Buy to let landlords seeking mortgage payment holidays don’t really need to save the money, says a leading mortgage broker.

The firm says switchboard staff are fielding a flood of calls, but only a handful need financial help from lenders.

Most already have enough cash in the bank to cover for tenants paying their rent late, according to Mortgages for Business.

The broker is slamming landlords for acting immorally by taking advantage of an emergency measure that they do not need and warn taking a payment holiday can adversely affect their credit rating.

Landlords are also risking cancellation of any current mortgage applications if they ask for financial aid on an existing loan.

Some lenders are also demanding that they show proof that their tenants are not paying rents before granting a holiday.

Managing director Steve Olejnik says: “We are having a lot of discussions with landlords around payment holiday requests.  Only a handful are raising legitimate concerns about how to pay their mortgage in the face of the pandemic.

“Lenders expect landlords to cover void periods under normal circumstances – where a property is empty, and a landlord is not getting any rent – so they do not take kindly to landlords trying to take advantage of them just to build up a cash reserve.

“One borrower with three live cases with their lender approached them for a repayment holiday on another, existing loan.  The lender immediately cancelled all three.

“Smart landlords, who want to capitalise on short-term house price falls and expand their portfolios when the lockdown is lifted, should think long and hard before approaching their lender.

“Don’t jump on the repayment holiday bandwagon. Any deferred payments will need paying at some stage and could create problems down the line, especially when they come to refinance.”