Buy to Let Criteria

Our criteria is designed to suit people in interesting situations, such as those who have a  complex income, young credit history, experienced previous financial difficulties or are recently self-employed. 

Applicant criteria

  • Applicant details

    Minimum age:

    • 21

    Maximum age: 

    • 85 at end of term
    • For joint applications the age of the oldest application is used
    • The term cannot extend beyond the applicants stated retirement age

    Maximum applicants:

    • 2


    • Not accepted

    First-time landlords:

    • Accepted where applicants are homeowners
  • Maximum allowable adverse

    CCJs & defaults:

    • None in the last 6 months
    • No more than 2 in months 7 to 12

    Mortgage arrears:

    • Arrears status of 0 in last 6 months
    • None missed in the last 12 months

    Unsecured arrears:

    • Fixed term: None in the last 6 months and no more than 2 in months 7 to 12

    • Revolving credit: Missed payments considered

      On Pepper 24, 18, 12 and, 6 products we will ignore 2 individual defaults (per application), up to and including £150.00 each, where these defaults relate to utilities, communications, or mail order providers.

    IVA & Bankruptcy:

    • Accepted where applicants have been discharged 6 or more years ago

    Debt management plans:

    • Accepted if satisfied over 12 months ago

    Pay day loans:

    • Accepted where the account closed more than 12 months ago


    • Accepted where repossession occurred more than 6 years ago


    Please refer to the product guide for further details on each product level

  • Nationality & residency

    Residential status:

    • 3 years' UK residential address history required for all applicants

    EU Nationals accepted subject to:

    • 3 years' UK residency
    • 3 years' continuous UK employment history

    Non EU Nationals accepted subject to: 

    • 3 years' UK residency
    • 3 years' continuous UK employment history
    • Indefinite leave to remain

    Diplomatic immunity:

    • Not accepted

Income criteria

  • Income

    Minimum earned income:

    • £30,000 per application

    Foreign currency: 

    • Not accepted

    Rental income:

    • Cannot be the primary income source and only rental income evidenced on SA302s can be included
  • Employed, self-employed & retired


    • Minimum of 6 months in current job with 12 months' continuous employment
    • Day rate contractors accepted, subject to being in a contract and able to demonstrate a minimum 12 months' history. Calculate the income as the lower of 12 months' average day rate amount or current contract day rate x 5 (days per week) x 46 (working weeks)
    • Contract employees considered provided 12 months' employment with the same employer together with confirmation the contract will be renewed
    • 3 months’ payslips with 3 months' bank statements and last P60
    • Applicants in a probationary period not accepted
    • Zero hour contracts acceptable, if a permanent position, with 2 years' + at same employer and stable income levels
    • Income from seasonal/temporary work not considered
    • Directors with a shareholding of 25% or more will be underwritten as self-employed
    Income type Proportion considered
    Basic salary 100%
    Car allowance 100%


    Self-employed: sole trader/partnership

    • Minimum of 1 year's accounts
    • 3 months' business account bank statements
    • SA302 accepted

    Additional remuneration considered where applicants own 100% of the company:

    • Directors car allowance
    • Directors pension contributions
    • Use of home as an office
    • Private health insurance

    Where additional remuneration is to be added back, finalised accounts will be required                     

    Self-employed: company director

    • Minimum of 1 year's accounts
    • 3 months' business account bank statements
    • SA302s may be requested to support company accounts


    • Private pension accepted
  • Other income sources

    Pension income

    • State retirement pension (SRP) - latest annual statement of pension
    • Private pension - latest payslip from pension provider, or letter from pension provider with 3 months' bank account statements showing credits

    Secondary/additional income

    • Employment/self-employment income from a maximum of two sources per applicant considered
    • Benefits and maintenance may be included as additional income

Loan criteria

  • Loan criteria

    Maximum LTV:

    • 80%
    • Up to £750,000 available to 80% LTV
    • Up to £1 million available to 75% LTV

    Maximum term:

    • 35 years

    Minimum term:

    • 5 years

    Minimum loan:

    • £25,001

    Maximum loan:

    • £1 million (including fees)
    • Up to £750,000 available to 80% LTV
    • Up to £1 million available to 75% LTV

    Number of mortgages with Pepper:

    • Maximum of 3 per applicant, including any joint loans the applicants are party to
    • Can be a mixture of Buy to Let and Residential loans

    Remortgage applications:

    • Accepted where applicant has been the registered owner for the last 6 months at application


    • Capital & interest
    • Interest only to 80% LTV, supported by an acceptable repayment strategy and maximum age of 85


    • Products are not portable

    Offer validity:

    • 60 days

    Let to Buy:

    • Accepted

    Right to Buy:

    • Not accepted

Deposit criteria

  • Deposit criteria

    Evidence of deposit:

    • Required on all purchase applications

    Applicants' savings:

    • Accepted

    Capital raising remortgage:

    • Accepted


    • Accepted

    Cash gifted deposit: 

    • Not accepted

    Unacceptable sources:

    • Builders deposit
    • Unsecured borrowing
    • Vendor deposit

Property criteria

  • General criteria

    New build definition:

    • A property is to be considered new if it is a first sale by the builder
    • However, properties which have not sold on physical completion will be considered on an individual basis

    Minimum property value:

    • £70,000

    Locations considered:

    • England, Wales & Isle of Wight


    • Not offered

    Acceptable property:

    • Houses: private and ex-local authority or social housing
    • Flats & maisonettes: private only
  • Alternative construction

    Timber framed construction:

    • Modern timber framed properties clad with masonry are considered as acceptable
    • Timber framed properties which are not deemed to be of a modern type clad with masonry will be reviewed on an individual basis and will be considered on their merits

    Flying freeholds:

    • Flying freeholds will only be considered up to 20% of the total property area

    Coal mining and other forms of extraction:

    • Any properties with a coal mining or metalliferous mining entry/feature within 20m of any building will not be considered

    Electromagnetic fields:

    • Any properties within 100m of above ground high voltage electrical supply apparatus will not be considered

    Contaminated land:

    • Where there is potential for contaminated land, a pass certificate must be available from an appropriate body

    Japanese knotweed:

    • Where a property has Japanese knotweed (or any other invasive weed) located within or immediately adjacent to the site defined as category 4, 3 or 2 in RICS paper IP 27/2012, it will not be considered

    Solar panels:

    • Properties where solar panels have been installed and are subject to a lease agreement will not be considered
    • If the solar panels are owned outright, the application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • Tenure


    • Houses only accepted


    • The lease must have a minimum unexpired term of 85 years at the time of completion


    • Not considered
  • Property reports

    Structural reports:

    Reports may be accepted from members of the following bodies:

    - The Institution of Structural Engineers (

    - The Institution of Civil Engineers (

    The report must be referred to the valuer for comment. If the report is not addressed to the applicant, written confirmation must be obtained from the originator that its contents may be relied upon by the applicant(s).

    We will not lend on any property with either ongoing movement or where monitoring is required, where this is identified by either the valuer, or where evident in the structural engineers' report.

    The valuer may request additional reports from specific governing bodies.


    Specialist reports:

    We may require specialists' reports. These most commonly will be:

    - Timber and damp, electrical, trees, cavity wall ties

    - Mining report (as these are obtained by the solicitors, a special condition is imposed at offer);

    - Any such reports should be prepared by a reputable firm and should be forwarded to us for review and referral to the valuer

    The valuer may request additional reports from specific governing bodies

  • Unacceptable property


    • New build properties without suitable warranty
    • Properties suffering ongoing structural movement or insurance claims
    • Grade I & Grade II* listed properties
    • Back-to-back/cluster homes
    • Properties located within 20m of a mine entry/feature
    • Properties within 100m of above ground high voltage electrical supply apparatus (excluding small substations)
    • Properties subject to compulsory purchase orders
    • Large flying freeholds (greater than 20% of floor area)
    • Japanese knotweed located within or immediately adjacent to the site, defined as category 4, 3 or 2 in RICS paper IP 27/2012
    • Properties without an internal WC, bathroom or kitchen
    • Properties subject to any onerous occupancy restrictions, including agricultural
    • Shared ownership/shared equity schemes (only acceptable if applicant will own 100% of the interest on completion)
    • Properties subject to enforcement notices
    • Crofting properties/land
    • Self-build properties
    • Properties with a commercial element
    • Non-standard construction                                                                                 


    • Flats in local authority or ex local authority owned blocks
    • New build flats/maisonettes
    • Flats with a gross external floor area less than 35m2
    • Flats above commercial premises
    • Studio flats
    • Freehold flats
    • Balcony access

    Non-standard construction:

    • Pre-cast reinforced concrete (PRC)
    • Cast-in-situ concrete
    • Metal framed construction
    • Single skin
    • Large panel systems (LPS)
    • Modern methods of construction (MMC)


    • Properties at significant risk of flooding or that cannot be suitably insured will not be considered

    Restrictive covenants:

    • We are unable to consider any property with a restricted occupancy clause within the planning permission. For example, it can only be occupied for a maximum of 11 months in any one year
    • Similarly, property that can only be used for retirement or sheltered accommodation is not accepted. This is the same for any property where a planning restriction (e.g. agricultural restriction) effectively limits a property’s appeal on the open market
    • Please note: for new builds we do consider Section 106 planning obligations
    • We are unable to consider properties within a pre-emption period


  • Application requirements

    Full mortgage application:

    • Original, fully signed and dated declaration
    • Signed and dated direct debit mandate

    Proof of deposit (purchase):

    • Bank statements from applicant(s)

    Use of funds (remortgage with a further advance):

    • Breakdown of use of funds, after any debts have been discharged
    • Account details and balance of any debts to be repaid

    Proof of address & identification:

    • Any two documents from Table 1 or
    • One document from each table
    Table 1 Table 2
    Valid passport Valid (old style) full UK driving license
    Valid photo card driving license (full or provisional) Recent evidence of benefit entitlement
    National identity card Instrument of a court appointment
    Firearms certificate or shotgun license Current council tax demand letter or statement
    Identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland Non-internet generated bank statements and utility bills


    Proof of income – employed:

    • Paid monthly – latest 3 consecutive months with P60 and bank statements
    • Paid weekly – latest 6 consecutive weeks with P60 and bank statements
    • Bonus or commission acceptable provided that it is paid weekly/monthly
    • Quarterly and annual bonus and commission acceptable at 50% provided evidence of 2 years previous payments is received

    Proof of income – self-employed:

    • Sole Trader – minimum 1 year’s accounts or SA302s with 3 months’ business bank statements
    • Company Director – minimum 1 year’s accounts with 3 months’ business bank statements

    Other sources of income:

    • Child Benefit – latest notice with bank statements (must be payable for at least the next 5 years)
    • Working or Child Tax Credits – full award notice with bank statements
    • Maintenance – a copy of the maintenance agreement, received under a Court Order, a CSA assessment or a written private agreement drawn up between the separating parties and 6 months’ bank statements as evidence of payment
    • State ension – latest annual statement of pension/due on retirement
    • Pension credits – latest Pension Credit Award Notice
    • Private pension – latest annual statement of pension/due on retirement or
    • Latest payslip from pension provider or
    • Latest letter from pension provider confirming pension due on retirement

    Rental/mortgage history:

    • Tenancy agreement with 12 months bank statements confirming rental payments
    • Last 3 years mortgage statement

    Portfolio landlords:

    • We accept applicant(s) with a combined maximum of 9 Buy to Let properties, including the application property(s)
    • Written asset and liabilities statement which includes details of:

    - Levels of rent received on each property
    - Outstanding mortgages
    - Current values of each property

    • Details of any void periods in last 12 months and brief overview of intentions for each property

Want to find out how much your Buy to Let client could borrow? 

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