A farmer in the west of Ireland has warned fellow farmers not to take mortgage refusal for a family home near their farm lying down.
The farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Irish Farmers Journal that he received planning permission for a house beside his farm. However, when he went to apply for a mortgage with PTSB the bank refused to lend to him over the proximity of the house to the farmyard.
“PTSB said to me that if they ever had to sell the house, it would be devalued because of its location near the farm. They’d have trouble selling the house.
“I suggested putting up another house as collateral, on top of the deeds to the farm which they hold. It was a no,” he said.
The farmer said that he would be putting in €100,000 of his own money and would be looking for a 70% mortgage.
The fact that the farmer and his wife had three incomes between them and that the bank had said he had no issue repaying the loan, compounded his frustration with the process.
“I wrote a letter to the head of lending and to the CEO, saying that I couldn’t be the only farmer looking to build beside a farm and outlined my case,” he said.
A review of the application and another letter to the head of lending and the CEO saw the couple receive approval in principle.
“We’re working our way through approval in principle now, the hard work is over, we’re at it seven or eight months,” he said.
When asked what advice he had for other farmers in the same position, he said: “Don’t take it lying down. Be persistent.”
The Irish Farmers Journal asked PTSB if it is happy to lend to farmers who are building a house in close proximity to farm buildings.
A spokesperson said: “PTSB’s lending policy does not exclude applicants who are building a house beside farm buildings from applying for a loan with us.
“All loan applications PTSB receives are assessed on a case by case basis, and subject to full planning permission.”