Financial adviser wins appeal court ruling on buy-to-let mortgages

A financial specialist has won the latest round of a legal battle with a mortgage company which he says could affect around a million people who own buy-to-let properties.

Mark Alexander, a former mortgage broker who has set up an advice website for landlords, says he was unfairly asked to pay more for a buy-to-let mortgage because the West Bromwich Mortgage Company classed him as an investor, not a consumer.

He asked Court of Appeal judges to analyse his claim after losing a fight in the High Court.

Appeal judges ruled in his favour on Wednesday after analysing evidence at a hearing in London in April.

The West Bromwich - which is linked to the West Bromwich Building Society - had said customers with three or more buy-to-let properties were not ''regarded as consumers''.

Mr Alexander, founder of Norwich-based Property118.com, complained about the way an interest rate had been varied and disagrees that a mortgage company can ''call in performing mortgages'' with 30 days' notice.

Bosses disputed Mr Alexander's criticisms and argued that terms were fair.

About 400 people with identical West Bromwich mortgages backed Mr Alexander and he said the appeal court ruling could affect around a million buy-to-let tracker mortgage borrowers.

Mr Alexander, in his late 40s, used to live in Shipdham, Norfolk, but now has a home in Malta.

He asked appeal judges to scrutinise his claim after Mr Justice Teare ruled against him following a High Court hearing in London in May last year.

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