A
Adverse Credit
 
Impairment is only acceptable on our Credit Recovery product.
Age
 
The minimum applicant age is 21.  
There is no maximum applicant age.
Applicants – number
 

A maximum of four applicants is acceptable.

Applicants – residency
 
Applicant acceptability depends on Basel index rating.
B
Buy to let vacancy
 
  • Vacant properties are acceptable for purchases on the condition that an AST must be in place within 90 days of completion.

For Holiday Lets:

  • Vacant properties are acceptable for short term lets, which includes Airbnb.

For Refurb to Let:

  • Vacant properties are acceptable during works/sale.
C
Commercial Property
 
Commercial property is not acceptable for Buy to Let or Owner Occupier applications.
Construction types
 

Acceptable

  • Castle Trust will not normally lend on a security of non-standard construction. ‘Standard construction’ means:
    • Masonry walls of solid or cavity construction having a minimum thickness of 200mm.
    • Modern timber (post 1975) or steel framed (post 1998) property with a masonry outer cladding originally built with the benefit of a suitable new home warranty.
    • Standard slate or tiled roof construction
    • Standard flat roof (e.g. metal, mastic asphalt, felt, single ply elastomeric)
    • Thatch (considered on an individual basis)
    • Modern methods of construction
  • Previously unacceptable construction which is now acceptable:
    • Wimpey No Fines
    • Laing Easi Form post 1945
    • Crosswall post 1970

Unacceptable

  • All non-traditional construction types:
    • Steel framed, with non masonry cladding
    • Solid masonry having a thickness less than 200mm
    • Felt flat roof in excess of 50% plan roof area
  • Laing Easi Form pre 1945
  • Concrete (No Fines, Cheshire Brine, Mundic, Precast Reinforced Concrete (PRC))
  • Log
  • Single Skin
  • Flat Felt
  • House boat
  • Mobile home
  • Timber Frame (period properties considered on an individual basis)
  • Cross wall construction pre 1970
Corporate Borrowers
 
Buy to Let
  • Ownership can be as either an individual or corporate borrower.
  • Corporate borrowers must provide personal guarantees from all Directors on a joint and several basis.
  • Power of Attorney applications are not acceptable.
Owner Occupier
  • Owner occupier applications from corporate borrowers are not acceptable.
Credit profile
 
Impairment is only acceptable on our Credit Recovery product.
D
Duration / nature of tenancy
 
  • Buy to Let properties must have a maximum tenancy duration of 12 months with six monthly break clauses.
  • Limited Company lets, acceptable where the tenant is a named individual.
  • Longer terms by negotiation.

For Holiday Lets:

  • Short term, which includes Airbnb.
  • Longer terms by negotiation.
DWP eligible
 
  • No.
E
Eligibility
 

Buy to let:

  • Available to landlords who already have at least one existing buy to let property.

Business loans:

  • The client must be using the loan for a business purpose: Business purpose applicants shall only be accepted if the mortgage agreement will be entered into solely to provide funding to a business carried on or intended to be carried on.
  • Applicants must make a business purpose exemption declaration as part of the loan documentation.
  • Business Purpose Exemption (BPE) is achieved if Castle Trust is satisfied that the business purpose is genuine. Castle Trust applies additional criteria to the requirements of the legislation but these are in no way substitutional for the provisions of the law.
  • The following evidence is required for all applications:
    • Nature and substance of the relevant business
    • The applicant’s interest in the relevant business
    • Clear intention of use of the loan being applied to the business
    • Verification from applicant’s accountant that funds will be used at stated.

High Net Worth:

  • The client must be a High Net Worth applicant: An applicant (or, in the case of joint applicants, one of the applicants) must meet the Statement of High Net Worth criteria by having (at the time of application):
    • An annual net income of no less than £300,000 and/or
    • Net assets of no less than £3,000,000 (which includes equity in all residential property owned by the applicant, including their residence).
  • This must be qualified through:
    • Each applicant completing a declaration of exemption to Castle Trust and
    • A qualified accountant providing a Statement of High Net Worth for the relevant applicant(s).
  • A statement of Assets and Liabilities will not be required to qualify the High Net Worth status. One or more of the applicants must independently meet the conditions and threshold to qualify.
Employment status
 
Business loans and High Net Worth:

Employed

We will accept most employed applicants in principle. If they are still within a probationary period this is acceptable provided Castle Trust is satisfied that the applicant can meet their current obligations.

Contract based employment

A contract must be in place at time of application. If there is less than six months left to run on the contract, then Castle Trust must be satisfied of the future longevity of the employment.

Self-employed

Acceptable if they can demonstrate that their business has been trading profitably for a minimum of 12 months. This 12-month period is not required if the applicant has converted to a self-employed basis (with at least 12 months continuous employment) performing the same role in the same company, or working in a sector that has a significant volume of contract workers.

Retired

We will accept retired applicants who have demonstrable income (such as private pension) and a credible repayment strategy.

Students and unemployed

We will accept applicants with employment status of unemployed and students as part of a joint application where the other applicant meets the self-employed or employed status criteria.
EU nationals
 
EU nationals are acceptable.  They must be resident in the UK and have permanent leave to remain.
Ex local authority
 
Unacceptable if within pre-exemption period.
Ex-pats
 

 

Ex-pats who currently let out a UK property or are purchasing a property in the UK to let out are acceptable provided that they do not intend to return to the Uk to live in said property within 12 months of the loan origination and that the property is fully managed by a competent management company.
Express Service
 

Buy to let only:

  • Due to Title Insurance policy rules, ex-pats will not be accepted on Express cases.
    We will only accept the following nationality types where the Express Service has been selected:
    • Applicants must be resident in the UK and have permanent leave to remain and a UK passport or
    • EU nationals holding an EU passport.
  • The following non-EU nationals are acceptable if they hold a passport for the following countries: Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Guernsey, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and USA. All others are excluded from this product. Restrictions relate to passport type, not country of birth. The Express Service is not available on Refurb to Let or where there is a Guarantor as part of the application.
F
First time landlords
 

First time landlords are acceptable where there is a rational lending justification.

For HMOs:

  • Yes, subject to management by a specialist agency.

For Holiday Lets:

  • If no experience: maximum 65% LTV including any rolled up interest.

For Refurb to Let:

  • First time buyers on a referral basis.
Foreign Nationals
 
Acceptability depends on Basel index rating.
Freehold flats
 
  • Whole blocks only - first charge required over the freehold interest
  • Individual freehold flats - case by case basis
G
Gifted deposits
 
  • Family gifted acceptable.

Expats and Foreign Nationals:

  • No.
H
HMO experience
 
  • One year minimum unless the property is being managed by an experienced managing agent.
HMOs
 

General 

  • HMOs are accepted in principle for purchase or remortgage on our Buy to Let products, but are not acceptable on our Refurb to Let products 
  • At least one applicant must have a track record of buy to let ownership, involving three or more properties for a minimum of 12 months 
  • Borrowers must hold the relevant HMO Licence upon completion. Castle Trust will require verification via the conveyancing solicitor 
  • The maximum number of tenants per property is six.

Property 

  • No more than one kitchen, unless a large HMO (at least three storeys high and at least five tenants forming more than one household) where the limit is two kitchens 
  • No more than four habitable storeys 
  • No more than six lettable rooms 
  • Standard construction 
  • Maximum property value £1m 
  • Purpose built HMOs, hotels and hostels are not acceptable.
Holiday lets
 
We accept Holiday Let applications on our Buy to let products. 

For details of Holiday Let requirements, see individual criteria point.
I
Income
 
  • There is specified minimum income, but applicants must have demonstrable income and a suitable repayment strategy. Castle Trust will assess if the income is sustainable to support the combined loan.
  • Where an application is a joint application, and one of the applicants has a demonstrable income to cover the repayment, joint applicants who are students or unemployed will be considered.
  • Applications where income is from social benefits are not acceptable.
L
Legal Charge
 
Buy to Let loans are available on a first or second charge basis (subject to product restrictions).  Owner Occupier loans are only available on a second charge basis.
Let to Buy
 
  • Purchasing a property: A copy of the Mortgage Offer for the new home property will be required with simultaneous completion of the new purchase mortgage and the Castle Trust loan. Additionally, satisfactory proof of rental of the property to be let must be provided by way of signed AST prior to completion.
  • Let to Buy applications will not be accepted where the application is a consumer buy to let.
Limited Companies
 
  • Limited Company applications are available in principle. The limited company must be registered and trading in England or Wales and be incorporated for the sole purpose of buying and holding residential investment property. Directors must be UK resident; expats are not acceptable.
  • Newly incorporated limited companies are acceptable provided at least one director has a track record of buy to let ownership, involving three or more properties for a minimum of 12 months.
  • All Applicants/Guarantors must provide Personal Guarantees on a joint and several basis. Please note that Guarantors will not be accepted on Express cases.
  • Credit reference checks will be carried out on the company and its directors and the latest three months bank statements for the company will be required.
  • There should be no more than two first charge lenders to the company.
Loan Purpose
 

Buy to let

  • Buy to Let loans are available for any legal purpose.

Owner Occupier

  • Owner Occupier loans are available for any legal purpose which meets the MCOB Business Purpose exemption.
Location
 
Applications are only acceptable for properties in England and Wales.
M
Maximum age
 
  • None.
Minimum age
 
  • 21.
Minimum floor space
 

The security must be larger than 40mgross externally.

Minimum Ownership Period
 

There is no minimum ownership period.

Minimum Unexpired Lease
 

The minimum acceptable unexpired lease is 85 years at maturity.

Missed mortgage payments
 
  • No missed payment within last 12 months. A maximum of two missed payments in the last 36 months, excluding the first 12 months. Amounts are the sum across all mortgage accounts, and not the worst of the accounts.
Multiple properties in portfolio
 
  • Where an applicant has an interest in four or more distinct mortgaged buy to let properties, a stress test will be applied to assess the position of the entire portfolio.
  • Where there is a shortfall, we will take a view depending on how many properties this affects, the strength of the portfolio and the broader financial circumstances of the applicant.
  • These are the rental calculations that we will use to stress test a portfolio:
    • Limited Companies: 125% at 5.5%
    • Individual applicants: 145% at 5.5%
N
New builds
 
Yes.
Non-EU nationals
 

The following non-EU nationals are acceptable: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Jersey, Guernsey, Vatican City and San Marino.

Non EU nationals, excluding those noted above, must have held the permanent right to have lived and worked in the UK for the last 36 months as well as the right to remain. In these cases evidence will be required.

O
Occupancy
 

Buy to Let

Tenants must not be in receipt of social benefits or qualify as vulnerable.

A maximum tenancy duration of 12 months with six monthly break clauses is required.

Properties with occupancy restrictions are not acceptable.

Owner Occupier

The security must be the applicant's primary residence.

Properties with occupancy restrictions are not acceptable

Ownership
 
Buy to Let
  • Ownership can be as either an individual or corporate borrower.
  • Corporate borrowers must provide personal guarantees from all Directors on a joint and several basis.
  • Power of Attorney applications are not acceptable.
Owner Occupier
  • Available to individuals only.
  • Power of Attorney applications are not acceptable.
P
Portfolio landlords
 
  • Yes.
Portfolio size
 

There is no limit on the size of a Buy to Let portfolio.

Property location
 
England and wales only.
Purpose Built HMO
 
Purpose built HMOs are considered on a case by case basis.
R
Refurb to Let
 
  • Works to be undertaken do not require planning permission or building regulations permission
  • There is no change to the use and purpose of the premises
  • Property must be defined as habitable by the valuer

Valuation

Schedule of works to be sent to valuer who must provide:

  • A valuation and rental details based on current condition
  • A valuation on completion of works
  • Confirmation that no structural works are required and that the definition of light refurbishment is met
  • An estimated rental valuation on completion of works – an AST agreement is not required to be in place at the time of valuation.
 
Rental coverage test
 

For Buy to let, Expats & Foreign Nationals:

  • There is no rental coverage stress test on loans with interest roll-up although, where Castle Trust takes a second charge, the primary mortgage will be stress tested.
  • Where applicable, the primary mortgage will be subject to the following stress test:
    • Individual (basic rate tax) and Corporate 125% at 5.5%.
    • Individual (higher rate tax) 145% at 5.5%.
  • For mortgages where interest is serviced, the following stress test will be applied:
    • Individual (basic rate tax) and Corporate 115% of Castle Trust pay rate, or 6.88%, whichever is higher
    • Individual (higher rate tax) 115% of Castle Trust pay rate, or 7.98%, whichever is higher.
  • The applicant’s other income and/or financial resources which can supplement rental income can also be considered to maximise borrowing potential.

For HMOs:

  • 150% of payrate

For Holiday Lets:

  • 150% of payrate using total estimated annual income.
  • Additional sources of income can be considered in the assessment.

For Refurb to Let:

  • Evidence of ability to service interest during period of refurbishment.
Roof types
 

Acceptable 

  • Standard roof construction from slate
  • Standard roof construction from tile
  • Standard flat roof
  • Thatch considered on an individual basis

Unacceptable

  • Felt flat roof
S
Security location
 
England and Wales only.
Security types
 

Acceptable

  • Houses (terraced, detached, semi-detached)
  • Bungalows 
  • Leasehold flats and maisonettes (purpose built or converted) with an unexpired lease terms in excess of 85 years at maturity of the loan
  • Flying Freehold up to 15% of the size of the property
  • Blocks of flats: Castle Trust applies maximum limits per block per customer:
    • Up to seven flats: limited to one flat 
    • 8-50 flats: limited to 25% of the flats up to a maximum of 12 flats
    • Blocks of more than 50 flats: limited to 12 flats plus 10% of the number of flats in excess of 50. Eg. For a block of 200 flats, the limit would be 27 flats (12 + 10% of 150)
  • Grade 2 properties 
  • Grade 2* - case by case basis

We may consider other property types, on a case by case basis, please speak to your BDM. 

Unacceptable

  • Freehold flats/maisonettes (unless whole block is being taken as security)
  • Flying Freeholds above 15% of the gross external floor area of the property
  • Mobile homes
  • Houseboats
  • Properties with agricultural restrictions (farms / crofts)
  • Bed sits and B&Bs
  • Multi occupancy properties that do not meet Castle Trust HMO criteria
  • Work units
  • Ex-local authority properties still within their pre-emption period
  • Grade 1 properties

Buy to let only:

  • Studio flats
  • Flats above 6 floors ie 7th floor upwards (no ex-council blocks)
  • Self builds (subject to a valuation and structural survey report) 
  • Leasehold properties with an unexpired lease term of less than 85 years at maturity
Security Value
 
  • The minimum acceptable security value is £75,000 for Buy to Let applications and £250,000 for Owner Occupier applications.
  • There is no maximum security value.
Stress Test
 

Roll-up Mortgage Range

  •  There is no additional stress on the second charge loans for Roll-up Bridge and Roll-up Term, although we do stress test the primary mortgage.

Serviced Mortgage Range

  •  For Serviced Bridge and Serviced Term we apply the following stress test:
    • Individual (basic rate tax) and Corporate 115% of Castle Trust pay rate, or 6.88%, whichever is higher
    • Individual (higher rate tax) 115% of Castle Trust pay rate, or 7.98%, whichever is higher.  

We take a flexible and commercial approach to assessing a client’s other income and/or financial resources which can supplement rental income to maximise borrowing potential.

Student accommodation
 
Purpose built student accommodation is considered the same as an HMO.

General 

  • HMOs are accepted in principle for purchase or remortgage on our Buy to Let products, but are not acceptable on our Refurb to Let products 
  • At least one applicant must have a track record of buy to let ownership, involving three or more properties for a minimum of 12 months 
  • Borrowers must hold the relevant HMO Licence upon completion. Castle Trust will require verification via the conveyancing solicitor 
  • The maximum number of tenants per property is six.

Property 

  • No more than one kitchen, unless a large HMO (at least three storeys high and at least five tenants forming more than one household) where the limit is two kitchens 
  • No more than four habitable storeys 
  • No more than six lettable rooms 
  • Standard construction 
  • Maximum property value £1m 
T
Tenancy Details
 
  • Buy to Let properties must have a maximum tenancy duration of 12 months with six monthly break clauses.
  • Limited Company lets, acceptable where the tenant is a named individual.
  • Longer terms by negotiation.

For Holiday Lets:

  • Short term, which includes Airbnb.
  • Longer terms by negotiation.
 
Tenure type
 

Acceptable

  • Freeholds (excluding flats and maisonettes, unless whole block is being provided as security)
  • Share of Freehold
  • Leasehold flats and maisonettes.  If leasehold, there must be 85 years unexpired at the maturity of the loan term.
  • Flying freehold (subject to referral).

Unacceptable

  • Freehold flats and maisonettes


V
Vacant Buy to Let property
 
  • Vacant properties are acceptable for purchases on the condition that an AST must be in place within 90 days of completion.

For Holiday Lets:

  • Vacant properties are acceptable for short term lets, which includes Airbnb.

For Refurb to Let:

  • Vacant properties are acceptable during works/sale.

Mortgages
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Castle Trust is the trading name of both Castle Trust Capital plc (company number 07454474) and Castle Trust Capital Management Limited (company number 07504954). Castle Trust is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, under reference numbers 541910 and 541893. Registered office: 10 Norwich Street, London, EC4A 1BD. Registered in England and Wales.

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