We are a building society that specialises in mortgages for buy-to-let projects which meet specific energy ratings - whether you are looking for a self-build property to buy-to-let or improving the energy performance of an existing property to buy-to-let, see our buy-to-let mortgage in the UK.
- We are experts in providing buy-to-let mortgages for properties
- We consider self-build, renovation, conversion projects in addition to properties where you are extensively improving the energy performance of a property
- Our current buy-to-let Variable Rate is 4.90%
- To assess affordability the rental income derived from the property must be at least 35% more than the mortgage repayment due. We also need to evidence you have sufficient personal income to maintain your personal expenditure
- Energy efficient homes are rewarded with discounts, which are called C-Change sustainable homes, C-Change retrofit and C-Change energy improvements, off our Variable Rate – see how C-Change discounts work, below
- You can borrow up to 80% of the property’s value or purchase price (whichever is the lower) on a repayment or interest only basis
- An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years
- A non-refundable mortgage application fee of £350 is payable in addition to a mortgage valuation fee
- A maximum mortgage term of 25 years is available, subject to eligibility
- Mortgages are available on a repayment or interest-only basis
- Applicants can only have three buy-to-let mortgages, this includes the buy-to-let mortgage they are applying for with Ecology
- Buy-to-lets which need a renovation mortgage need to improve the Energy Performance Certificate by at least two ratings
- Our mortgages for buy-to-let are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Our approach to lending for buy-to-let mortgages
- We’ll lend up to 80% of the value or purchase price (whichever is the lower) of your property on a repayment or interest-only mortgage
- We release stage payments during the project as and when the value of your property increases during the works
- Our buy-to-let Variable Rate applies until the date we receive evidence that both the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
Our standard of service
Where a mortgage is not regulated by the FCA (as shown on the 'Key features' tab), you will be provided with full information about the mortgage products available from the Society so that you can make an informed decision as to which is suitable for your requirements.
What we lend on
We don't have a 'tick box' approach to assessing projects –in many instances, we'll welcome projects that standard lenders may not accept. We will consider:
- Energy efficient self-build projects
- Renovations to existing residential properties that improve the energy efficiency
- Barn conversion projects
Our mortgages are available in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
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Ecology Building Society was rated as an ethical Best Buy for our mortgages and savings accounts by Ethical Consumer magazine in its product guide rankings (July/August 2016 issue).
As a building society with a unique mission to build a greener society, we only lend on projects and properties that support our aims through their reduced impact on our environment. Making your home energy efficient is a major way you can support tackling climate change – while saving on your energy bills. We reward borrowers whose properties are energy efficient, and therefore have lower C02 emissions, and help them save money on their mortgages with our C-Change discounts. We call our discounts ‘C-Change discounts’ simply because we’re aiming to make a ‘sea-change’ of difference to our climate with each property or project we fund.
The level of our C-Change sustainable homes, C-Change retrofit or C-Change energy improvements discount that applies is based on the Energy Standard rating achieved on the self-build, renovation, conversion or energy improvements when the work is completed. The discount is applied from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the required Energy Standard rating has been achieved.
For us to apply the C-Change sustainable homes, C-Change retrofit or C-Change energy improvement discount, once your work is complete you need to provide an Energy Standard certificate and, if applicable an Architect or Building Control certificate.
The discount is only applied to our Variable Rate from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
How we work out your buy-to-let Variable Mortgage Rate:
Buy-to-let Variable Rate (VR) minus C-Change discount = Variable Mortgage Rate
|For new builds: C-Change sustainable homes discount |
|Ratings||Buy-to-let Variable Rate||Discount %||Variable Mortgage Rate|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)||A or above||4.90%||0.75%||4.15%|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)||B (SAP rating 85+)||4.90%||0.50%||4.40%|
|Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)||Code Level 4||4.90%||0.75%||4.15%|
|Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)||Code Level 5||4.90%||1.00%||3.90%|
|Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH)||Code Level 6||4.90%||1.25%||3.65%|
|Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB)||Silver||4.90%||0.75%||4.15%|
|Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB)||Gold||4.90%||1.25%||3.65%|
|For whole house renovations: C-Change retrofit||Ratings||Buy-to-let Variable Rate||Discount||Variable Mortgage Rate|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for retrofit projects||EPC rating improvement||4.90%||0.25% per grading improvement†||4.65% - 3.40%|
|C-Change energy improvement discount||Ratings||Buy-to-let Variable Rate||Discount||Variable Mortgage Rate|
|For specific energy improvements works||Evidenced via invoices and our C-Change energy improvement checklist***||4.90%||A 1.00% discount is applied on funds borrowed specifically for qualifying energy improvement works (see C-Change energy improvement checklist***)||3.90% *
* on funds borrowed specifically for qualifying energy improvement works
** for funds borrowed that are not related to qualifying energy improvement works to the property
*** C-Change energy improvement checklist
† For a buy-to-let renovation mortgage you must improve by at least 2 EPC ratings
Residential mortgage valuation fees
|Value of property not exceeding||Fee|
|Up to each £50,000 thereafter add||£30|
Please note these fees apply to residential and buy-to-let applications.
In all other instances, the fee required will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
A more detailed inspection, such as a Homebuyers Report can often be provided by the same valuer at a fee to be negotiated. Please advise on this point when submitting your application. Depending on the nature of the property, the fee required may on occasion differ from this scale. Valuation fees include VAT.
A non-refundable mortgage application fee of £350 is payable in addition to a mortgage valuation fee.
Early repayment charge
An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years.
Our service, fees, tariffs and charges
The Society reserves the right to amend existing services and charges, or to introduce new ones.
Any change to charges will only reflect the increased operational costs of providing the service. You will always be notified before any changes are implemented.
For further details and tariff information please see Our rates and charges leaflet.
Do you lend on holiday let accommodation?
We do not provide buy-to-let mortgages for holiday let or second homes, any letting must be conducted on a 6 or 12 month shorthold assured tenancy agreement.
Is there a maximum number of buy-to-let properties I can own?
We will not lend to an individual who has a portfolio of more than 3 buy-to-let properties, including the one being applied for with Ecology.
Is there a limit on the number of units I can have in a single property?
The property must not have more than 3 self-contained units.
Can the property be let to a family member?
The property cannot be let to a family member.
If you're interested in joining Ecology as a borrower, we'd love to hear from you.
Because we take an individual approach to every mortgage, we like to discuss your application with you over the phone to make sure it fits our criteria and to answer any questions you have.
You can contact us on 01535 650 770, or you can email us via our enquiry form. If your enquiry is urgent, please contact us by phone.
When you get in touch with us, it's helpful if you can provide us with some basic information about your project:
- what you want to do (especially the environmental aspects of your project)
- how much you'll need to borrow
- how you intend to finance it.
For residential mortgage enquiries, please contact one of our mortgage advisors to discuss your project and your mortgage requirements. You can find out more about the process by downloading The application process: a step-by-step guide