Bank asking for proof we can work from home 2 days a week indefinitely

As part of the mortgage application...


They want a letter confirming this from our firms. I told the broker to push back hard and explain this is not a valid request for me to ask my boss, and really not relevant to whether or not we can pay for the mortgage anyway.

I'm sure I'll have a new job before the house is paid off regardless, and it's not up to the bank to tell me how long my commute should be. Also does no one read the news? Office workers are not coming back 5 days a week. The revolution has started.

ASLO Don't people have longer commutes than Brighton to London Bridge? It's a 55 minute train journey and I work/will live very close to the stations at either end.

Am I crazy or is this really weird? Covid has made everyone nuts.


the only rationale I can think of is that you have said £X commuting costs and they are saying AHHHHH are you sure it's not £X+£Z?


oh is it far from your office?

still weird since people have been doing two hour commutes for years


my old boss used to commute every day from southend to SW1 

when I used to fly down from Edinburgh and say "phew I'm exhausted after the 4am start" he used to just give me the old irl :|

They flagged that it was a very different commute (we live in the City so walk to work in 15 minutes now vs 1.5 hour commute door-to-door) - and we replied that we will only be in the office 1-3 days a week going forward.

I think I could probably get the letter but it seems very odd to ask and I'm fed up today.

Our mortgage will be less than our rent payment and under 20% of our take home pay; commuting costs won't break us but yes I could see that being a factor?

My commute from the burbs to Toronto was the same train distance (under an hour) - people just work/read/nap on the train and get on with it. I don't get it.

I don't know anything about the mortgage application process in the UK, but sounds intrusive. Are they perhaps wondering if a daily long commute would compromise your job performance and you'll be at a higher risk of losing your job?

In the circs it’s not unreasonable. You’re taking on a property that’s affordable based on current incomes. If you decide you can’t hack the commute then either you move down there and can no longer afford it on regional income or you want to try sell the house in a negative equity quick turn around type situation. (Perhaps - obv I don’t know what you’re borrowing there)

I get that if no one commuted from Brighton to London and it was some impossible distance to travel to work, but people do that all the time. There's trains designed for it, and people commute much further than what ours would be too every day.

Also, we could afford this mortgage on half our income (I hate debt). 20% down. If we couldn't hack the commute that we don't have to take, I'm sure we can find work in SE England and really even then we could sell the house.

Honestly I'm so annoyed. 



It isn't usual, but banks are VERY wary at the moment about lending

Ugh. I've only spent 500 quid in search fees.

If the banks are THIS worried the housing market will shit the bed we'll just keep renting and buy in the crash.

It’s infuriating. But if you are in any way out of the “normal” lending criteria then you’re a little at their mercy. 
Banks have also been taking a hard kicking over lockdown and the general economic outlook as the carnage on the stock market last 2 days illustrates. 

Mass unemployment shortly 

Massive money contraction

Position accordingly 

Fffs, what are they, your mum??

Do find out why they want this, would love to know! Cant believe its penny pinching over train fares or speculation about whether you’ll hack it...ridiculous.

That’s mad. I’d understand if you were moving to Cornwall or something but half the population of Brighton commutes to London 

what are the upsides of living in brighton?  i suppose it's easy access to the beauty of the south downs, and being on the coast. anything else?

I thought I was buying a place with ocean views (on a cliff) that I could get into London on a 1hour-ish train when I had to come into the office.

Also Hove has come in high on some "happiest" cities in the UK index/best places to live etc. I dunno I quite like it down there. Decent schools too (Roedean is like Hogwarts by the sea) for our eventual kids to go to one day.



Presumably the bank is thinking if it's a 20% deposit, 80% LTV today, next year 105%

post the link Canadian.  I may gazump u for shitz n' giggz.

No one in the lender is dreaming up questions specific to you. It's an algorithm. They're flailing around, not knowing how to evaluate the borrower but also not knowing how to value the asset. 

Macawbre - that's gorgeous!! But no, I went for sub 1million cause I'm poor. It does have 4 bathrooms for 2 of us, because my poverty is more people than toilets.

It is a weird time to be a mortgage underwriter I suppose. My fiance's firm won't sign a letter saying indefinitely so we're at an impasse I guess.


As I said on your thread tothwr week lenders are getting well lairy.  If you want me to put u in touch with my gidge ledge drop me a male

If lenders are being shits, this is precisely the time to hit up the gidge consultZ. 

Just tell the lenders that firms unwilling to commit to anything in writing so no can do. Put ball back in their court and see what happens. Other lenders are available. 

It will be related to the affordability criteria and the fact you haven’t included £9k a year for a season ticket.  My bank picked up that my property is in Sussex but I only put down £30 a week commuting costs to get to London and I had to explain I stay in London Monday to Friday and drive at the weekends hence no season ticket cost.

Good to see mortgage providers interrogating the facts.

long gone are the days of self certification 

listen to uncle wellers now chaps

he bought hisself a ten-year fix at 2.2% a few years ago, so he know wot he do

They never asked me for commuting costs, but I'd glad put in whatever it costs to buy an annual season ticket for 2 even if we only go in once or twice a week.

Affordability is not a concern, we've bought way less house than we can afford.

I had a very sobering (and very long) con call with a mortgage person today.   It was again affirmation that the more you have the more they give you. Obviously that must be right in terms of risk but I am moving on to a 5 year fix at an effective rate of 1.1.%.   I might even get a better return on the money elsewhere these day.

Might it be worth adding a few bps to that to help younger people at possibly a bit more risk?   I've  been and done the late 80s/early 90s roller-coaster but surely a little leeway for people aiming high might be a good thing?


I jumped through lots of hoops with lots of agents and banks. Then applied for one via money supermarket and it took 20 mins, then someone called me for a 10 min chat and that was it. Just try another tack. 

Getting my mortgage was incredibly difficult, we even have conversations about how difficult it would be for me to get another job if i got made redundant (this was pre covid) AND they wouldn't count gifts from sugar daddies as guaranteed income

In the end I had to take out a 35 year mortgage, but I am on track to pay it off in four years (seven in total)

"Climate change is the simple consequence of forgetting the holiness of this mysterium in which we’re bodily immersed"

Ok, I stopped at this bit

And I thought the house was cheap because it will be under water in 4 years. 

Thanks for the help and advice all. I think we're going to tell them we aren't providing the letters and if they refuse we'll decide if we want to go ahead with another lender or just drop out and wait until January.

"In the circs it’s not unreasonable. You’re taking on a property that’s affordable based on current incomes. If you decide you can’t hack the commute then either you move down there and can no longer afford it on regional income or you want to try sell the house in a negative equity quick turn around type situation. "

In other words, the applicant's view of the kind of life he wants to lead might change, which might result in him deciding to sell the mortgaged property? Which is different from any other mortgage loan how?

Tell them to fuck off, and if they won't, find another lender even if it means paying a higher rate.

All I got from this was “they wouldn't count gifts from sugar daddies as guaranteed income”.... just, heh. You surprise me....

Impressive Phoebe- how have you been able to pay so much off so quickly? Do your sugar daddies actually gift you dough? Or just been very good with budgets/ earning Laz type money?

What Clive said. Tell us more about these gifts. Do

you have an #onlyfans channel?

Clive, my monthly mortgage cost was about a third of what I was paying in rent. So I just overpaid each month to the same level.

Live on a strict budget to ensure I overpay by 10% each year

I don’t have a balla level of mortgage as I was earning £38k when I took it out

Yes Laz, everyone might change. But when you’re going to someone and asking to borrow hundreds of thousands of their money it’s not uncommon you assess risk on a few factors and if you knew anything about how lenders and credit scoring work you’d know that change is usually something that causes negative reaction 

Ah ha, I knew it would have something to do with is all just not knowing as much about the way the world works as the great Gannicus!

ps I’d pay Phoebe’s mortgage, fo sho

Overpayments make a huge difference. One thing that’s still coming down the line is a wave of interest only mortgage holders claiming they didn’t know it wasn’t paying off the capital as well

It’s already in play. There’s no line of fiscal irresponsibility that the claims handlers won’t chase in the hope of obtaining Great British ComPENsayshun (and fuckloads of lovely fees)


they will probably be successful in many cases

why? because mortgage companies do mug the stupid, that’s why

blaming the punters is mental

This is fucking nuts. Even if you lived in London your commute could be easily an hour. Min is about 50 minutes door to door and I live in zone 2 and work in zone 1.

I didn't realise you could still get IO mortgages tbh.

In the very old days  (1970s and earlier) your building society manager would know you and you had to save with them for years before to show commitment and then if you were male at least you might get 3x salary loan. It keeps changing over the years. Currently I suspect there is far too much box ticking and not enough common sense. It must be particularly annoying that people who can afford X rent are not allowed to get a mortgage which will be cheaper than the rent they have clearly been coping with until now.

Difficult to get now. These are the ones that were sold 20 years ago. Everyone used to have endowment mortgages for the capital... but then uh endowments.... (and also the removal of any requirement to have a life policy if no endowment)

Barclays offers IO mortgages, though limited to 50% LTV if sale of home is repayment strategy.

We had this issue, though it was a regular commute of 90 miles with a 1hr 50 train ride. I told the broker to take the example of someone living in the arse end of Sussex or Surrey working at Canary Wharf i.e. 15-20 minute drive to station plus 5 minutes to spare/parking dicking around. 45 minutes on the train min into e.g. Victoria or Waterloo. 10 minutes dicking around in the station waiting for Tube etc. plus 20 minutes on the Tube. Barely any difference in time, plus I got a seat at a table and could work for 3 hours each way. 

The obvious solution here is to buy a studio flat somewhere in Zone 2 and AirBnB it when not using it. 

The line from Brighton is mega shit, so hope you've done some DD on that for starters. If the old "must have train guards" issue crops up again, esp now all train operators will have to be taken over by the govt, you'll be looking at never getting into work anyway. 

Well now Laz. I did a case recently where a bank had lent to a punter who had built a little portfolio of 20 BTLs.  IO basis. 
Punter was happy to take 20 sets of rent a month for years. Didn’t bother putting anything towards paying off capital when the time came. 
When market conditions meant that there suddenly wasn’t 20 sets of profitable capital gains to be realised punter started claiming irresponsible lending. 

It’s not all subprime unaffordable shiz to yokels in string vests in Alabama y’know. 

The lender may be concerned that prolonged WFH will invite a reclassification of the property’s Use Class leading to a probable increase in rates and a degree of whataboutary concerning security of tenure under the 54 Act. Clearly it’s gobbledybollocks, but the lender’s risk team members aren’t paid to “take a view”, they’re paid to imagine the unthinkable.

Local Authorities will pursue income streams wherever they might exist. With commercial property tanking. LA’s aren’t above trying to screw anyone who can contribute.

I’m pretty cynical in case you were wondering.


We have 66% IO on our main residence 

I’ve noticed that house prices round our way have absolutely fucking sky rocketed since the beginning of lockdown it’s mental. Literally what was 1.3 is now 1.6, 1.4 is 1.8... and stuff is going on and under offer in less than a week.

had a chat with our friendly agent and he said it’s absolutely booming and they can’t quite believe it themselves.

Pretty much all the Estate Agents I speak to round my way are reporting a surge in enquiries. It’s probably worth qualifying that by saying a lot of people are doing it as they bored and have been thinking of buying or selling, the lockdown held them back. Also, Estate Agents could have a surge in enquires with properties going under offer, it means nothing unless it exchanges and completes. Lenders are treading very carefully these days which can throw a spanner in the works 

Indeed, I can't see lenders agreeing that 1.8 is the new 1.4 etc.

Update to anyone who was following along, the mortgage was approved today subject to valuations/surveyor results.

So I guess they didn't have an issue with us commuting or not being able to prove how often we can work from home each week in the post corona future...

bank is probably thinking that anyone who can't WFH going forward is too much of a risk to lend to as we keep going in and out of lockdowns. 

Ever since 1994 when I began working from home I have had a slight concern over business rates etc. However I do not see clients here so I am a bit like a writer writing a novel from home and they have never been assessed for business rates; whereas Mr XL seeing piano pupils here on Saturdays felt more like a planning issue in a  sense although even then we had far fewer cars pulling up than most neighbours who did no home working.


I think the state should issue a new law making it clear if no more than 10 people come a year to your house for work purposes or some other de minimis level  and you don't have 10 old cars outside you are repairing kind of thing they no business rates. However knowing my luck it will go the other way and to "save the high street" (and increase taxes) the state might well say all home workers now pay massive new business rates on their houses.

Lydia the Valuation Office and local authority planning departments simply don't have the manpower to determine and assess how owners and occupiers use their homes. That's not to say they won't use data from personal and corporate tax returns and other disclosures to revise their assessment of ratable activities within the home in future...council CEOs and FDs are going to become desperate for revenue very shortly. 

Oi! Wang!

Could you send me details of your mortgage cheap, when you get a mo, ta ever so!