Find out before you apply

There are some properties we won't offer a mortgage for. But we've set out all the details here so you can find out whether you'll have any problems getting a mortgage from us on your property before you apply.

First things first

You can only apply for a mortgage for a property that:

  • is in the UK – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales – not the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • you or your immediate family will live in and is not used for business purposes
  • has a minimum valuation of £60,000.

If that applies to you, have a look at our specifics on the different types of property to check yours is suitable.

What the property is used for

We will not offer a mortgage for:

  • properties with more than 5 acres as part of the title
  • buy to let properties
  • properties used for business
  • timeshare properties.

The way the property is owned

We will consider a mortgage for various types of ownership, but there are some conditions.

Blocks of flats

All flats in blocks and Scottish tenements not exceeding ten storeys (ground floor with nine floors above) in height, will be acceptable at the discretion of the Bank's Valuer and subject to the following:

  • A lift must be present if the block is over 5 storeys in height. This also applies when the subject flat is on the lower floors.
  • All flats in blocks with more than 5 storeys and with 10 or less storeys must each achieve a minimum valuation of £250,000.

Leasehold properties (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

We can offer a mortgage for leasehold properties – as long as they have a minimum lease of 85 years left when you apply.

Freehold properties

We can offer a mortgage on some freehold properties. But freehold flats and maisonettes are not acceptable unless:

  • the borrower owns the freehold of the whole building or the freehold reversion
  • Tyneside arrangements apply and there are no more than four flats in the building.

We may be able to give you a mortgage for a flying freehold if less than 25% of the property extends over another freehold property and the valuer confirms it doesn't affect the property's ability to be sold or the price. If more than 25% of the property extends over another, we won't be able to offer a mortgage for the property.

We are unable to offer a mortgage for properties in Northern Ireland that are subject to a Fee Farm Grant. 

Commonhold properties

We can offer a mortgage for commonhold properties.

The way the property was built

Standard construction

In general, we'll only offer a mortgage for properties of standard construction and in a good state of repair.

Standard construction broadly means built from brick or stone, under tiled or slated roofs.

Walls and roofs need to be of traditional construction and made from a traditional material that makes it easy to sell the property on. Traditional construction means solid walls and cavity walls. Here's what we mean by traditional materials:

Walls Pitched roofs Flat roofs Thatched roofs
Brick
Natural stone
Reconstituted stone
Concrete blocks
Cob and flint
Timber frame covered with either tiles or slates Copper
Lead
Zinc
Asphalt
Mineralised felt
Reed
Straw

There are also some non-traditional construction types we will consider:

  • Concrete construction
  • Wimpey No-fines
  • Laing Easiform
  • Pre-cast reinforced concrete (PRC) where the property has been repaired under the PRC (Homes) Ltd repair scheme – these were usually built between 1945 and 1965
  • Timber framed houses – as long as they were built after 1970 with brick, reconstituted stone or rendered block work
  • Steel Framed houses, as long as they are suitable for sale and getting a mortgage.

Non-standard construction

What this means can vary. So we'll consider properties with non-standard construction individually. But we'll make our decision with guidance from the valuer and our solicitor.

There are some properties we will not offer a mortgage for because of how they were built. Here's the list:

  • Timber or metal-framed buildings where the cavity between the frame and the cladding has been retrospectively filled with insulation
  • Properties with concrete walls built in Cornwall or Devon before 1950 (or 1960 for some postcodes) where the valuer has recommended a Mundic report and the concrete is classified either class B or C after a petrographic test
  • Properties with single leaf brick offshoots or extensions (unless the single skin element relates to an uninhabitable room)
  • Properties judged ‘defective' by the Housing Defect Act that haven't been repaired
  • Flats or maisonettes built in the large panel system, unless the structure of the whole block has been assessed and is safe
  • Properties with load-bearing panels made of asbestos or gypsum plaster
  • Properties that are not structurally safe
  • Properties that cannot be insured
  • Prefabricated homes that haven't been repaired under an approved scheme, including if an adjoining property has not been repaired
  • Properties constructed using a concrete large panel system
  • Properties with overage clauses

What condition the property is in

There may be times when the condition of a property means we won't offer a mortgage for it.

For us to consider it, the property must be:

  • habitable and suitable for sale
  • structurally sound
  • able to be insured with unconditional buildings insurance that covers it for full rebuilding and replacement costs, including all professional fees, and any costs to meet the planning and local authority standards.

We will not offer a mortgage for properties:

  • with no kitchen and/or running water
  • with no bath or shower and/or running water
  • affected by an infestation of progressive Japanese Knotweed
  • with progressive structural movement that needs to be monitored
  • with ongoing structural problems
  • that have been underpinned and which have not been repaired under appropriate certification.

When the property was bought

If you want to buy a property, the seller must have owned the property for at least six months.

If you're remortgaging, including unencumbered properties (where there are no creditors, for example if you paid cash or have already paid off a mortgage), you must have owned the property for at least six months. But there is an exception – if you inherited the property. Then we'd need to see the evidence that the probate has gone through and the ownership has been transferred.

Where we stand on new builds

A new build property is a house, flat, apartment or newly converted property where construction was completed, and the property first registered, no more than two years ago. Or, it's a property that will be lived in for the first time – we get our valuer to confirm this.

We will consider a mortgage for a new build, but there are some conditions:

  • Our maximum loan to value on new build flats or apartments is 75%
  • Our maximum loan to value on new build houses is 85%
  • Our valuation will reflect the price the property will sell at. We'll take the new build premium and any second hand valuation into account, and always use the lower of the two.
  • You need an acceptable New Build or Self Build warranty in place for any property built or converted in the last 10 years – or one that is going to be lived in for the first time.We'll accept warranties from:
    • NHBC Buildmark
    • NHBC Solo (discontinued for New Builds from 2016)
    • Zurich Municipal
    • Castle 10 New Home Warranty – provided by Checkmate
    • LABC New Home Warranty
    • Premier Guarantee for New HomesBuilding Life Plan Ltd
    • Buildzone
    • CRL Management Ltd
    • Certification by certain professional consultants may be accepted subject to it being in standard Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) format, where the property has been built/converted within the last 6 years.

We might accept a Professional Consultant's Certificate, as long as it's signed by a qualified architect (a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects) or a qualified chartered building surveyor (a corporate member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). We will need to see valid personal indemnity insurance with a certificate to show it's for your benefit, and the architect/building surveyor will also need to confirm they have supervised the whole project.

Incentives for new build customers

Some builders or developers offer potential buyers an incentive to buy one of their new build properties – it can be goods or cash. Depending on what incentive you get, it can affect what mortgage we can offer you. That's because we may take the value of the incentive off your purchase price when we work out your mortgage.

Cash incentives

Cash incentives of up to and including 5% of the purchase price won't affect how much we lend you. If it's more than 5%, we will take the amount above 5% off your purchase price when we work out the maximum we can lend you.

We can accept cash incentives where:

  • you get cash back on your purchase
  • your Stamp Duty (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland) is paid for you
  • your fees for professionals, like solicitors and valuers, are paid
  • the builder or developer gives you the deposit as a gift.

Non-cash incentives

We can accept the following non-cash incentives, and they won't affect how much we lend you:

  • White goods – like fridges and freezers – where they're not included in the standard specification of the property
  • Carpets and curtains
  • A kitchen upgrade, including tiling and worktops, where you get better quality fittings
  • A bathroom upgrade
  • All electric upgrades (like extra sockets and TV points)
  • Turf and landscaping in the garden, if there is one.

If you get an incentive

You must let us know about any incentives you're getting when you apply for one of our mortgages.

Part-exchange transactions

If the builder or developer is buying your existing home in part-exchange, we can accept this as well as cash and non-cash incentives.

Properties we will not consider for a mortgage

There are some properties we will not consider for a mortgage. Here they are:

  • Bed and breakfast venues
  • Farms, smallholdings and houses bound by agricultural occupancy restrictions
  • Flats or maisonettes made of large panel systems
  • Properties with more than one tenancy agreement in place
  • Houseboats, mobile homes, park homes and caravans
  • Properties with restrictions – like sheltered accommodation with a minimum age limit for the people who live there
  • Properties built using high alumina cement or Mundic
  • Properties with less than 30 square meters of inside floor space
  • Landlocked properties
  • Properties adapted or altered for business use
  • Prefabricated reinforced concrete homes which have not been repaired
  • Mundic properties where the property is not graded A1, A2 or A3 after a petrographic test
  • Properties with more than five acres as part of the title
  • Properties with power lines or electricity supply equipment directly over them and/or on the site, which do not supply (domestic) electricity to them
  • Properties with more than one annexe
  • Properties with more than two kitchens.

The mortgage is secured on your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Lending subject to status.