A buy-to-let property is one that is not occupied by the owner and is let-out under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST).
Whether you have a single buy-to-let property or you have an established property portfolio, you may be able to use equity release as a way to raise funds. As part of the application process, you will be asked to produce your AST agreement and your details of your property portfolio.
As a landlord, you may have considered selling your buy-to-let property to raise funds that you may need for retirement. However, this potentially incurs capital gains tax (see www.gov.uk/tax-sell-property). Instead, you can look at obtaining the money via equity release instead.
Taking a tax-free lump sum from your buy-to-let property means that your rental income will be unaffected. The cash that you release may be used to invest in further properties, or for general lifestyle needs as required. Along with that, there is the option to release funds from several buy-to-let properties if you have them.
The percentage that you may release (loan to value amount) for buy-to-let properties will differ slightly to those for equity release from your main home. For buy-to-let properties, the maximum amount you may borrow starts at 19% at age 55 and increases to a maximum of 44% from age 80.
The basic process for taking equity release on a buy-to-let is the same as your residential property. Any mortgage on the property or properties must be paid off as part of the process, and then the additional funds will be paid into your account.