Who Is Eligible For Build To Let Development Finance

Whether you’re a first-time investor or an experienced property developer, delving into the lucrative rental market often requires financial support. The build to let finance option provides a tailored solution for those seeking long-term returns through rental properties.

The build to let development finance is used to fund the project during the build phase. Once the build is completed, the investor or developer will exit onto a standard buy to let product. Where five to ten apartments exist in a building, a single standard buy-to-let mortgage is typically available. When there are more than ten apartments and additional facilities, such as an on-site gym, then a specialist commercial buy to let product will be called for.

To fund the project during the build phase, investors and developers often turn to build to let development finance, transitioning to a standard buy to let product upon completion.


When considering build to let finance, adherence to specific eligibility criteria becomes paramount. Lenders meticulously evaluate various factors to ensure the viability and success of the project. The lending criteria for build to let funding is evidence of a strong exit strategy, which is typically a buy to let mortgage that is agreed in principle. Here’s a detailed exploration of the key eligibility criteria:

Strong Exit Strategy: A fundamental requirement for accessing build to let finance is the demonstration of a robust exit strategy. This often takes the form of a pre-approved buy to let mortgage. This strategic plan outlines how the investor or developer intends to transition from the initial funding phase to a standard buy to let product upon project completion.

Track Record and Experience: Investors and developers with a proven track record in the sector and a history of successful developments enhance their eligibility. Previous experience in navigating the intricacies of property development is a valuable asset, instilling confidence in lenders regarding the project’s potential for success.

Comprehensive Business Plan: The submission of a well-structured business plan is a critical component of eligibility. This plan should go beyond a mere overview, delving into key metrics such as occupancy forecasts and rental projections. A comprehensive business plan not only outlines the project’s financial viability but also showcases the investor or developer’s strategic vision.

Creditworthiness: While good credit is generally preferred, lenders understand that certain circumstances may lead to less-than-perfect credit histories. In such cases, eligibility is still possible, provided the poor credit does not pose a significant threat to the exit strategy. Lenders may assess the overall financial health and stability of the applicant.

Security and Deposit: Offering good security and a deposit higher than the minimum requirement are viewed as indicators of lower risk. A higher deposit showcases the applicant’s commitment and financial stability, strengthening eligibility. Security, in the form of collateral or assets, provides assurance to lenders and mitigates potential risks associated with the financing.

Understanding and fulfilling these eligibility criteria not only increases the likelihood of securing build to let finance but also sets the stage for a successful and sustainable project in the competitive property market. Aspiring investors and developers are encouraged to work closely with financial experts and advisors to navigate the intricacies of the application process and optimise their eligibility for build to let finance.

Strengthening Your Position

There are strategic avenues for those seeking to fortify their eligibility or address capital shortfalls. Here, we delve into alternative options designed to strengthen your financial position:

Bridging Loans: Bridging loans serve as invaluable short-term solutions, especially when some capital is available but falls short of the project’s requirements. These loans provide the flexibility to swiftly acquire a portion of the site, facilitating progress while the investor or developer works towards securing additional funding. Bridging loans act as a financial bridge, enabling seamless movement from one phase of the project to the next.

Equity Release: A strategic approach involves tapping into the equity within your existing investment portfolio. By remortgaging properties, investors and developers can unlock additional funds to bolster their financial capacity. Equity release allows for the efficient utilisation of existing assets to secure the necessary resources for the build to let project. This option leverages the accrued value of your properties, providing a dynamic source of financing.

Unsecured Business Loans: For those seeking a supplementary financial boost of up to £25,000, unsecured business loans present a viable solution. These loans, not backed by specific collateral, offer flexibility and a streamlined application process. While the loan amount may be relatively smaller compared to other financing options, unsecured business loans serve as a convenient top-up, filling gaps in capital and supporting various project-related expenses.

Considering these alternative options allows investors and developers to adapt to the ever-evolving financial landscape of property development. Each avenue offers a distinct set of advantages, catering to specific needs and circumstances. It is crucial to carefully assess your financial requirements, risk tolerance, and overall project goals when determining which alternative option aligns best with your unique situation.

Collaborating with financial experts and advisors is advisable to navigate the nuances of each alternative, ensuring informed decision-making. By strategically utilising bridging loans, equity release, or unsecured business loans, you can fortify your financial position, enhancing your ability to embark on successful build to let projects with confidence and resilience.

Important Considerations

Before embarking on a buy to let project, it’s crucial to be aware of key factors, such as potential challenges in finding buyers, higher interest rates for short-term finance, and the time it might take for rental incomes to materialise.

For tailored advice and information on build to let finance, landlords and property developers are encouraged to reach out to the experienced team at BLG. Their expertise can guide you through the intricacies of financing, ensuring your project’s success in the competitive rental market. For more information on build to let finance for landlords and residential property developers, please contact the BLG team.


"A challenging site like no other with every inch of the plot being built on and 12 apartments built-out through a driveway 2.5m wide off of a main high street with limited access rights, not to mention all the complexities associated with 13 Party Wall Agreements. Most lenders would not have had the vision for the scheme or the confidence in Spiller Builders to build out the scheme.  I just wanted to say how helpful the entire BLG team have been during the build. A very approachable and knowledgeable team, with a “can do” approach to lending. We will be looking to do more business with you for sure."

“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

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