There are many UK residents who move to live abroad. Many of them purchase buy to let property to provide an income and a home for when they return to live in the UK.Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of commercial mortgages available for expats to purchase rented property. Most providers of these mortgages are specialist lenders.
Many expats working abroad are on high salaries with low outgoings, which makes them low-risk borrowers. A lender is generally happy to provide mortgages for borrowers who are resident in another country, and have a stable income, preferably from a recognised company. Some countries are regarded as a higher risk than others, which can increase the interest rates offered.
The rent must more than cover the mortgage payments. Specialist lenders look at each mortgage application on a case-by-case basis rather than having fixed lending criteria.
A lender will need the expat to have a good UK credit record and will want to know how the property will be managed whilst the borrower is abroad.
There are regulations that prevent buy to let mortgages being available in some countries, including Australia. If the borrower lives in a very high-risk country, they may not be able to get a mortgage.
An expat who wants to become a landlord is advised to use a mortgage broker to apply to the right lender who has expert knowledge of the issues of running a buy to let business from overseas.