HSBC caused stamp duty rise

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I have a small port­fo­lio of buy-to-let prop­er­ties, which I have held and man­aged for 15 years. We have moved re­cently and I have been sell­ing prop­er­ties at the previous lo­ca­tion and buy­ing oth­ers that are nearer. I saw an ideal one, which re­quired an £84,000 mort­gage.

I ap­proached HSBC, which I have been with for 65 years. On our first meet­ing I raised the point that the fact that I am 83 might be a prob­lem.

The HSBC mort­gage man­ager as­sured me that the bank did not have any bar­ri­ers be­cause of age and pro­ceeded to in­ter­view me re­gard­ing my fi­nan­cial po­si­tion. DAVID EDG­ING­TON, DORSET

At three meet­ings you were as­sured that af­ford­abil­ity was cal­cu­lated on the in­come the prop­erty would gen­er­ate. So you in­structed your so­lic­i­tor about the sale and re­as­sured the es­tate agent. How­ever, the mort­gage was then turned down on the grounds that you would not be able to main­tain the prop­erty.

HSBC then said that the process had not been made clear to you and a cou­ple of bot­tles of wine were sent to apol­o­gise. Clearly this was in­ad­e­quate.

You found a mort­gage else­where but the de­lay meant you missed the dead­line to avoid a hefty rise in stamp duty on buyto-let prop­er­ties. This cost you £4,270.

My in­volve­ment led to HSBC pay­ing you the £4,270 stamp duty and adding £500 for the in­con­ve­nience.

The bank now says the ap­pli­ca­tion was in­cor­rectly de­clined. It says age is not a con­sid­er­a­tion when ap­ply­ing for a buy-to-let mort­gage as af­ford­abil­ity is based on the in­come gen­er­ated from the rental of the prop­erty.

How­ever, all res­i­den­tial mort­gage ap­pli­ca­tions that take a cus­tomer be­yond the age of 75 are re­ferred to its un­der­writer and re­viewed on a case-by-case ba­sis.

You would like to stress that you are im­pressed that HSBC has recog­nised its mis­takes, been prompt in deal­ing with your com­plaint, once I be­came in­volved, and gen­er­ous in the set­tle­ment. read­ings and re­turned his di­rect debit to £86 amonth.”

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