More than half of rental lenders currently in the market will fail to close deals before the stamp duty deadline expires at the end of March, according to a new study from Mortgages for Business.

The specialty broker is warning BTL owners that only 47% of mortgage lenders who are actively lending in this industry right now could still meet the deadline.

And the broker says even lenders who are still able to close transactions within that kind of timeframe may well find it difficult to meet the deadline if lawyers or local officials drag their feet.

Jeni Browne, director of Mortgages for Business, said, “Typically, an owner would want around 100 days to complete a purchase. Obviously, landlords no longer have that kind of free time and I urge them to do everything possible to make a new rental purchase before the stamp duty holiday ends.

Although the stamp duty holiday means BTL property investors do not have to pay stamp duty on transactions under £ 500,000, they still have to pay the 3% BTL surcharge.

Browne said: “Surveyors cannot operate at full capacity given all the preparation for an assessment they have to undertake to be Covid-19 compliant and that slows down transactions.

“Even if the lenders and surveyors come in, you might be unlucky with your local authority – a research we did recently took up to 145 days.”