Coronavirus Update – Physical Valuations Last updated – Wednesday 13 May

In light of the recent government announcement, we are expecting physical valuations in England will be able to resume shortly. We are working closely with our surveying firm, Connells to ensure that all physical valuations which have been on hold during lockdown, are booked in and completed at the earliest opportunity while ensuring social distancing takes place as much as possible during the valuation, for the safety of both vendors, owner-occupiers and surveyors. Please bear with us during this time while we work through the detail of this. There will be further updates provided to our coronavirus FAQs section in the coming days.

First and foremost, we’re here to support you and your clients, but please remember our people are also affected by the current situation, so we thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

Mortgage payment holidays

What is the process for payment holidays?

We will accept payment holiday requests for both Residential and Buy to Let (BTL) customers affected by COVID-19. We’ve set up a dedicated email PaymentHolidayRequests@skipton.co.uk for customers to contact us to request a mortgage payment holiday of up to 3 months. Within the email please ensure your client provides their mortgage account number, how long they wish the mortgage payment holiday to be for – 1, 2 or 3 months - and the best number for us to contact them on, if we need to. This means they won’t have to wait in a queue. Once we’ve received their email we’ll be in touch to either confirm we've received their request or to discuss their individual circumstances further.

You can find out more on by reading our article on payment holidays.

Can my client request a payment holiday immediately after completion?

We are unable to put this in place until your client has completed their mortgage. So, the customers will need to follow the process detailed in the answer above following completion.

What will happen during and after the 3 month payment holiday?

Once your clients request for a mortgage payment holiday has been confirmed, no payments will need to be made for up to 3 months. During this time, the mortgage balance will increase each month and additional interest charges will be incurred on a daily basis at your client's mortgage interest rate. If your client is currently paying by Direct Debit, they must not cancel this.

When the payment holiday is ending, we'll recalculate the monthly payments for your client and let them know the new amount before the next payment is due. It's likely to be higher than what they are currently paying, as their mortgage balance will have increased, but the term will have continued to decrease.

Will a payment holiday affect my client's credit file?

No, your client's credit file will not be affected by taking a payment holiday with Skipton Building Society.

What is the turnaround time when requesting a payment holiday?

Currently a member of our team will be in touch with your client within the next 14 days to discuss their request. If their mortgage payment is due within the next 10 working days, their payment holiday may not start until the following month but this will be confirmed in our email response.

Please note, we're experiencing a high volume of customer contact so please bear with us at this difficult time. This might mean we don't get your client's request before their next Direct Debit is due. In this instance they might need to cancel their Direct Debit if there are insufficient funds to complete the payment.

Can my client do a Product Transfer after taking out a payment holiday within the 3 month period?

Yes, this can be done within eMortgages. However, please note at the time the Mortgage Illustration (MIL) is produced it will be based upon the current balance and remaining term and is not reflective of up to 3 months of no payments. We'll write to all customers with their new monthly payment amount at the end of the 3 months but please bear this in mind when the MIL is produced.

Can my client apply for a mortgage payment holiday if they have Help to Buy equity loan?

Yes, Homes England are authorising payment holidays for those customers who need it.

Lending policy

What is your approach to someone who has been furloughed?

Is it important that you inform us of any changes to your client's income at any point prior to completion. This includes applicants who have been furloughed.

For new cases, we will accept cases from applicants who have been furloughed. Affordability will be based on the furloughed income including any employer top ups. The maximum LTV for all cases where applicant(s) are relying on furloughed income is 60%. If the application meets affordability requirements without the use of furloughed income, then the LTV restrictions no longer apply.

This policy applies to all new lending including additional borrowing and remortgages with any element of capital raising. Product transfers are excluded from these restrictions, unless the borrower is also seeking additional borrowing.

For Buy to Let applications, providing the furloughed income still meets our minimum requirement, the LTV will not be restricted and available up to product maximum.

What income can I use for my self-employed client?

If your client has a suitably qualified accountant, then we will require a fully completed accountant certificate and the accountant to confirm the coronavirus impact on the business and your clients income. We will calculate their income as per our Lending Criteria providing the accountant confirms this is their current income considering the impact of coronavirus.

If your client doesn't have an accountant, then we will require the customers latest personal/business bank statement evidencing their current income in conjunction with evidence of the last 2 years income and either use an average or latest, whichever is lower.

What if my client is on a zero hours/income contract?

We will require a copy of the latest contract dated post 31 March and use the lowest or average versus minimum of the last 2 years income compared to the latest months.

What if my client is an independent contractor?

We have changed our policy and require a minimum of 3 months left on the current contract or evidence that the contract has been renewed.

Has lending into retirement been affected by coronavirus impacts?

The only change made is that we will require the clients up to date pension projections dated post 31 March 2020.

Current service

How to get in touch?

There are several ways you can get in touch with our Broker Support team which are detailed at the bottom of this page or email the team at bdmsupport@skipton.co.uk.

Our BDMs and TBDMs are also still available via phone or email for standard queries.

Please note due to the unprecedented demand on our call centre, Web Chat remains our most efficient contact method. A link to chat with our team is at the bottom of this page.

What happens if I need an offer extension?

We currently offer extensions for all offers (6+6 for purchases and remortgages and 9+3 for new build cases), subject to a new credit search and up to date income documentation and we will continue to offer this. For those that have already had an extension, we may also require an up to date valuation. We’ll now also consider another three-month extension to those stated above, subject to a reassessment of the case.

Can my client port an existing Skipton mortgage product?

For customers wishing to switch their existing Skipton mortgage product, we currently allow a 6 month gap between selling their current property and buying their new one. To offer some extra flexibility to your clients we've extended this to 9 months. Any further extensions will be considered on a case by case basis.

What is your approach to someone who has been furloughed?

Is it important that you inform us of any changes to your client's income at any point prior to completion. This includes applicants who have been furloughed.

For new cases, we will accept cases from applicants who have been furloughed. Affordability will be based on the furloughed income including any employer top ups. The maximum LTV for all cases where applicant(s) are relying on furloughed income is 60%. If the application meets affordability requirements without the use of furloughed income, then the LTV restrictions no longer apply.

This policy applies to all new lending including additional borrowing and remortgages with any element of capital raising. Product transfers are excluded from these restrictions, unless the borrower is also seeking additional borrowing.

For Buy to Let applications, providing the furloughed income still meets our minimum requirement, the LTV will not be restricted and available up to product maximum.

New business/valuations

Are Skipton accepting new business?

Yes, our underwriters are working from home and we are very much open for business.

What type of cases are Skipton accepting?

We can confirm that we will have reinstated new purchase Residential and Buy to Let lending up to 75% LTV for England and Wales.

Key information:

  • this will include both remortgage and purchases products
  • apartments and flats are acceptable up to 75% LTV
  • for existing Skipton customers wishing to do a product transfer, a full range of products up to 90% LTV will remain available
  • where possible, valuations will be conducted remotely using a combination of Automated Valuation Models (AVM) and desktop valuations. Exclusions include:
    • New Build
    • Shared Ownership
    • properties over £1million in value (£1.5m for properties within the M25)
    • flats with cladding concerns

For Scotland we're lending up to 95% (purchase only), providing the home report is dated within the last 90 days.

Please keep checking our Product Range page for updated product guides

Are there any property types that Skipton won't lend on whilst the physical valuations are on hold?

The maximum property values are £1million outside of the M25 and £1.5million inside the M25 and the following desktop exclusions apply. Any cases with the following will have to wait for a standard valuation to be carried out and they will be issued with a letter of intent, subject to a full underwrite.

Desktop exclusions include:

  • more than 6 bedrooms
  • studio flats
  • flats with more than 6 floors
  • flats with cladding concerns
  • New Build (including properties unoccupied within 2 years, subject to availability)
  • short leases (less than 85 years)
  • Shared Ownership
  • >4 bedrooms (BTL only, subject to availability)
  • flats above commercial

If the valuer suspects that the property is subject to any of the above and a full internal inspection is considered necessary, the instruction will be referred back to Skipton for an upgrade to a Mortgage Valuation instruction. A Desktop Valuation report may not always be possible.

Please note, while the government announced on 13 May that valuers are now allowed to do physical valuations again, this will take time. We are working closely with our surveying firm, Connells to ensure that all physical valuations which have been on hold during lockdown, are booked in and completed at the earliest opportunity. Understandable there is a backlog and a need to ensure social distancing takes place as much as possible during the valuation, for the safety of both vendors, owner-occupiers and surveyors. Please bear with us during this time.

What would happen with an application which has a property type that can't currently be valued?

The case will be underwritten and the valuation will be put on hold. Your client will be issued with a letter of intent to lend, subject to valuation and/or material changes in the interim.

What happens if an AVM or desktop valuation fails your criteria and a physical valuation is required?
Now that physical valuations are able to go ahead, these will now be instructed for all cases. /p>
Now that the government has announced physical valuations can resume, when will this start for Skipton cases?

In light of the recent government announcement on 13 May, we are expecting physical valuations in England will be able to resume shortly. We are working closely with our surveying firm, Connells to ensure that all physical valuations which have been on hold during lockdown, are booked in and completed at the earliest opportunity. Understandably there is a backlog and a need to ensure social distancing takes place as much as possible during the valuation, for the safety of both vendors, owner-occupoers and surveyors. It might take a bit of time so please bear with us while we work through the backlog.

Once your client's valuation has been booked, we'll be in touch by un-secure email and your client will receive a text message. You can also check the progress of the application on eMortgages.

This is currently only available for applications on properties in England.

Are Skipton accepting Scottish Home Reports for new lending?

Yes, subject to the transcript being acceptable to our valuers and no more than 3 months having passed since the Home Report took place.

What is your stance on using additional income?

We will consider using 50% of additional earned income (even if guaranteed) when assessing a client for affordability purposes. This includes overtime, bonus and commission. Please note that we’ll need to see evidence going back two years, which should include the client’s latest payslip.

Documentation

What is the process for verifying customer ID?

For cases where ID cannot be provided, we will carry out an electronic check to verify their identity. Customers who fail the verification will be required to supply ID documentation by sending documents either in post to us or to their broker for certification. If your client is unable to do this, and you have used your own e-ID solution, we will require the e-ID reference and we will need to refer this to request authorisation to accept this.

If the above solutions are not satisfied, the case can stay on hold until your client can satisfy the requirements.

Will photographs or scanned copies of documents be accepted?

We can accept documents that are scanned, photographs that are taken via cam scanner (an app that can be downloaded) and pdf documents of the original documentation from the Broker. We cannot currently accept a normal photo of a document (unless this is taken via cam scanner).

What happens if my client is struggling to supply a payslip and/or bank statement?

We have the option to carry out an auto income verification check where documentation cannot be supplied due to isolation of the client. Please submit a photo of the wage slip as per the above process - this may be sufficient to pass income verification checks. If not, we can offer open banking as a solution, we can send your client the link to this. Please speak to the underwriter.

If the above solutions are not satisfied, the case can be put on hold until the customer can satisfy the requirements.

What is Skipton's stance on documentation which requires a signature via the conveyancer?

It is the conveyancer's requirement to obtain fully completed documents. If they're not available immediately, on a case by case basis we may accept this providing these are obtained by the solicitor at a later date.

Signed mortgage deeds remain a requirement for HMLR currently and cases cannot be completed without these.

Speak to your BDM

BDM Finder