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Buy to Let Mortgages for Self-Employed

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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: 10th December 2019 *

Getting a mortgage for a buy to let when self-employed can be tricky, but actually, things are changing and it really isn’t as tough as it used to be.

The truth is, since the turn of the year we have seen progress (all be it slow) with lenders relaxing criteria and offering a more flexible approach when it comes to lending to the self-employed. And the good news – this is especially true for buy to lets!

Our guide to self-employed buy-to-let mortgages includes the following topics...

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What is a self-employed buy to let mortgage?

This is a term you might hear if a self-employed person is applying for a buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage. Although some lenders and brokers might use the phrase 'self-employed buy-to-let mortgage', the range of BTL products a self-employed person can apply for is no different to someone in full-time employment.

The only real difference will be how you prove your income and how it's assessed, but keep in mind that many buy-to-let mortgage lenders have no minimum income requirements.

There are, however, mortgage lenders who understand the needs of self-employed customers better than others, so it's important to find the right provider if you trade this way.

Can I get a buy to let mortgage if I'm self-employed?

Yes, absolutely. Self-employed customers must undergo the assessments as those in full-time employment when applying for a buy-to-let mortgage.

Personal income will be less of a factor, though, since self-employed buy to let mortgages are available for those who earn next to nothing, literally.

If you are a first-time landlord, and show £1 profit, a lender can offer you a mortgage because some have removed minimum income levels, and just ask that you have an income.

Also, if you are an experienced landlord, then you don't need ANY income proof at all, as lenders are happy you know what you’re doing and the risk to them is therefore lower.

How much deposit will I need?

Typical buy-to-let mortgage deposit requirements are set at 25% of the property value, although in some circumstances a lender will accept as little as 15%.

This can be achieved through savings, family gifts, or even raising capital or taking a charge on any existing properties you may have. For more on buying second properties with current equity see our article on how many mortgages you can have.

See… buy to let mortgages for the self-employed are easy!

Self-cert buy to let mortgages

Sure, some lenders still ask for verse and chapter, three years accounts and references to prove you can afford the mortgage in the event that your tenants run off or stop paying, but others that specialise in helping those get a buy to let mortgage when self-employed can be extremely flexible.

These are effectively self-cert buy to let mortgages, and one of the few instances where self-cert still exists. You will still need to prove the property's rental income is enough to cover the mortgage adequately, but then again – why would you want an investment that makes no money?

How much can I borrow if I'm self-employed?

Your borrowing potential for a buy-to-let mortgage will be less about how much personal income you earn from self-employed work, and more about the viability of the investment.

Most buy-to-let mortgage lenders will want to projected rental income to cover the mortgage payments by between 125-145%. You'll need a letter from an ARLA-certified letting agent to evidence this.

Although buy-to-let affordability is usually based on rental income, some lenders will want you to have some personal income and may not consider your application if you earn less than £25,000.

Do you need to prove your income for a buy-to-let mortgage?

As we mentioned earlier, self-cert buy-to-let mortgages do exist but if the lender has minimum income requirements you'll need to prove how you make your money.

You can read more on how to do this in our guide to proving your income for a buy-to-let mortgage.

Can I convert my mortgage to buy to let?

It is indeed possible for self-employed people to switch from a standard residential mortgage to a buy-to-let agreement, but only if they meet the lender's eligibility and affordability requirements for buy to let.

For all intents and purposes, this would be treated as a straight remortgage. You can read more on this topic in our 'remortgaging to buy to let' guide.

The best buy to let mortgage deals for self-employed people

Below are today's best buy to let mortgage deals. Feel free to have a look through, then get in touch so one of the buy-to-let experts we work with can take you through things.


Self employed applicants love the advisors we work with because:

  • They are whole of market | with access to direct and broker exclusive self-employed products.
  • They are independent | giving you the best advice for you, not what's best for them.
  • They are experienced | all highly trained, fully qualified, with a wealth of experience in arranging self employed and buy to let mortgages.

They have access to each and every UK lender, including those that specialise in self employed & buy to let mortgages, so if there is a mortgage out there you’ll find it.


If you're ready to proceed with your application or simply want more information, make an enquiry. We'll put you in touch with an expert on buy-to-let mortgages for the self-employed.

The initial consultation won't cost you a penny nor will there be any obligation to act on their advice or marks left on your credit report.

Updated: 10th December 2019
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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.

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