Compare the best buy-to-let mortgage rates UK 2024

Use our comparison table to find the best buy-to-let deals on the market.

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How do buy-to-let mortgages work?

Buy-to-let mortgages work in a similar way to a standard mortgage. However, lenders tend to view them as higher risk, so you might need to meet stricter criteria to qualify. When deciding how much you can borrow, lenders will look at how much rent the property can generate rather than just what you can afford in repayments. Most lenders will also require you to have a minimum annual income.

Buy-to-let mortgages usually require a higher minimum deposit – typically around 20% – and the fees and interest rates are typically higher than on conventional residential mortgages.

How to compare deals

It is important to take your time and research different mortgage lenders and different mortgage deals to make sure you get the best deal for your circumstances. Here are some common ways to compare buy-to-let mortgages.

  • Eligibility. Most lenders will ask that you’re at least 21 years old to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage and you will usually need a good credit history. Some lenders will also ask for a minimum income of around £25,000.
  • Investor benefits. If you’re investing, it’s worth checking if the mortgage has features which can maximise tax benefits or cash flow. For example, an interest-only or offset feature.
  • Interest rates. You’ll also want to compare the interest rates available on buy-to-let mortgages. Rates have a huge influence on the size of your repayments, so be sure to compare loans rates carefully. Think about whether you want a fixed or variable rate deal.
  • Fees. Compare not only application, valuation and legal fees but also ongoing fees for features such as offset accounts and redraw facilities.

Most buy-to-let landlords choose interest-only mortgages, where you only pay off the interest each month so your repayments are lower. But this means it’s crucial to have a plan in place to pay off the capital at the end of the mortgage term – this could be from savings you’ve built up or selling the property.”

Rachel Wait, financial journalist

Buy-to-let: Pros and cons

As with any investment, choosing to invest in property carries both benefits and risks. It’s important you weigh up the pros and cons of property investment before you decide if the strategy is right for you.

Property investing benefits

  • Rental income. An investment property can increase your cash flow by providing you with a second income source through rental income. A well-located investment property could provide 3-5.5% rental yield. Plus, if you later sell the property, you might make a profit.
  • Flexibility. An investment property is one of few investments that is physically tangible. If your situation changes and you no longer wish to use your property as an income-producing asset, you can always move into it. However, be mindful that there may be tax implications if you choose to do this.
  • Tax and depreciation benefits. If you have a knowledgeable accountant and quantity surveyor, there’s plenty of room to take advantage of certain tax advantages of property investment.
  • Control. Unlike other asset classes such as shares, many aspects of your property investment can be controlled. You can carry out value-adding activities on your property such as renovations, you can remortgage if you find a better rate, turn your property into a boarding house – the choice is yours, provided you comply with relevant laws and council guidelines.

Property investing risks

  • Costs. Buying a property can be costly, depending on the size and location. There are also many other upfront costs you may have to pay, including stamp duty, building inspections, conveyancing and legal charges. Note that buy-to-let mortgages usually have more or higher arrangement fees than conventional residential mortgages. As the owner of the property, you’ll also be responsible for covering ongoing costs such as repairs and maintenance, property management fees, council taxes, etc.
  • Property price fluctuatations. If the value of your property falls, you could end up out of pocket. If you have an interest-only mortgage, you’ll have to make up the shortfall if the property sells for less than you bought it for.
  • Selling a property takes time. Unlike shares and other investments, selling property can take a while and usually requires assistance from professionals such as a real estate agents, accountants and conveyancers. This means if you think you might need your investment cash on short notice, property investment might not be for you. Also, unlike shares, you can’t sell off portions of your investment property if you need the cash quickly.
  • Untenanted periods. If you rely on rental income to help pay off your property investment loan, you face the risk of untenanted periods which means that you may suffer financially. This is why it’s important to take precautionary measures such as ensuring you have a cash buffer.

10 common mistakes

1. Buying the wrong property

When you look at investment properties you need to view them as a landlord, not an owner. You need to consider whether it’s attractive for people looking to rent rather than buy. Your personal tastes and desires shouldn’t come into it.

A good rental property will be in a good location with useful travel links. It will have spacious rooms and should be relevant to the target market of the local area. Are you targeting families or single professionals?

2. Not doing your homework

You need to look at the local rental market and find out who’s renting property, how much they’re paying for it and whether there’s a big enough demand. What is the demographic of people in the area? Is it an area full of students and young professionals who might prefer a large apartment, or is it the perfect place for families to settle down?

Without looking into the facts and figures you could buy a property which is of no interest to the local pool of would-be tenants.

3. Underestimating your costs

It is very easy (and tempting) to underestimate the amount of time and money it will take to get your property fit for rental. This mistake leads to new investors running into serious cash flow problems. Get quotes for the work you need to do and multiply that figure by at least two. That way you have a buffer in case the work proves more expensive.

4. Having no spare funds

It’s vital to have an “emergency fund” set aside for each of your investment properties. If an expensive repair is needed and you don’t have the cash, you could end up getting the job done cheaply. This can lead to bigger issues later on.

One of the best ways to build your emergency fund is to take some of your rental profit each month and transfer it into a separate account.

5. Trying to do the work yourself

Running investment properties requires more work than you may think and some new investors try to save money by doing everything themselves. Big mistake! It’s almost impossible to be your own repairman, property manager and accountant and stretching yourself too thin leads to costly errors.

Build yourself a team of reliable experts to outsource the work to, so you can spend your time more productively. In many cases professionals know how to save you money, so try to think of them as an investment.

6. Investing from a distance

Don’t be tempted to buy property far away unless you’re prepared to travel to the site yourself. Setting up an investment property without seeing it with your own eyes is a recipe for disaster. If you do decide to buy out of the way, make sure you’ve got a reliable estate agent to manage the property for you. Meeting them in person is also a must, regardless of where they’re based.

7. Paying over the odds

Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t make a low offer on an investment property. Remember your portfolio is a business and the idea is to make a profit. You don’t know the position of the seller and they may be after a quick sale whatever the price. The worst that can happen is they say no and you try to negotiate.

8. Ignoring your competition

Don’t overlook what other landlords in your area are doing. Find out how much they’re charging for rent, how long it took them to find tenants and how are their properties presented. Also make a point of looking at the adverts for properties in your area. What do they say and where are the adverts published? You can get some very useful tips from studying the competition.

9. Not getting insurance

Going without a complete landlord insurance is a huge mistake. It covers you should something major go wrong with the property. A good policy will also cover you for lost rental income and will pay to rehome your tenants if your property is damaged and needs repairs.

As with any insurance cover, make sure you read the fine print so you understand what’s protected and what’s not. The less you pay for cover the less protection you normally have.

10. Not vetting tenants

Lastly, make sure you get references for your tenants. These should be from both employers and previous landlords. You should also carry out a credit check. These checks will tell you whether a potential tenant is trustworthy, whether they will look after the property and whether they will be able to afford the rent. If you don’t vet your tenants, you could end up paying the price.

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Tips for getting a buy-to-let deal

To be approved for a buy-to-let mortgage, it’s likely you’ll already need to own property.

You’ll have to save a deposit worth at least 20% of the property’s value, and have the funds to be able to cope with a lengthy void period.

Even if you meet this minimum lending criteria, there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved for a mortgage.

Here are some tips to boost your chances of approval.

Choose a suitable property

Lenders are reluctant to secure mortgages against certain types of properties, including new-builds, high-rise flats, flats above commercial properties or unusually-structured buildings.

These are considered harder to sell in the case of repossession, so it’s tougher to be approved for mortgages on these buildings, especially if your income and credit score aren’t in an ideal state.

You can improve your chances of being approved for a mortgage by avoiding these properties.

The less you borrow, the better

The less you borrow from a mortgage lender, the lower your monthly repayments and the easier it is to pass a lender’s affordability checks.

You can lower the amount you borrow either by applying for cheaper property or saving up a bigger deposit.

This could make you eligible for a lower interest rate too.

Cut your outgoings

In order to approve your mortgage, your lender will want to see proof that the property’s rental income can make a specific amount of profit, usually at least 125%.

It will also check your recent bank statements to ensure you can comfortably afford the costs associated with your buy-to-let mortgage, such as repairs, maintenance, home insurance, void periods, etc. You can improve your perceived ability to cover these costs by reducing your outgoings now. This includes paying down debts and seeing if you can get a better deal on your household bills.

Boost your credit score

Lenders will use your credit score as an indicator of how reliable you are at managing debt. This will play a major role in their decision to lend to you or not.

Take steps to improve your credit score by making timely repayments on all your bills. Take care not to go overdrawn on any of your current accounts or credit cards.

Before you apply for a mortgage, check that your credit report is free from errors. It’s possible there are mistakes that could harm your application. You can check for them and make amendments by contacting any of the UK’s three major credit reference agencies: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

The right paperwork

When you’re applying for a buy-to-let mortgage, the lender will want to see a number of documents including:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of income
  • Recent bank statements
  • Information regarding your other properties

It’s particularly important to provide as much financial information as possible when you’re self-employed, or earning an income heavily based on commission or bonuses.

Lenders regard this income as less stable, so it’s up to you to provide as much proof as possible of its stability. You’ll typically be expected to provide at least three years of accounts if you’re self-employed, although some lenders will accept less.

Ensure your correct name and address are registered on the electoral roll

This is a quick hack that can improve your odds of having a mortgage application approved. Take a look at the website for more information.

Don’t make too many mortgage applications

Applying for several buy-to-let mortgages in one go can harm your chances of being approved in the future.

Every time you make an application, the lender will carry out a credit check which has a temporary negative impact on your credit score. Too many credit searches in a short space of time can damage your score to the point that lenders will reject your application.

It’s better to learn which lenders are most likely to accept your application, find the best deal, and apply for this when you’re in a great position to be approved.

Buy-to-let mortgage brokers

A professional mortgage broker can help you find the right mortgage. They have specialist knowledge of the buy-to-let mortgage market and will be able to help you apply for the deals you’re most likely to get accepted for. This can save you a lot of time and hassle and reduce the risk of hurting your credit score.

Some buy-to-let mortgage deals are only available through brokers, while it’s also possible a broker could negotiate a better deal on your behalf.

What’s more, they’ll be able to talk you through any issues you don’t understand and help you complete your application.

Pros and cons of a mortgage broker


  • Help you find the best possible mortgage deal for your circumstances.
  • Save time, allowing you to complete your purchase quicker.
  • Access expert knowledge of lenders’ eligibility criteria, so you can apply to lenders most likely to approve you.
  • Access the deals that are exclusively available through brokers.
  • Some brokers have been known to haggle for a better mortgage rate on their customer’s behalf.


  • With many brokers, you’ll pay a one-off fee.
  • You’ll have to communicate with your mortgage broker during office hours.
  • Not all brokers search the whole market.
  • Not all brokers have great customer reviews. You’ll have to shop around for a quality professional.

Minimum deposit

Buy-to-let mortgages have a higher minimum deposit requirement than residential mortgages. Typically, you’ll need at least 20% to 25% of the property’s value, but some lenders might ask for a deposit of up to 40%.

Lenders ask for a larger deposit because there is a bigger perceived risk with a buy-to-let mortgage. After all, you’re relying on a third party to cover the mortgage with their rental payments and to keep the property well-maintained.

As with any other type of mortgage, the bigger your deposit, the easier you’ll be able to get approval for your mortgage.

Switching to a buy-to-let deal

It is possible to switch from a residential to a buy-to-let mortgage but you will need to consider which type of deal best meets your needs. You may be able to do this with your current lender. However, you mignt need to remortgage with a different lender on a buy-to-let basis. Learn more about this process.

Remortgaging with a buy-to-let

Once your initial mortgage deal comes to an end, it’s best to remortgage to a better deal to ensure you’re getting the best rate. If you don’t remortgage, you’ll be moved on to your lender’s standard variable rate which will typically be higher. Remortgaging can also help you to release funds that could be used to make improvements to the home or help you expand your property portfolio.

The remortgaging process is similar to switching residential mortgages. Check out the best remortgaging rates here.

Bottom line

Investing in buy-to-let can be extremely lucrative – provided it’s done right. If you’re thinking about taking this step, it’s crucial to do your research first so you know what you’re facing. Also make sure your finances are in good shape and your credit score is up to scratch to increase your chances of being accepted for a buy-to-let mortgage.

Frequently asked questions

Overall representative example
If you borrow £178,000 mortgage over 25 years initially at 4.63% fixed for 60 months reverting to 6.99% variable for term. 60 monthly payments of £1002.56 and 240 monthly payments of £1214.16. Total amount payable £351,932.00 includes loan amount, interest of £173,552, valuation fees of £0 and product fees of £0. The overall cost for comparison is 6.2% APRC representative.
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been reviewed by Rachel Wait, a member of Finder's Editorial Review Board.
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Written by


Matthew Boyle is a banking and mortgages publisher at Finder. He has a 7-year history of publishing helpful guides to assist consumers in making better decisions. In his spare time, you will find him walking in the Norfolk countryside admiring the local wildlife. See full bio

Matthew's expertise
Matthew has written 244 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Helping first-time buyers apply for a mortgage
  • Comparing bank accounts and highlighting useful features
  • Publishing easy-to-understand guides

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