Why would you not believe the mortgage company?
But they are correct. You and your ex have a loan which is secured against the property. You are both contractually obliged to repay the loan. This obligation will only end when the loan is repaid. Think of it from the lender's point of view - why would they remove one person's obligation, when they don't have to.
In any case, the names on the mortgage have to match the names of the legal owners of the property. If the mortgage is still in joint names then the mortgage has to be as well - and if the mortgage is still in joint names then the property must still be as well. The fact that you may have agreed that the property is now solely yours does not affect this (although the agreement is likely to be binding on your ex).
The only way out of this is for you to remortgage in your sole name, effectively buying the house from you and her. But you need to get a mortgage to do this. Even back in the good times buy to let
mortgages tended to need at least 20% or 25% down from you. So you are never going to get better than this in the current climate.
I'm afraid the lenders simply don't agree with your assertion that this is "no risk to them at all". For a start, are you allowing for the additional costs of renting, such as regular inspections, gas safety certificates, etc? And what about time when you might not have a tenant in place? Or the risk of a tenant who does not pay rent (it might take several months to evict them)? And you have no idea what the rental market might be like in 2 or 3 years time - perhaps rents will fall so they won't be enough to cover the mortgage.
At the end of the day most people will move mountains to stay in their own home, so lenders are prepared to take a bit more risk. But with a buy to let there is far less incentive for you not to default on the loan, so lenders take a much harder line when deciding whats risky.
SimonC · 4 years ago