FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a payment holiday?

A payment holiday is a way to defer your monthly payment until a later date, but you still owe the money, so those payments will be payable in the future.  During a payment holiday your account will still be charged interest, so the longer the payment holiday you take, the greater the increase in the interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage.

I am affected by Covid-19, can I have a payment holiday?

A payment holiday (where a mortgage payment is deferred for a period) can be requested up to the 31 March 2021, but must not exceed a maximum of six months.

If you have not already exceeded the maximum length of six-months, our team will talk you through the financial impact of taking a new or extending an existing payment holiday. This will include how taking a payment holiday is likely to affect your monthly payment amount when you restart your payments.

What are rules and restrictions of taking a payment holiday?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), our regulator, have confirmed the following information on their consumer pages pages:

  • The last date you can apply for a payment holiday is the 31 March 2021, and the payment holiday must end by 31 July 2021.
  • If you are newly affected by a Covid-19 and want to benefit from the full six months available, you should apply for your payment before your February 2021 payment is due. We can only agree to three months at a time, but you can renew in your third month, assuming you do not exceed the six-month limit.
  • If you have already taken a payment holiday which amounts to less than six months, you have until 31 March 2021 to apply for another payment holiday.
  • After 31 March 2021, you can extend an existing payment holiday up until the 31 July 2021 if:
    • It does not go over the six-month payment holiday limit; and
    • There are no breaks in support, you must contact us before your current holiday comes to an end.

If you are not sure whether you are entitled to further payment holidays, or a new holiday please contact us. 

What happens if I have already reached the maximum of six months in a payment holiday?

If you have already had six months in a payment holiday and are still struggling financially, we will work with you to find another suitable option to help you manage your mortgage payments, including where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payment or a bespoke payment plan.  Please speak to our team as soon as possible to discuss the best option for you.   

The affects of any further support options will be discussed with you in full including the impact of these options on your credit file.

Will you give me a three-month payment holiday?

If you have not already had more than three-months on a payment holiday, you can request up to another three months until the 31 March 2021; all payment holiday requests must be made by the 31 March 2021 and existing payment holidays must not exceed a maximum of six months.

How long can I have a payment holiday for?

Payment holidays cannot exceed six-months and must be requested by 31 March 2021. Payment holidays can only be granted up to a maximum of three months at any time, should you require more you will need to contact us again before the final month of your payment holiday ends.

What happens if my payment holiday ends and I am still struggling financially?

Please call our team if you think you will struggle to restart your monthly mortgage payments when your payment holiday comes to an end. We have a range of additional support options available including, where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payment or a bespoke payment plan.

The effects of any further support options will be discussed with you in full including the impact of these options on your credit file.

How has taking a payment holiday impacted my mortgage?

A payment holiday will mean that you will not have had to pay your monthly mortgage payment for an agreed period; the monthly payment is deferred to a later date. However, you will still owe the money and interest will continue to accrue whilst the deferred payments remain unpaid. The original total cost of your mortgage will also increase as you have not paid your monthly payments on schedule which means your overall mortgage balance has not decreased as expected.

If you can pay your monthly instalment, you should continue to make your payments as this will stop you having to make up the payments later.

Whilst a payment holiday that has been agreed up to the 31 July 2021 will not impact your credit score, you should consider that it may impact your ability to borrow in the future. Some lenders may take account of the payment holiday when considering mortgage applications or requests for further borrowing. 

Should I pay something rather than nothing?
If we agree a payment holiday with you and you can then afford to pay any amount, we would strongly urge you to consider doing this as it will reduce the amount of interest that accrues and the overall amount outstanding at the end of the agreed payment holiday.
How will you expect me to make up the deferred monthly instalment(s) after my payment holiday?

We will review your circumstances at the time to find the best option. For example, we may consider:

  • adding the deferred instalment(s) to your outstanding mortgage balance (capitalising the amount), so you can pay it over the remaining term of your mortgage,
  • agreeing to a short-term payment arrangement to clear the deferred instalment(s) over several months; or,
  • extending the original term of your mortgage.
Will a payment holiday have a negative impact on my credit record?

If we agree a payment holiday with you due to the Covid-19 virus before the 31 July 2021, then we will continue to report your mortgage account in the same position it was at the point the payment holiday was agreed. 

Whilst the payment holiday on your mortgage will not affect your credit record, financial services firms may consider information other than your credit record when deciding whether they will provide you with credit. As a result, the payment holiday could affect your ability to get a new mortgage or take out other forms of borrowing in future, for example car finance or credit cards. 

Are payment holidays available for Buy-to-Let customers?

Yes. If you are a Buy-to-Let customer and your tenants are impacted by Covid-19, a payment holiday may be an option available to you up to the 31 March 2021. Payment holidays are being provided on the understanding that this relief will be passed on to your impacted tenants.

Where we become aware that you are not passing on the benefit of the payment holiday to your impacted tenants, we may withdraw the payment holiday.

I already have a payment holiday, what should I do as it approaches the end?

We will contact you before your payment holiday ends with an option to get you back on track with your mortgage payments. This could include:

  • adding the deferred amount resulting from your payment holiday to your outstanding mortgage balance (capitalising the amount), so you can pay it over the remaining term of your mortgage,
  • agreeing to a temporary change in repayment method from capital and interest to interest only; or,
  • extending the original term of your mortgage.

If you are still unable to pay your mortgage when your payment holiday comes to an end, we will discuss other options with you, including, where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payments.

What should I do if I've experienced a bereavement?
If you need to tell us about a customer who has died, please contact us on 0333 300 0921. We understand that the current lock-down might make the task of resolving their affairs more difficult and we will do all we can to minimise unnecessary stress.

Questions for our customers already struggling with payment arrears

What happens if I’m already in arrears and are affected by Covid-19; can I have a payment holiday?

If you or your family are affected by Covid-19 and you’re concerned about the impact on your income, please speak to our team as soon as possible. A payment holiday can be requested up to the 31 March 2021. 

If you have not already exceeded the maximum length of six-months, our team will talk you through the financial impact of taking a new or extending an existing payment holiday. This will include how taking a payment holiday is likely to affect your monthly payment amount when you restart your payments.

What happens if my payment holiday ends and I am still struggling financially?
Please call our team if you think you will struggle to restart your payments when your payment holiday comes to an end. They will ask you a range of questions about your financial circumstances and look at the options we have available that best suit your situation. We have a range of additional support options available including, where appropriate, a temporary suspension of your monthly payment or a bespoke payment plan.
I’ve not paid my monthly mortgage payment, what should I do?
Please call us if you have been unable to make your monthly payment or are worried that you may not be able to afford your next payment. Our team are here to help you and will be able to talk to you about a range of support options available to you.
I’ve already not paid several monthly payments and concerned that my situation is not going to improve; will you repossess my home because of my payment arrears?

All repossession action has been placed on hold until 1 April 2021 (other than at the request of the customer). Should you feel that remaining in the property is not right for you and may be causing you financial distress and you would like to discuss how to resolve the position, we can help and would encourage you to contact us on 0333 300 0939.

We will however, try to contact you to discuss your payment arrears with the aim of reaching an affordable arrangement that will help you repay the outstanding arrears balance.  We will also write to you on regular basis to provide an update on your arrears balance.

Are you still charging arrears management fees?

No. We are temporarily waiving arrears management fees for all customers.

Helping you deal with broader financial issues

During this particularly difficult period, you may have financial worries that concern more than just your mortgage payments.

There are independent charities and services that can help you work through your financial situation, identify which are your priority debts and help you liaise with all your creditors.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance

The FCA have put together information for consumers on dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes resources on how you can work out your budget.

View the FCA Guidance for Consumers

Money Advice Service guidance

The Money Advice Service have put together their guidance on how to deal with or put off any of the financial effects you might be suffering from due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the guidance

Independent Support and Advice

Talking to someone impartial can really help. We've put together a list of a range of different organisations that are there to support you.

Independent advice

Who can I speak to about taking out a mortgage with Kensington?

If you’d like to know more about one of our specialist mortgages, have a chat to your mortgage adviser who will be able to give you our latest rates and answer any questions you may have. 

We've teamed up with Like Mortgage Advice, a specialist mortgage adviser who can advise you FEE FREE on Kensington products and guide you through the application process.

Like Mortgage Advice Limited is an appointed representative of Hawke Financial Services LLP, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Register No. 478284).

You can contact them by visiting Like Mortgage Advice or call on 020 3827 8940 (Mon-Fri 9am - 5:30pm).

If you'd prefer to find your own mortgage adviser, you can visit Unbiased.co.uk where you'll find a list of advisers you can choose from.

What does execution only mean?

In certain circumstances, you can apply for a mortgage or make changes without taking professional advice; this is known as "execution only". Please bear in mind, that you will need to be familiar with the details of the mortgage and any changes you wish to make. 

There are a limited set of circumstances under which we currently offer an “execution only” process, for example, if you wanted to make a change to your existing mortgage via our contract variations team.  However, we would encourage you to seek financial advice before making any changes to your mortgage.

Please note, we are unable to accept a new application on an “execution only” basis, as all new applications need to be submitted to us through a mortgage adviser.

Can you give me information about the boundaries of my property?

Providing these details are held with the original deeds, we can supply copies of plans and boundaries upon receipt of a formal written request. If we don’t hold the information you require, we will provide you with the appropriate contact details for HM Land Registry, who may be able to help.

Where can I find information about interest only mortgages?

The Money Advice Service is a free, unbiased and independent source of information on all aspects of money management and is available to all.

Why is my balance not reducing when I make my payments each month?

If your account is operating on an interest-only basis, you will only be paying the interest due each month and your overall balance will not reduce.

What interest rate is my mortgage linked to?

To find out what interest rate your mortgage is linked to, check your mortgage offer documents.  

If you have a tracker mortgage that is linked to Bank of England Base Rate, then the rate that you are charged will reflect variations in this.

What are the current variable base rates?
  • KSR – 0.10% effective from 1 April 2021
  • LIBOR - 0.10% effective from 12 February 2021
  • BBR - 0.1% effective from 2 April 2020
  • KVR - 3.05% effective from 1 March 2021
  • MPVR (formerly known as Money Partners Variable Rate*) - 2.05% effective from 1 March 2021
  • KEN MBR (formerly known as GE Mortgage Base Rate**) - 3.26% effective from 13 March 2021
  • Oakwood KVR*** - 1.51% effective from 1 March 2021
  • Oakwood MPVR**** - 0.51% effective from 1 March 2021

We apply changes in the interest rate from the date the change becomes effective, the effective date of the most recent change is shown above. If a change affects you, it will be reflected in your next contractual monthly instalment after the change.

*This rate applies to mortgages acquired from Money Partners Limited

**This rate applies to mortgages acquired from GE Money Home Lending Limited

***This rate applies to mortgages taken out with Kensington Mortgage Company Limited, which were acquired by Oakwood Homeloans Limited and then transferred back to Kensington Mortgage Company Limited

****This rate applies to mortgages taken out with Money Partners Limited, which were acquired by Kensington Mortgage Company Limited then Oakwood Homeloans Limited and then transferred back to Kensington Mortgage Company Limited

Is interest charged to my account daily or monthly?

Your interest calculation will depend on your mortgage product. Please refer to your mortgage offer for more details.

What are your current charges?

You can find our current fees and charges in our Tariff of Mortgage Charges.

LIBOR Transition: Your Questions Answered

We will be transitioning customers who have a LIBOR linked mortgage product to a new reference rate. We are currently reviewing the options available to make sure that at the point of switching, the new reference rate is no higher than it would have been if LIBOR was still the reference rate. There is no need to contact us, if you are impacted by this change you will receive more detail in writing.

Why are you changing my mortgage rate?

The London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) will not be available for use by mortgage lenders by December 2021 so we will not be able to use this rate to track mortgage rates against.

When will you make the changes to my mortgage?

It is expected that LIBOR will not be available after December 2021 so the change will be made prior to this date. You will be notified at least one month in advance of the change.

Which rate are you moving me to?

We are in the process of making a decision on which rate you will be moved to. We will let you know at least 1 month prior to the switch which rate you will be moved to.

Will my new rate be higher than my current rate?

At the point of replacement, the rate we move you to will be no higher than the variable rate applicable to your mortgage immediately before the switch.

Will my rate always be the same as it would have been on LIBOR?

Like LIBOR any rate is subject to change in line with the market conditions. You will continue to receive notification of any changes to your interest rate and the impact this has on your monthly payment as normal.

Will my existing fixed rate period be affected?

No, your fixed rate period will continue as per the terms and conditions of your mortgage. If your fixed rate ends after we have moved your account to the new rate you will track against that new rate at the end of the fixed rate period. If your fixed rate ends before the switch you will move to LIBOR until we make the switch to the new rate.

Am I able to make a choice on which rate I am transferred to?

No, as detailed above we will be moving your mortgage to the rate we feel is the most appropriate.

Does this change the terms and conditions of my mortgage?

Changes will only be made where necessary, and only in relation to your interest rate. You will be provided with full details of any changes effecting your terms and conditions when they become available.

Do I need to do anything now?

No, you do not need to do anything now.

Where can I find out more information?

Further information about LIBOR can be found on The Financial Conduct Authority website www.fca.org.uk or at The Bank of England www.bankofengland.co.uk

Can I extend or reduce the term of my mortgage?

If you wish to change the term of your mortgage, please contact our Customer Services team to discuss this. We are always happy to hear from you and discuss your options.

What do I do if I want to add or remove a party to my mortgage?

Please contact our Customer Services team to discuss. We may only be able to help in certain circumstances and you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

My name has changed. Can I change this on my mortgage?

Yes you can. If your name has changed due to marriage, we’ll need a copy of the marriage certificate (original or certified) along with new and old signatures for verification purposes. If the marriage was outside the UK, we will need you to obtain an apostille certificate (original or certified) and supply this along with the above. If your name has changed due to divorce, we’ll need a copy of the decree absolute (original or certified) along with new & old signatures for verification purposes. There are no charges involved in this process.

Can I change my mortgage repayment type?

It might be possible for you to convert from an Interest-Only to a Capital and Repayment mortgage. Please contact us to discuss your options.

Can someone else speak to you on my behalf?

Yes, but we will need a letter of authority from you first. If you have any queries, please get in touch. 

Can I change my regular payment date?

If you would like to change your payment date, please contact us to discuss this further.

What methods can I use to make payments to my mortgage?

The easiest way to ensure your mortgage payment reaches us on time is to pay by Direct Debit. It is also possible to make payments using either a debit card, standing order or internet banking. If you are unsure about what payment methods are available, please contact us. Please note that we’re unable to process payments via credit card.  For more information visit  ‘Ways to pay your mortgage’.

Can I set up a Direct Debit in the name of a third party?

The money used to make regular mortgage payments must come from a person named on the mortgage. It is therefore essential that the Direct Debit is in the name of a mortgage holder, and not a third party.

Can I make additional payments?

Over-payments are permitted but with specific conditions attached. These can include minimum and maximum amounts and Early Repayment Charges. Please refer to your mortgage conditions for full details.

How can I make sure the payments get to you as quickly as possible?

Quoting your mortgage account number as a payment reference will help us process your payment faster. If you don’t, there is a risk of the payment not reaching your mortgage account. Additional interest will be incurred if your payment is received after the date it is due.

What if I am having problems making my mortgage payment?

If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, please contact us, sooner rather than later, so we can better understand your situation and do what we can to help.

There are several sources of free  independent financial advice, including organisations specialising in debt management. 

Can someone visit me to talk about my mortgage?
We can arrange for a field agent to visit your home to discuss your mortgage. This will incur a charge.
Can I take my mortgage with me to another property?

Taking your mortgage with you to another property is known as “porting”. We have a limited number of products where porting can be considered. Please refer to your mortgage conditions to see if porting is available on your mortgage.

Can I borrow more money against my property?

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer further advances.

Can I let my property out?

If your property was purchased with a residential mortgage, in certain circumstances, we may consent to letting. If you would like us to assess a letting application, please write to us.

If we agree to your request, your interest rate may increase, and you will incur an additional fee for us to carry out the assessment.

When does my Early Redemption Charge period end?

Please refer to your official mortgage offer document. The section entitled 'What happens if you do not want this mortgage anymore' provides full details.

What happens with Early Redemption Charges if the borrower is deceased?

In this situation, the charges will be waived.

Do you accept redemption monies by cheque?

We do accept cheques. However, in the event of the account being charged daily interest, an additional 5 days will have to be charged to allow time for the cheque to clear.

How do I arrange a bank transfer of redemption monies?

You’ll need to approach your own bank with the account details shown on your redemption statement. Your bank will then forward the funds to us.

Can I use the redemption statement beyond the date it is valid?

The accompanying notes to the redemption statement provide advice on the validity period and the circumstances in which you can add additional interest.

What are the charges associated with redeeming my mortgage account?

There may be Early Repayment Charges applicable upon redemption of your mortgage. You can find this information in your mortgage offer document.

Upon redemption, fees are applied for administration and release of deeds These fees can be found in your mortgage offer document. Please note, all applicable fees can be viewed in full when you request a full and final redemption statement by contacting our customer services team.

What are the 'Projected Solicitors Costs' included in my redemption statement?

These are predicted costs provided to us by the external solicitors acting on our behalf. They are overestimated to cover any works that may be undertaken within that month to redeem your account. If no further work is undertaken at the time the account is redeemed, this amount is refunded back to you.

How much of an Overpayment can I make?

Your maximum Lump Sum Overpayment (LSO) depends on the original mortgage or credit agreement. In addition, we may need to request evidence of the source(s) of funds. Please call our customer services team for more information.

What is buildings insurance?

Buildings insurance is designed to cover the rebuilding cost should your home suffer any damage to its structure. Damage could be caused by a variety of different factors, including fire, burst pipes, water damage and vandalism, whilst some policies may also cover accidental damage. As well as the structure, buildings insurance may cover permanent fixtures and fittings.

Having the right buildings insurance cover in place is of vital importance as it should cover the cost to rebuild the main elements of your property, including walls, floors, ceiling, roof, windows and doors. Garages and other outdoor buildings can also be included.

Each year, the Association of British Insurers produces guidelines on rebuilding costs. It is worth referring to these when taking out or renewing building insurance to help you assess the cover you need.

Do I need buildings insurance?

Yes. It is a condition of your mortgage that you have adequate buildings insurance for your property. Details of your policy must be provided, if requested.

Adequate buildings insurance must be in place at all times and meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The policy should be arranged with an insurance company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • The policy schedule must show the period of insurance
  • The level of cover must be at least equivalent to the current reinstatement value and be index linked
  • The buildings insurance is arranged on the property your mortgage is secured on

Before making any decisions regarding your insurance needs, we suggest that you seek independent advice from an FCA authorised insurance broker or intermediary. They will be able to recommend the level of insurance needed to protect your property fully. 

What happens if I don’t have buildings insurance?

Having adequate buildings insurance is a condition of your mortgage, so not having a policy in place means you will be in breach of your contract and could therefore be putting your mortgage – and your home – at risk. It remains your responsibility to insure your property. We will remind you of this obligation, annually, when we issue your Mortgage Account Statement.

What is Lenders Interest Only (LIO) insurance? Am I covered?

LIO is a buildings insurance policy solely for the lender. LIO is arranged in the event of you failing to provide requested evidence of buildings insurance cover on the property. This policy only insures us and protects our financial interest in the property. It does not provide you with any cover for rebuilding costs. You should therefore not rely upon LIO insurance for insuring your property; you must always arrange your own buildings insurance.

Do I need contents insurance?

It is not a requirement of your mortgage conditions to insure the contents of your property. However, as a buildings-only insurance policy will not cover personal possessions, furniture or household goods that are not permanent fixtures, you may want to do so. If you have any questions or want to understand what cover is right for you, speak to an insurance broker or intermediary.

When do I need to provide my buildings insurance details to you?

When your mortgage first completed, you would have provided details of your own buildings insurance.  We do not require you to provide evidence of insurance every year. However, under the terms and conditions of your mortgage we have the right to request evidence of buildings insurance at any time during the life of the mortgage. It’s important, therefore, that you ensure adequate buildings insurance cover remains in place throughout the life of your mortgage.  In addition to breaching the terms and conditions of your mortgage, failure to maintain adequate buildings insurance will leave you financially unprotected in the event that your building is damaged or destroyed.

How do I provide you with my buildings insurance details?

If we ask you to provide evidence of buildings insurance, you should provide a photocopy of the insurance schedule by post, e-mail or fax (see contact details below). Please do not send your original insurance schedule to us – you should keep this in a safe place. 

What are your contact details?

Kensington Mortgage Company Limited 

Ascot House, 

Maidenhead Office Park,

Maidenhead,

Berkshire,

SL6 3QQ.

Telephone: 0333 300 0921

Fax: 0333 300 0923

Please be aware mortgages are secured against your home and your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.