding you need.

Can you get a mortgage on a house with a flat roof?

You can, but because this property type falls outside the ‘standard’ definition, your options may be limited. Not all lenders offer mortgages on flat roof properties and those that do may impose tougher eligibility criteria or higher interest rates, so it’s vital to get advice from a specialist broker who’ll be able to guide you through the process.

Why is a flat roof a problem for a mortgage?

Lenders don’t like flat roof properties because they come under the ‘non-standard construction’ bracket. Unlike standard homes, which are built from brick with a tiled, pitched roof, flat roof properties are a little different and are therefore deemed risky by lenders.

Potential flat roof house problems can include:

  • Poor insulation
  • Higher maintenance costs
  • Water pooling
  • Debris
  • Higher potential for leaks
  • Limited life expectancy of flat roof coverings

These issues can impact the ongoing saleability of the property and therefore its value, not to mention the additional insurance implications, which is why some lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages.

If you’re considering buying a house with a flat roof you’ll need to keep up with the maintenance, which can be costly. Make sure too that the roof has been regularly and thoroughly inspected before you buy, to ensure there aren’t any existing issues.

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How a broker can help you get a mortgage for this type of property

A broker can help in this situation in one very key way – they’ll know the lenders who will be the most receptive to flat roof properties, which can make all the difference in your mortgage search.

You won’t need to ask each lender individually but can instead rely on the knowledge of your broker, saving you time and potentially money as well. Not only that, but they’ll work with you throughout the process and will know what you’ll need to do to stand the best chance of being approved, whether that’s fixing a leak or getting insurance in place, and can help ensure you get the best rate possible.

If you get in touch we can arrange for a broker we work with to contact you and discuss your requirements further.

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Can you get a mortgage for a flat roof extension?

Yes. In fact this can be easier than if the property is completely flat-roofed, largely because some lenders impose limits on how much of the roof can be flat.

Most won’t offer a mortgage if the roof is 100% flat, but extensions are different – they may only account for 10%, 20% or 30% of the roof area, which also puts them well below the 50% figure that lenders tend to get a bit wary on (anything above 50% is classed as being majority flat roof, which is where you may find things get a little trickier).

Which lenders offer mortgages for this type of property?

While some lenders will offer mortgages, most will have a stipulation that they won’t be able to lend if the property is 100% flat roof. Others may only lend if the roof is clad with appropriate materials with a suitable guarantee – such as zinc or copper – and they’ll all require a suitable valuation, and won’t offer the mortgage without the valuer’s approval.

That said, if you can meet the requirements you may be able to find a lender to suit, even among high street names, including:

  • Nationwide
  • Halifax (subject to a satisfactory valuation report from the bank’s appointed valuer)
  • HSBC (subject to the valuer’s comments)
  • NatWest (provided the roof material is copper, lead, zinc, asphalt or mineralised felt, and that the owner keeps up to date with replacement or maintenance programmes and has suitable insurance in place)

You’ll be able to find suitable mortgages from specialist providers too, and bear in mind that these will normally be the ones to approach if your property is 100% flat roof. It can be difficult to know where to start, but a broker who specialises in these mortgages will be able to help you find the lender that can accommodate your needs.

What eligibility criteria could be a factor

There are a few stumbling blocks you may come across in your application, largely because your options will be more limited as fewer lenders will consider you.

Here are the most pressing things to bear in mind:

  • Income and affordability requirements may be stricter in this situation to accommodate the additional risk the lender is taking on.
  • Your loan-to-value offer may be lower and you may be expected to put down a larger deposit, as is often the case with properties of non-standard construction.
  • Having bad credit can further impact the terms you’ll be offered as this will reduce further the number of lenders willing to consider you for a mortgage

Yet you may also need to jump through a few additional hoops before you’ll be granted a mortgage on a flat roof property. Having suitable insurance in place will be key, and you’ll be expected to keep up with regular maintenance so the roof doesn’t fall into disrepair. There shouldn’t be any current damage to the roof, either, which could impact your mortgage eligibility.

Speak to a broker experienced in mortgages for flat roof properties

Ready to speak to an expert to get your mortgage application off to the best possible start? Having someone on-side who knows the best way to secure a mortgage on a flat roof property can make all the difference, and we can help you find the broker you need.

We work with brokers who specialise in flat roof homes and similar properties of non-standard construction, and we’ll introduce you to them free of charge. Get in touch to see how easy it can be – just call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry to get started.

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FAQs

Standard home insurance policies will typically include cover for roof repair or replacement, though if your home is majority flat roof, you may need to seek specialist flat roof insurance instead. Bear in mind that cover for this property type can be more expensive because of the risks it poses, and you’ll be expected to keep up with suitable maintenance, otherwise you won’t be covered.

Yes, though as is the case with residential mortgages, many lenders impose limits on how much of the roof can be flat, and there may be restrictions on the material as well. Decisions will usually be made on a case-by-case basis and subject to valuers’ comments. Speak to a broker if you’re considering investing in a buy-to-let property.

Potentially, though you’ll likely find it difficult if the property is 100% flat roof, and will normally need to speak to specialist lenders to accommodate. This is again where a broker who specialises in commercial mortgages can help.

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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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