Is it possible to get a buy to let lender to top up the mortgage to cover the costs of refurbishments on a property?

I’ve been thinking about a buy to let mortgage and I’ve finally found a suitable property. It’s very basic though and I would like to make a number of improvements. Is it possible to get the lender to top up the mortgage to cover the costs of refurbishments?

No - it doesn’t work like that! Firstly, you can only get a buy to let mortgage on a property that is habitable. If the property is habitable but you think that carrying out improvements will make it a more attractive and lucrative proposition, that’s up to you but you will have to find the money yourself to do the work.

For property that is not habitable, developers often use bridging loans to buy and renovate. They then refinance onto a buy to let mortgage once the property is habitable. In these scenarios, it’s worth bearing in mind that relatively few buy to let lenders will allow you to remortgage within six months of purchase.

Those that do will probably only lend against the purchase price and not the uplift in value which means you might have to wait for longer than anticipated before you can remortgage to claw back your renovation costs, making the whole exercise more costly.

The upshot? Make sure you do your homework and budget carefully beforehand.