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When Two Kitchens Makes The Property Unmortgageable

THE QUESTION
Can I get a BTL mortgage on a house that’s got a small kitchen, one upstairs and one downstairs? It wasn’t converted into two recognised flats, its only where husband and wife wanted to have two separate living areas in the house.
THE ANSWER
With pretty much any standard BTL lender the answer is ‘No’, and there’s a very simple reason for this.
Typically lenders do not lend on properties that contain more than one self-contained unit i.e. a property that is two or more self-contained flats on a single title.
The first thing their valuer will spot when valuing the property is that the two kitchens make it ripe for you doing a flat conversion. Lenders view is if they give you the mortgage they have no control over you subsequently going the rest of the way and completing the full separation of upstairs and downstairs.
They never put themselves in the position of giving a borrower a green light to breach their T&Cs, and conversion of a house into two flats would definitely do that’.
The sellers living arrangement adaptations have made their property pretty much unmortgageable. leaving them in a situation where they can only sell to cash buyers. And everyone knows cash buyers never pay full price, so the current owners will be in the predicament of being forced to sell the property cheaper, unless they invest time and money in removing the second kitchen to make the property mortgageable again - before a valuer comes to call.
You can choose to inform them of this need to reverse their living arrangements - or push the unmortgageability aspect to buy it cheaper (using cash or bridging finance), then either remove the kitchen yourself or apply for planning permission to complete the conversion into two separate flats and split the titles. Now you can bank your profits by selling or refinancing onto a mortgage (or two if you convert to flats).

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