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By Pete Mugleston | Mortgage Advisor

Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 15th June 2020*

‘Subsidence’ describes a process in which the ground underneath a property moves – making the foundations of the building unstable. In drastic circumstances, ‘underpinning’ is the work which involves stabilising the soil and foundations that lies beneath the building.

Underpinning and subsidence can affect how lenders view a property. In this article, you’ll learn about mortgages for underpinned property – how to get one, how they differ from normal mortgages and what to look out for.

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Does underpinning affect a mortgage?

Short answer: yes, but the real extent of this depends on a number of different factors that we’ll cover below.

Mortgages on underpinned houses are not at all uncommon. Generally speaking, things should be relatively straightforward – providing the survey shows that the structural problems have been now been addressed – and that the underpinning work has been completed to a high standard.

However, things that could cause issues include…

How long ago the subsidence was

Many lenders are only interested in subsidence, heave and landslip that happened relatively recently.

In fact, many aren’t too bothered by subsidence that happened more than 10-15 years ago – provided, of course, you can show evidence that the house was properly underpinned afterwards and there have been no issues since.

How bad the subsidence was

Just as the kind of underpinning can vary, the level of subsidence can vary too. Generally speaking, assuming the remedial underpinning work was done to a proper standard, this should be less of a deciding factor.

Which leads to our next point…

What kind of underpinning work was done

There’s more than one way to underpin a house, and some varieties of renovation are seen by lenders to be more reliable than others.

For example, some kinds of underpinning involve a stabilising and strengthening of the soil around the base of the house. Other, more expensive kinds can involve completely rebuilding and reinforcing the foundations themselves.

The lender’s surveyor will take great interest in the kind of work that was done to repair the subsidence.

Can I get a mortgage on an underpinned house?

Yes but it depends. In many cases where the lender’s surveyor is satisfied with the remedial work, getting a mortgage with underpinning is not too dissimilar to getting a mortgage on a ‘regular’ residential house.

As such, the ‘standard’ factors apply. If you want to mortgage an underpinned house – the size of your deposit, your credit history and how much money you make can all help to sway a lender in your favour.

If you’d like some friendly advice around getting a mortgage on a property (whether underpinned or not), get in touch – one of the brilliant experts that we work with will be happy to advise you.

Underpinned property mortgages FAQ

Below we’ve answered some frequent questions about mortgages for underpinned property.

Can you get a mortgage on an underpinned house if you have bad credit?

Quite possibly. Bad credit can be a barrier, but not necessarily a deal-breaker. If your credit is less than stellar, you probably still have options and there are plenty of things that you can do in the lead up to your application.

Take a look at our guide to bad credit mortgages to learn more, or get in touch for some friendly one-on-one advice from one of the brilliant experts we work with.

Can you get a mortgage on a house that has been underpinned if the property is of non-standard construction?

This will depend largely on the kind of construction of the property. Certain kinds of home construction are seen as more reliable by the industry as a whole, but even amongst lenders, there are differences.

For example; some will refuse outright to lend on steel-framed houses, whereas others will only exclude certain types of steel frame.

If you want to know for sure, take a look at our guide to non-standard construction houses, or get in touch for a little expert advice.

Can you get a mortgage on underpinned house for buy to let?

Possibly – but the standard buy-to-let (BTL) caveats apply here.

Everything being equal, getting a BTL mortgage is a little harder than getting a standard residential mortgage.

For example; the lender will want evidence that the rental income will be able to cover the mortgage – even taking into account potential void periods.

Adding in a lender’s potential reservations about underpinned property could make striking a deal more difficult – but certainly not impossible.

Take a look at our guide to BTL mortgages to find out more, or speak to one of the experts that we work with if you want to know for sure.

Who are the best lenders for underpinning mortgages?

Every borrower’s circumstances and needs are different – and each lender tends to emphasise different criteria. As a result, no single lender can possibly be best for everyone.

That said, a great broker can take a look at your unique circumstances and see which lender might be best for you, specifically. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more – one of the fantastic experts that we work with can go over this with you.

Nationwide underpinning mortgages

Nationwide can potentially lend on properties that have been underpinned in the last 10 years, but only if works were completed as part of an insurance claim with appropriate supervision and guarantees.

If you’re concerned about this, one of the brokers that we work with may be able to find a lender that’s a bit more relaxed about how the works were completed. Interested? Drop us a line and find out what’s possible for you.

Natwest underpinning mortgages

Natwest can potentially lend on properties that have been underpinned in the last 10 years – but will lean heavily on the valuer’s comments and a satisfactory structural engineers report. They will also require specific buildings insurance in place.

As always, the brokers we work with may be able to find a lender with a more favourable approach – or a better, broker-exclusive deal with Natwest.

Talk to an underpinned mortgage expert today

If you have questions about underpinning mortgages and want to speak to an expert for the right advice, call Online Mortgage Advisor today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry.

Then sit back and let us do all the hard work in finding the broker with the right expertise for your circumstances. We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

Updated: 15th June 2020
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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.