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Our lawyer Fiona McNulty looks at the issue of obtaining a mortgage when buying property above commercial premises
Buying property above commercial premises cartoon
© Malcolm Willett (www.willett-ink.co.uk)
Question: My offer has been accepted on a lovely apartment in Marylebone, above a patisserie. I have a good credit history but I am having huge problems getting a mortgage. I can pay a deposit of just over 15 per cent. Why am I having such difficulty, as the flat is in near perfect condition?

Answer: You really need to talk to a reputable independent financial adviser (IFA) about this but I suspect that your problem has arisen from the location of the apartment. Not Marylebone itself but the fact that the flat is above a commercial property.

Generally, lenders are not keen to lend on residential properties above commercial premises, especially food stores or outlets. This is because lenders always have to consider how easy it would be to sell on a property if you were to default on your mortgage.

At the moment, lenders seem to be more cautious than usual but you do have a decent deposit available and so I suggest that you find a reputable IFA, who should be able to direct you towards a lender who is prepared to lend on properties in such locations.

Do remember that the lender’s valuer will take into account not only the condition of the apartment but the area where it is as well as the patisserie below.

What's your problem?

If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors www.ttuk.com.

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