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Leeds Building Society to change criteria to permit s106 lending

Leeds Building Society is changing its lending criteria to benefit borrowers whose properties are subject to Section 106 Agreements.

Section 106 is a type of restrictive covenant, typically used to provide a sustainable solution to local housing requirements, such as provision of affordable housing in London where ownership may be restricted to people living within a specific distance of the development or subject to a maximum salary criteria specified by the local planning authority.

At present, very few mortgage providers will lend on properties affected by a s106 Agreement, which limits choice for home buyers, and for homeowners affected by the obligation who want to remortgage.

From 1st December, Leeds Building Society will change its criteria to permit lending on properties subject to a s106 Agreement.

This will apply across its whole range of competitive mortgages, including shared ownership.

"A s106 Agreement is increasingly becoming a common feature on new-build properties, which is one reason we decided to make changes to our criteria to support more borrowers," said Martin Richardson, Leeds Building Society's General Manager – Business Development.

"We are always seeking to innovate and find new ways to respond to demand, particularly in under-served markets such as this, where the number of borrowers likely to be affected is sure to grow.

"In addition to applying to brand new properties, Section 106 can affect an existing property - at present, prospective home buyers or affected homeowners looking to remortgage to a better deal have very limited choice."

Commenting on the Society's criteria changes, Adrian MacDiarmid, Head of Mortgage Lender Relations at Barratt Development plc, said: "Leeds Building Society has made an enormous contribution to the New Build mortgage market this year and this is another valuable step which broadens the appeal of their proposition into an area that is not otherwise well served.

"We look forward to further developing our relationship with them for the benefit of our mutual customers."

Kevin Belsham, UK Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey, commented: "At present there is a significant lack of banks and building societies prepared to lend to customers wanting to buy affordable properties.

"Today's announcement from Leeds Building Society is a step change in the right direction, highlighting its proactive approach to engaging with housebuilders and mortgage brokers to offer mortgages that meet our customers' needs."

Ends

Notes to Editors

Section 106 Agreements can be added as a condition to consent by a planning authority to exert control over how the land is used. This can affect eligibility to buy a property, by requiring purchasers to reside or work in a specified geographical area. They also are used to ensure the provision of a specific proportion of affordable housing in a new development.

If the s106 Agreement is breached, the local authority can take legal action against whoever agreed to the planning obligation (eg the new-build developer), or the subsequent property owner.

Leeds Building Society has won four awards for innovation this year, including being named 'Innovator of the Year' at the Moneywise Magazine Mortgage Awards 2014 for its Welcome Mortgage. This allows borrowers to pay 0% interest for the first few months of their term so they can free up cash to help them settle into their new home.

The Society scooped the 'Mortgage Innovation Award' and was named 'Most Innovative Personal Finance Provider' at the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards 2014, and also received the 'Innovation Award (Lenders)' at the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards 2015, in addition to being named 'Best Intermediary Lender' for the second consecutive year and receiving the award for 'Best Use of Technology (Lenders)'.

Leeds Building Society has 67 branches throughout the UK, Gibraltar and Ireland and assets of £12.1bn (as at 30 June 2014). The Society has operated from the centre of Leeds since 1886.