When you need a new buy-to-let mortgage, of course you can go directly to a lender yourself. You might have a long-standing relationship with your bank, a particular provider may have come recommended, or you might simply feel you will save money by cutting out the middle man. But if you do, in my view, you will almost certainly not get the best deals over the lifetime of your investment, so is it sensible?

There are five very good reasons why you should consult with an independent broker for the financing of your buy-to-let portfolio.

These reasons could really benefit you and the profitability of your property investment:

1. Expert knowledge

Unless you are a mortgage broker yourself, you are highly unlikely to know about or understand every aspect of applying for and progressing a mortgage. That means you can waste a lot of time and effort trying to work your way through your options, only to end up with a deal that a broker could easily better. Importantly, you may not present all the information that the lender requires in the right way and could unwittingly leave out things that are critical to securing the right mortgage.

Lenders tend to have different criteria and rules, depending on how you intend to let the property – for example, HMOs require specialist mortgages and if you intend to let to tenants on benefits, you are likely to be restricted in your choice of financing. And with the new rules on ‘portfolio lending’, it is more important than ever for landlords with four or more properties to consult an expert.

2. Access to a range of mortgage deals

A mortgage broker will have access to a range of products in the market and will be able to source the most appropriate one for your circumstances.

3. Speed on limited deals

Some deals are only available for a very limited time and only those who have a buy-to-let specialist broker may be able to secure them. In these cases, it’s essential to work with someone who knows exactly what to do and when, so that the administration is done right first time.

4. Relationships with underwriters

If you work with a broker who has been handling buy-to-let mortgages for a number of years, they will have forged relationships with underwriters and other key people who can help progress your application to offer as speedily as possible. They will be able to get answers to your questions quickly and a well-connected broker can make the difference between securing the financing you need and a deal falling apart.

5. Regular reviews

A suitably qualified broker will keep up to date with all the latest regulations and new deals and should let you know when it’s appropriate to look at switching your mortgage. Many brokers are also happy to work with your financial advisor or wealth manager to help ensure your investment keeps delivering the best returns.

The recent government announcement that leaseholds will be banned and ground rents set at zero in future for almost all new build houses brings to light an issue that it’s hard to deal with unless you use a mortgage broker. Where a lease states that the ground rent will double every ten years, it can render the property virtually unsellable, resulting in some lenders refusing mortgages for them. As such, unless you already know which lenders take this view, you could waste time on submitting mortgage applications that have no chance of being approved.

Our award-winning team of mortgage brokers include buy-to-let specialists who are always happy to speak to landlords about their mortgage borrowing. If you would like a review of the financing on your portfolio or have any other questions, do get in touch with us.