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Frequently Asked Questions

Your clients will always look to you for answers. So, it’s important you know where to turn to when you need some extra support with a challenging case.

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COVID-19 update (5 November 2020) – business as usual

As England moves into a second lockdown, we want to reassure you that it’s business as usual at Kent Reliance for Intermediaries, our service remains strong, and we’re here to assist our intermediary partners and your clients as much as possible.

Physical inspections for valuations for residential and buy to let properties will continue to take place through Connells via the usual process, in a COVID-secure manner. However, Connells has issued clear guidance surrounding property inspections.

Please note that if this guidance isn’t adhered to, surveyors could choose not to proceed with a valuation, but still charge a fee for a visit.

This page takes you through the steps we’re taking to support you at this time.

We ask that if you have any urgent queries to email us at brokers@KRBS.com or contact your BDM.

In the meantime, here are some frequently asked questions to help you.

Furlough payments, bounce back loans and CBILS

Our current criteria is detailed below:

Residential criteria

  • Furlough income is not acceptable as an income source.
  • Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is not acceptable as an income source.
  • Bounce back loans and Coronavirus business interruption loans aren’t acceptable as a source of deposit.

Buy to let criteria

  • We will consider applications from landlords currently in receipt of furlough / SEISS income. Please note top slicing is not currently available.
  • The latest bank statement is required to evidence rent / mortgage payments.
  • Bounce back loans and coronavirus business interruption loans aren’t acceptable as a source of deposit.

Please note there maybe additional underwriting requirements. If you have any queries related to your application, please contact your business development manager.

Mortgage Payment Holidays

  • If you have a customer looking to take out a payment holiday with us due to the impact of COVID-19, we’re able to support them.
  • Here’s what your customer needs to know before applying:
    If they're a buy to let customer, they're able to request a mortgage payment holiday but only if their tenants are unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19.
  • If they've not already taken a mortgage payment holiday of up to three months, and want to apply for one now, please ask them to complete our online mortgage payment holiday form. We'll then contact them within 5-7 working days to confirm whether they've been accepted. If they've already submitted an email, they don't need to submit a form as well. We'll process their request for a mortgage payment holiday in the same way.
  • If they take a mortgage payment holiday, this means that they won't make mortgage payments for up to three months; we'll add these payments onto their mortgage balance unless they contact us before their payments recommence to discuss alternative options for repaying the unpaid mortgage payments.
  • As a result, their mortgage balance will increase and their monthly payment will be recalculated over their remaining mortgage term. Their monthly payment and the amount of interest they pay will increase for the remaining term of their mortgage.
  • We'll let them know their new monthly amount at the end of their payment holiday.
  • Unfortunately we're unable to make any changes in time for payments due in the next 7 days. If their payment is due in the next 7 days and they're unable to make their normal monthly payment, please call our Collections Team on 01634 835044. They can also email recoveries@krbs.co.uk to discuss their situation.
  • In line with government guidance, their credit rating won't be affected by this arrangement whilst the payment holiday is in place.
  • Please note that if they’ve already emailed us, we’ll respond as soon as we can.
  • We may be able to offer your customer support in these circumstances, so you should call us on 01634 835044 or email recoveries@krbs.com to discuss what options there are available.
  • If your customer is already in arrears or has alternative forbearance options in place, call our Collections Team on 01634 835044 or email recoveries@krbs.com to discuss the options available.
  • If your customer doesn't have the funds to meet the direct debit, please ask them to contact us urgently on 01634 835044 or email recoveries@krbs.co.uk so we can discuss the best options with them.
  • If your customer takes a mortgage payment holiday, this means that they won't make mortgage payments for up to three months; we'll add these payments onto their mortgage balance unless they contact us before their payments recommence to discuss alternative options for repaying the unpaid mortgage payments.
  • As a result, their mortgage balance will increase and their monthly payment will be recalculated over their remaining mortgage term. Their monthly payment and the amount of interest they pay will increase for the remaining term of their mortgage.
  • We'll let your customer know their new monthly amount at the end of their payment holiday.
  • Whilst the status of a mortgage payment holiday is not reported negatively to the Credit Reference Agencies, we don’t know how other lenders may use this information when making future lending decisions. For example, they may take into account other information including payment information provided by your customer or bank account information.
  • If a customer takes a mortgage payment holiday it's important to understand that the interest will continue to accrue while they're not making their normal monthly payments. At the end of the payment holiday period the interest that has built up will be added to their outstanding mortgage balance. This process is called capitalisation.
  • By capitalising the accrued interest, their outstanding mortgage balance will increase. We'll have to recalculate their monthly mortgage payment so that their mortgage will be repaid in full at the end of their mortgage term and as a result, they'll pay more interest over the remaining term of their mortgage.
  • If they'd rather make alternative arrangements to repay the capitalised amount please call a member of our Collections Team on 01634 835044.
  • We'd expect the monthly payments covered by the payment holiday to be taken together, but we'll review individual cases where circumstances require a different approach to be taken.
  • It’s important to remember, only a payment holiday of up to three months can be agreed under the current Government scheme, and any further period of time required will be subject to our standard forbearance processes and may affect your customer's credit rating.
  • Whilst the status of a mortgage payment holiday is not reported negatively to the Credit Reference Agencies, we don’t know how other lenders may use this information when making future lending decisions. For example, they may take into account other information including payment information provided by your customer or bank account information.
  • If your customer has arranged a payment holiday but they now no longer need it that's no problem. Please send us an email at recoveries@krbs.co.uk to confirm that they no longer require the payment holiday. We'll then confirm that we've received their request and explain how much their next monthly payment will be and when it's due.
  • If your customer is concerned about their ability to make future mortgage payments we may be able to consider further forbearance which may include an extension to payment holiday periods.
  • As the guidance in place from the Government is changing daily, requesting an extension to a current payment holiday too soon may not be the right thing for your customer to do. If they believe they’re going to experience ongoing financial difficulties, please don’t contact us until the last month of their current payment holiday. This will help us to prioritise dealing with customers who have imminent need of further assistance.
  • Please ask your customer to call us on 01634 835044 or email recoveries@krbs.co.uk so we can discuss the best options with them.
  • If your customer is concerned that their ability to make future mortgage payments will be affected please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
  • If a customer takes a COVID-19 related payment holiday it shouldn't stop them getting a product transfer in the future if they otherwise would have qualified for one.

Valuations

  • If you currently have a case in progress where the valuation fees have been paid and the case fits our new criteria, we'll proceed with your application.
  • If you've cancelled an application and have either not paid the fees or have had them refunded, you'll need to re-submit an application with a product from our new range.
  • To ensure all post valuation cases are processed as quickly as possible, please do not call us as a member of our underwriting team will be in touch shortly.
  • We ask that if you have any urgent queries, you contact your BDM in the first instance.
  • A member of our underwriting team will be in touch shortly. If you have any urgent queries, please contact your local BDM.
  • If you’ve already submitted an application that is at pre-offer stage and the case satisfies the criteria restrictions that are currently in place, we may be able to switch your case to a new product and continue processing. If, after you’ve discussed suitability with your customer, you consider the product is appropriate, we’ll switch your application to a new product and request any outstanding documentation, which you should provide as soon as possible. If there are no Valuation Fees or Assessment Fees, we’ll refund the fees that have been paid.
  • If you have a pipeline application that is over the maximum LTV acceptable on our new product ranges and your customer would like to reduce their loan amount to enable switching onto a new product, please contact us on 01634 835791 or email us on underwriters@krbs.com and we’ll be happy to help. For further details of the maximum LTV limits, please refer to the relevant product guide.
  • If the case doesn’t meet the criteria restrictions that apply on our new product ranges then it will remain on hold for the time being and we’ll let you know when we can start processing the case. If you wish to cancel the application, please contact us by email at underwriters@krbs.com quoting your application number.
  • Valuation and Assessment Fees will be refunded if the case is cancelled and the valuation hasn’t been completed and should you wish to re-apply in the future a new application will be required.
  • Cases where the valuation has not been carried out, the broker needs to email refunds@krbs.com quoting the account number and asking for the application to be cancelled and the fee refunded.
  • Physical valuations for residential and buy to let properties shall continue, and will be conducted by our valuers Connells via the usual process, in a COVID-safe manner.
  • Please note: Connells have issued clear guidance surrounding property inspections. If this guidance isn’t adhered to, surveyors could choose not to proceed with a valuation, but still charge a fee for a visit.
  • Due to the ongoing, situation we cannot guarantee our usual business turnaround times for physical valuation reports. We ask that you continue to bear with us during this time.
  • Please note that our response times will take longer than normal due to the high volumes of enquiries we're receiving.
  • We'll put the case on hold for the time being and will let you know when we can start processing the case. If you wish to cancel the application, please email us at refunds@krbs.com. Please note that our response times will take longer than normal due to the high volumes of enquiries we are receiving.
  • Yes, we'll complete on cases that are offered within the offer validity period, subject to our normal terms and conditions. However, we require your customer to confirm, either by yourself or their solicitor, that their personal or financial circumstances have not changed since the date of the mortgage application. If they have, the underwriter will re-assess the case and we could exercise our right to withdraw the offer.
  • Offer extensions can be considered for Residential cases where the solicitors confirm contracts have exchanged prior to 25th March and the existing customers circumstances haven't deteriorated.
  • As a regulated firm, we're governed by Anti-Money Laundering legislation and therefore our scope to change is restricted. In order to meet this legislation requirement, either Kent Reliance for Intermediaries or an authorised partner must see the original identification document prior to entering into the relationship.
  • However, in response to the COVID-19 situation, on a temporary basis to assist our intermediary partners and your customers, we'll now accept the following documents uncertified:
  • Passport
    A ‘clear’ photograph of the passport which must also be accompanied with a ‘selfie’ photograph of the holder.
  • Driving Licence
    A ‘clear’ photograph of the licence which must also be accompanied with a ‘selfie’ photograph of the holder. In addition the applicant is required to use https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence & provide a code where the driving licence can be validated.
  • Yes. For situations requiring face-to-face meetings such as independent legal advice for Personal Guarantees or Signing of Occupiers Consents, in certain circumstances, this may be undertaken by use of electronic face-to-face medium. The solicitor acting or your customer should contact our underwriting team for further details.

Product Transfers

  • Yes, we can still process product switches through our choices platform. For further information please email brokers@krbs.co.uk or use our Live Chat service on our website.  Alternatively please contact your BDM.

Impact on rates

  • We constantly review our rates throughout the year as a matter of course.
  • We'll inform of any rate or product changes as per normal.

More information

We’re currently receiving a large number of enquiries from brokers and customers, and we’re endeavouring to respond to emails and calls as soon as practically possible. You may have noticed that our Broker Liaison Team phone lines are no longer active. This is to ensure we can protect the safety of our staff and follow the appropriate government advice. The team are still contactable via our live chat service, or alternatively via email at brokers@krbs.com. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

Bank of England base rate change

The Bank of England have decreased the base rate from 0.25% to 0.10%.

The Bank of England Base rate is the British Government's key interest rate for enacting monetary policy.

If you have a mortgage product that is linked to the Bank of England Base rate, then your monthly payments will change. We will confirm the changes in writing to you shortly.

Your mortgage Terms and Conditions remain the same.

Conveyancing

Limited Company/LLP

For any limited company/LLP application, a member of our limited company solicitor’s panel must be instructed by yourself or the applicant.

You will be provided with their estimated fees (in accordance with our fee scale – either dual representation or sole representation). 

Please note that the earlier this is carried out, the timelier and more efficient your conveyancing process is likely to be. This is because your selected solicitor will be able to commence the initial checks prior to your offer being issued.

View Panel

Shared ownership

For any shared ownership application, a member of our shared ownership solicitors panel must be instructed by yourself or the applicant.

Please note that the earlier this is carried out, the timelier and more efficient your conveyancing process is likely to be. This is because your selected solicitor will be able to commence the initial checks prior to your offer being issued.

View Panel

Products and Cases

Yes, fees can be added to the loan. This will not affect the LTV band of the mortgage product.

There is no upper limit to the number of properties in a portfolio.

This is determined by the individual applicant and the product parameters.

We consider a range of codes but typically 68209 is a common one.

The applicant

Yes, they must have had their contract renewed at least once, with at least 6 months remaining on the current contract.

Equifax is used for credit reference purposes. The search results provide a score as well as credit history and Anti Money Laundering results.

Guarantors are considered subject to status, credit checks and assessed on ability to afford the repayments taking into consideration all existing commitments. The guarantor must have obtained independent legal and financial advice.

Please refer to the product specific pages for guidance on what may be considered.

The broker portal

The updated system is designed to provide a streamlined and simplified process, enabling us to process your cases quicker and more efficiently.

Along with improved AIP decision making, we offer one single journey for submissions and case tracking, making it easier to navigate. Plus, we also send regular case updates out via email and text message.

If you’re already registered with us, the good news is that you don’t need to change anything. The only difference is that you’ll be asked to provide some new security details the next time you log in to the updated portal.

If you're new to doing business with us, you must register online before using the new system. You can do this here.

When you log in from our website, you’ll have a choice of logins, one of which will be for the previous Broker Portal. This is what you’ll have to use to progress an existing application.

Please note that you can upload documents or add notes to existing applications but you cannot start a new application or AIP. All new illustrations, AIPs and full applications will have to be submitted on the new portal.

You’ll be able to access product transfers by logging into the previous Broker Portal via one of the login options on our website.

You’re only able to use the solicitors on our approved panels. If the solicitor your client wishes to use isn’t on our approved panel, the solicitor firm needs to register to be on our panel before you can select that solicitor firm on the application. More information on how solicitors can register on our panel can be found here.

If you’re submitting a limited company or shared ownership application, you’ll only have access to the solicitors that are on our closed panels.

The new portal is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge.

This is so that we can underwrite your applications at the point of submission therefore providing a faster service for you and your clients.

Yes – we’ve increased the maximum size of the document from 5MB to 10MB. Please ensure you upload the document against the correct checklist item.

If you have any questions about the new portal or your current cases, contact our broker liaison team on 01634 835791 and they’ll be happy to help.

The income or deposit

Income for the affordability assessment will be based on the directors salary and dividends from the accounts. Retained profits should be viewed as an indicator of the health of a business rather than a means for a borrower to afford a mortgage and care should be taken to consider whether a business would remain viable if any retained profits were withdrawn for personal usage.

Rather than the earned income, it is the ability of the security property to generate income that is used to assess the affordability of the application. However, establishing employment and earned income provides comfort that the applicant is more likely to be in a position to cover any sporadic void periods. Underwriters may request evidence of personal income status on an individual case basis.

Yes, a gifted family deposit is accepted with no additional deposit required from the borrower, subject to gift coming from an immediate family member, the amount is a non-refundable gift, the donor will have no interest in the property and a deed of gift indemnity policy is in place on completion.

Yes, unless the profit has been steadily increasing where income will be taken from the net profit for the latest year.

Benefit income is not acceptable for lending purposes.

For builder/vendor incentives, the value of the deposit/incentive is deducted from the lower of the purchase price/valuation and the loan is based on the lower amount. The borrower must provide the required level of deposit to meet product parameters (e.g. if max LTV is 85%, the borrower must provide at least 15% from their own resources).

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