Our aim is to become a trusted funding provider for robust property development projects run by
experienced developers that will provide attractive risk-return profiles to investors and enable
developers to build more homes and realise a profit from that activity.
Lending to property companies and property developers can be very rewarding, but it involves a
number of risks which mean that investors may not get back what they put in.Like all marketplace
lending platforms, we are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Nevertheless, protecting investors’ money is our number one priority. It is our responsibility to
address each of the risks involved to mitigate their effect in the best ways possible. As a
precaution, we recommend that our investors do not lend more money than they can afford to lose
without altering their standard of living.For added security, we also recommend that our
investors diversity their investments by lending across a range of different projects and
Underpinning our whole approach to risk mitigation is the CrowdProperty Shield, a three-tiered
risk management system, which protects investors’ funds and benefits borrowers too.The three
We endeavour to launch only the most lucrative, secure and profitable projects on our
1st Charge Security
This ultimate level of legal security gives us the safest fall-back position on all
Our hands-on experts oversee and assist in the success of our projects.
In order to minimise risk to capital, we recommend investors diversify their investment portfolio
across numerous projects, project types, geographic regions, loan phases and developers. In the
event of a developer failing to repay their interest or loan capital, this diversification will
reduce the potential impact on an investor portfolio’s Extended Internal Rate of Return (XIRR),
the calculated return on investments used where there are multiple transactions taking place at
Property valuation risk
Property prices can go up and down as a result of a wide range of economic factors on a national,
regional and local level. Different property types may be more or less susceptible to reduced
or negative growth.
It is the mainstay of our business, however, that we understand the factors affecting property
value fluctuations, so that we can identify properties that are the most secure investments.
For every investment opportunity, our in-house property experts assess the property’s full
details. We assess the desirability of the local area in terms of inward investment, business
growth and employment; good transport links and local facilities and amenities. All these
changing factors affect a property’s initial and final value.
We also commission an independent ‘red book valuation’ of each specific property by a member of
the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – the world’s leading professional body for
standards in property and construction – to confirm the specific project values for loan
security purposes. Every property is different.
Based on the existing and projected final value of a property project, our experts calculate what
Loan To Value (LTV) finance ratios we will agree. These calculations are a fundamental part of
how we protect investors’ funds, whilst also supporting borrowers by understanding the full
potential of their projects.
We consider the initial value of the property asset in how much we will release at the start of
the facility - initial LTV. We then consider Loan to Gross Development Value (LTGDV) which is a
measure of how much of a buffer the developer has to mitigate any adverse events, such as a
property price decrease, for the capital to be repaid. LTGDV Including Interest then goes on to
consider the rolled up interest, thus quantifying the buffer to weather any adverse events
before capital and interest to the contract term are repaid.
For some larger loans, we may split the loan into separate phases. If this is the case, it is
clearly marked on the project that it will be a multi-phase loan. We use LTV, LTGDV and LTGDV
Including Interest these are the most relevant risk metrics of the type of loan we provide. We
also use Profit on Cost (POC) and Loan to Cost (LTC) in analysing all deals.
There are several factors that may result in a borrower defaulting on their loan repayment and
thereby jeopardising investor returns. To mitigate this risk, we undertake rigorous due
diligence. This is to ensure that the loan agreement is affordable for the borrower, as a
default is not in the interests of our investors or the platform.
Rigorous Due Diligence
We work closely with each developer that approaches us for a property-project loan to confirm
their identity through a process called Know Your Customer (KYC) and we establish their
integrity and viability through Anti-Money Laundering (AML) searches and extensive credit
We scrutinise the viability of their proposition from every perspective. We evaluate whether each
borrower’s loan-repayment schedule and their exit strategy (either the sale of the developed
property or refinancing) is realistic, to ensure the most profitable and secure route of action
is followed. We also carefully assess the developer’s experience and their ability to execute
on the project proposed. For every loan that we provide, we employ lawyers to work with the
borrower’s legal adviser, a RICS surveyor to conduct the valuation and in many cases an
Independent Monitoring Surveyor who conducts a baseline report on the project and monitors
progress and spend throughout, enabling us to release the appropriate quantum of funds in
arrears to project progress.
We use several metrics to determine how much a borrower can receive through our platform.
Firstly, we review the borrower’s financial plan, examining the projected costs, estimated build
duration and the run-off time to redeem the loan in full. Then we seek third party advice from a
registered RICS valuers who provide us with a full report on market dynamics, the purchase
price, the out turn value when the works have been completed, and an appraisal of the developer
and the build costs. From this, we understand the estimated profit the developer will make.
See here how we calculate LTV.
To qualify for a maximum LTV, based on the purchase price, a project must at least have
planning consent in place and meet our viability model. For the initial day 1 release
of a project, we calculate starting LTV in the following way:
We then calculate the Loan to Gross Development Value (GDV) to assess the exposure at
loan expiry of the loan to the completed development. This is presented in two ways,
firstly as capital raised (excluding rolled interest) against the GDV, and secondly
total owned (inclusive of rolled interest) against the GDV.
For projects that require subsequent tranches of payment, we monitor the progress of the
project through an Independent monitoring surveyor and at the right stages the developer
can draw down further payments.
In some instances, we will provide 100% of the development finance, provided that the
debt keeps within our LTV limits, including finance costs. Otherwise, we will reduce our
development funding to keep the debt package within our LTV cap.
First Legal Charge
We take out first legal charge on all the properties we list for investment so that, in the
unlikely event that the borrower defaults on their repayments, we can take charge of the
project/property asset and recover investors’ money. We have the in-house, hands-on property
expertise to enable us to do this, reviewing each case on its own merits; how advanced the
project is, how much money is left in the project account; market conditions, etc. We are able
to dictate the way forward to ensure any losses and delays are mitigated. This means that we do
not have to sell immediately, but we hold the option to manage all aspects of the project
ourselves until completion, with the aim of returning all capital and interest.
Any surplus to the initial loan amount recovered from the sale of property at the completion of a
project would be used to service the forecast interest payments for the lenders. In such
events, CrowdProperty will write to the lenders through the platform and via email as
If a borrower needs an extension or further advances on the loan, we carefully assess the issues
before agreeing to an extension. This is sometimes necessary due to factors beyond their
control: for instance, delays with planning permission or with the sale of the finished
property. Generally, in the event that a project overruns, the borrower will pay a higher
interest rate from the original due date up until the loan is settled. At the completion of the
extended loan, the additional interest will be paid by the borrower along with the original
capital and pre-agreed interest.
We monitor the progress of the project constantly, until its successful completion and the
repayment of the loan. If the borrower requires a drawdown from the facility during the loan
period, the IMS will inspect the works, report on progress, and recommend the amount that can be
provided to the borrower. Using third party professional inspections strengthens our own
procedures and raises our awareness of any potential problems during the build out.
Although our robust due diligence does not completely remove the risk inherent in property
investment, our track record indicates that it has a major impact on securing investors’ funds.
Any investment made through the platform will be highly illiquid and investors will not be able
to withdraw their money before the end of the investment term. This is because there is no
active secondary market for loans to investee property development companies. The only way to
realise an investment is if the investee company is sold or, at the end of the investment term
the property is sold or refinanced, with a different loan being concluded.
If a developer fails to meet their interest or capital repayments on time, the loan is classed as
in default and the developer will be charged a higher rate of interest from that point until
payment has been made in full. Some of this additional interest rate will be passed on to
investors, the rest will be payable to CrowdProperty to cover additional costs, such as fees for
solicitors, LPA receivers, other professionals and increased internal resource requirements.
Assessed on a case by case basis, CrowdProperty may also retain interest from the facility to
form an interest reserve. This can help protect investors from increasing LTV rates. A typical
example would be for interest to be retained from the first phase of a loan, thus mitigating the
risk that a developer does not start on site. Subsequent funds on a project which is already
underway are typically based on rolled interest.
Past performance is no indicator of future performance and we make all our judgements on a
project-by-project basis. The internal calculations and opinions of CrowdProperty are subject
to change at any time.
CrowdProperty does not offer any advice to lenders or borrowers. We recommend investors seek
independent third-party advice and conduct their own due diligence on any project before
deciding whether or not to invest.
An Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) is a tax-efficient means of investing, with no tax on property
gains or income. As with all marketplace lending, capital is at risk and is not covered by the
FSCS. Past performance is not an indicator of future results. Tax treatment depends on
individual circumstances and may change.
CrowdProperty does not deduct any tax at source, whether that is capital gains tax upon the sale
of a project, or income tax on interest payments to investors. We cannot provide advice on how
much tax is owed to HMRC or when it is payable. Individual circumstances will be different and
investors and developers should speak to a professional tax adviser to find out how their tax
status could be affected.
CrowdProperty has comprehensive insurance policies in place that are tailored to our business,
covering fraud, crime, terrorism, and contingent buildings insurance for our loans. Should a
loss be suffered on a loan as a result of fraud or crime, we will, where possible, seek to claim
on the insurance policies in an effort to return any shortfall to investors.
Central to our business model at CrowdProperty is our technology platform, which is designed and
supported in-house by our technical experts. This provides us with the flexibility and
nimbleness to continually improve the services for both Lenders and Borrowers. Our platform
is robust, scalable and secure as verified through our control framework, regular security
data encryption and multi-factor authentication. We are fully integrated into the systems of
our banking providers to give our customers the best experience possible.
Marketplace lending platforms are not covered by the FSCS. In principle, if a platform were to
fail, or become insolvent, their investors could lose all of the money they have
pledged. However, as CrowdProperty is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we are
required to protect investors’ money in several ways if the platform was to fail.
All FCA-regulated marketplace lending platforms are required to hold capital reserves (extra
cash) to help mitigate any business and financial risks. This is something we have always done.
Investors funds that have not been lent to borrowers are protected either through being held
in a segregated client account with an independent banking provider, or by being held in an
account in the clients own name at Goji, our external payments provider.
These funds are completely separate from CrowdProperty’s own money and we cannot use client
money for our own business purposes. These funds do not form part of our assets, which means
that they would not be available to creditors in the event of our insolvency.
We also have a back-up servicing arrangement in place, which means that, in the unlikely event
that CrowdProperty ceases to trade, the back-up service provider would take our place in
operationally managing and administering existing loan contracts between investors and
borrowers. It would continue to receive loan repayments from borrowers, and to process and
distribute these payments to investors. In practice, this means that if a platform does fail,
all existing loans would be unaffected. Our ISA management is outsourced to a third party
which ensures that loans held within a CrowdProperty ISA would retain their tax-free benefits.
The first legal charge that we take out on all property projects would still stand, should
CrowdProperty became insolvent. This would continue to safeguard investors’ money, so that if
the project developer was to default on repayments, the back-up service provider would operate
on investors’ behalf and take over the project to extract and pay back investors’ funds in the
best way possible.
Conflicts of Interest
Due to the nature of taking funds from investors and lending them to developers, CrowdProperty is
exposed to the potential risks that the interests of some clients may conflict with the
interests of other clients. There are also the risks that the interests of the firm may conflict
with those of clients. However, CrowdProperty will always prioritise its reputation for
transforming property finance and giving our investors fair reward for the risk.
For more information on how we manage actual or perceived conflicts of interest, please refer to
our Conflicts of Interest
To read how we keep personal data private, please refer to our
Consumer Duty policy
To read how we treat our customers fairly and ensure good outcomes for retail customers, please
refer to our Consumer Duty