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The Essential Documentation for Securing Development Finance

A breakdown of the key documents needed when applying for development finance

Author: Gary Hemming CeMAP CeFA CeFA CSP

20+ years experience in development finance

We like to make life easy for both our clients, and our lender contacts. As such, we always submit our applications fully packaged. This ensures there is enough information available to the lender to make an informed decision on the application quickly.

The advantage to you, as a client, is that your application will be assessed without delay. If the outcome is positive, then you can move forward quickly to secure the site. If unsuccessful, it allows us to react quickly, securing an alternative finance route for you. Either way, agents and vendors don’t tend to be too keen on delays, so we always look to secure finance as quickly as we possibly can.

Read on to learn more about the essential documentation for development finance applications or fill in the form to talk to an expert.

Any information that’s put together for a potential lenders eye is a direct reflection of the professionalism of your company. It’s important that all information is accurate and well-presented.

We appreciate that some people’s strength lies away from paperwork and presentation, so if this is the case, just let us know and we’ll usually be able to help.

Of course, the basic information must be in place as you will know the details of your scheme better than anyone else.

When looking to apply for property development finance, you must ensure that you provide all of the following information.

Details of planning permission & any drawings

Planning details (or even a link to the relevant page of the planning portal) will allow ourselves and the lender to understand the scheme.

By working through the planning documents, including the drawings, the lender can get a handle on the finished scheme and can use this information to assess that the quoted costs make sense.

Details of any planning restrictions and any s.106 or CIL payments

Planning restrictions and CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) payments are key. CIL can be of vital importance, as where the required payment is large, it will affect the profitability of the scheme.

Full breakdown of costs

A detailed breakdown of costs is crucial. Although a lender may accept the headline figures to start with, it is better to provide detail if possible. Only when the lender sees the detailed breakdown will they truly be able to sense-check the figures. In addition, without the full breakdown, drawdown schedules are impossible to assess.

CV and details of your development experience

A development CV, along with proof of experience is very important to some lenders. Even if you’re an inexperienced developer, a CV detailing your experience in other areas to date is very useful.

By highlighting your credibility upfront, we can ensure the lender feels comfortable in your ability to handle the project. In cases where the lender is struggling to get comfortable with the application, it is almost impossible to drive the cost down by a significant margin.

Schedule of works broken down by stage

By breaking down the schedule of works in detail and by stage, the plan for the project becomes clear. By combining the information in the plans, the full breakdown of costs and the schedule of works, agreement on stage payments becomes far easier.

Details of the team involved (architects, contractors etc.)

The team you are choosing to work with will affect a lenders willingness to lend. Reputational weakness, a lack of experience or previous failed developments may cause an issue.

The flip side to this is that a strong team, with a strong reputation and track record will strengthen your application. Detail exactly who you are dealing with upfront to avoid delays and questions further down the line.

Asset, liability, income and expenditure summary

Every lender will want to see an asset, liability, income and expenditure (ALIE) summary before approving an application. It is important that you provide a fully completed ALIE as early as possible in the process.

There are two reasons for the lender wanting an ALIE completing. The first is that during the build your income may drop or even cease. If this is the case, the lender will be keen to see that you can support yourself and to understand to what extent you can absorb delays or unexpected costs.

The second reason is to judge your ability to support a personal guarantee for applications made through a corporate structure. Most lenders will want you to be able to support 20% of the loan amount in personal guarantee, backed by sufficient assets.

Details of your proposed exit strategy

A solid exit strategy is the key to a successful development. Whether you’re looking to let the property, or sell, you need to be sure your strategy is viable.

As the term of the property development loan ends, the lender will want to know they are secure in getting their money back. If you’re looking to sell, look at demand upfront and understand how long your project may take to sell.

Proposed gross development value

The gross development value (GDV) is another important factor in whether the loan is likely to be agreed or declined. The GDV is usually expected to be at least 20% higher than the total project costs. GDV should always be backed by the opinion of two or more local agents, and ideally comparable evidence, if available.

Proof of ID, residence and deposit

Proof of ID, residence and deposit are always required to satisfy the lender anti-money laundering rules. It is best practice to provide this information either upfront or as early as possible to avoid delays further down the line.

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