Lending for Flats

Blocks of flats up to five storeys high

All flats in blocks and Scottish tenements not exceeding five storeys* in height, will be acceptable at the discretion of the valuer, subject to the guidelines and restrictions on non-traditional construction that they have been given.

The valuer will be instructed in the usual way and will report on whether the flat satisfies our requirements in terms of construction, marketability and any other associated matters.

Flats in blocks over 4 storeys high should have a lift, this also applies when the subject flat is located on the lower floors.

*Five storeys means a ground floor with four floors above, ignoring any basement.

Flats over Five Storeys

Except for Greater London we won’t accept former local authority flats in blocks of more than five storeys. This also applies to maisonettes and Scottish tenements in blocks of more than five storeys that were, or still are, in local authority ownership.

In Greater London flats over five storeys will be considered under Lending for Flats criteria, and at the discretion of the valuer.

Check our definition of Greater London

Flats in the Same Block as Commercial Premises

In addition to the usual construction and marketability criteria, the acceptability of a flat in the same block as commercial properties will depend on:

  • Nearby commercial activities. If any commercial activities in the block are likely to cause a nuisance by virtue of noise, smell or unsocial hours, we may not be prepared to lend on the flat.
  • Access. Some flats over commercial premises have unsatisfactory access which may involve passing through the business area, through yards containing commercial refuse, or using poorly maintained external stairs. If any of these factors apply we may not be prepared to lend.

We recommend you contact us with as much information as possible at enquiry stage to allow us to contact a valuer for advice before issuing formal valuation instructions.

The valuer must consider the majority of the flats in the block to be suitable securities for us to lend.

Coach house flats

Coach house flats are acceptable subject to a satisfactory valuation. A coach house flat is a freehold flat which is the only flat in the block and is built above garages and/or an access way.

Freehold Flats and Maisonettes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

In general we will not accept freehold flats or maisonettes. Where each flat in a block has its own separate freehold title, these are unacceptable securities for us.

However, for most cases initially described as a 'freehold flat' there is usually no lease on the flat to be occupied and the occupier of the flat will be the freeholder of the whole block.


  • Providing there are no more than four flats in total and the remaining flats are all subject to long leases, the flat without the lease is a suitable freehold security.


  • If there are five or more flats in the building, the application must be treated as a commercial proposition.
  • If the remaining flats are let on shorthold tenancies, the application must be regarded as a commercial proposition.

Definition of Greater London

Greater London includes the City of London under the Corporation of London and the following Boroughs:

Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond uponThames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster

Any other Local Authority area is not in Greater London.