Getting a Mortgage

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As with so many areas of life, knowing whether your conviction is spent or unspent is vital when applying for a mortgage.

If your conviction is spent

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act applies to mortgage providers. Therefore, if your conviction is spent, you do not need to disclose it.  

If your conviction is unspent

If the mortgage provider asks you to disclose any convictions, then you must disclose any unspent convictions. 

If you do not disclose an unspent conviction when asked, you put yourself at risk of receiving a further conviction.

Be aware that a mortgage lender might offer a mortgage in principle without asking about convictions but then ask at the full assessment stage.

Using a mortgage broker

For some people, with an unspent conviction, the simplest approach is to disclose their conviction to a mortgage broker and for the mortgage broker to then find a mortgage provider whose criteria they will meet.  

The charity, Unlock*, provides detailed information on applying for a mortgage as part of their housing section.

**Unlock is a charity based in England and Wales. Although much of the information on their website is applicable UK wide, some does not apply to Scotland.

They also provide a free helpline. However, if you do contact their helpline, it is important that you tell them that you live in Scotland, because many of the laws are different.

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
February 24, 2024
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