Relendex ISA Review

As a peer-to-peer lender, Relendex (short for ‘Real Estate Lending Exchange’) specialises in the financing of commercial property development and refurbishments, by offering asset backed loans.

Headed up by CEO, Michael Lynn, a former executive of the Charterhouse Group where he was responsible for a large commercial and industrial property portfolio, the management team have a wealth of experience in the property sector.

The company, formed in 2013, offers loans ranging from £500,000 to £25 million, repayable over a three to five year period.

Customer service

Relendex’s website consists of scrolling pages making it a little difficult to find what you want quickly, but what information is there is transparent and detailed, both on what you need to know about IFISAs, as well as the product options and application process. Overall, it’s a user-friendly platform.

As with other IFISA providers, you’ll need a passport and proof of address to sign up, but should you have problems, existing customers say the company is easy to deal with and quick to respond to queries.

Online reviews of the business and the product are generally positive with a four star rating on Trustpilot. Smartmoneypeople.com, a financial review site gives Relendex a winning 4.75 out of 5.

The stats

The Product

Two types of IFISA are available: Self-Select, where investors select their own loans, or the Secured-Portfolio ISA, where Relendex creates and manages your portfolio for you – with a fixed target rate of return. The latter option requires a minimum investment of £2500.

The Self-Select IFISA can secure fixed interest rates up to 10% per annum on risk graded loans by bidding on loan parts and setting the rate of return required using the platform’s dynamic auction function. The set rate auction feature is used for managed portfolio. Interest is paid quarterly, or can be reinvested to achieve compound growth.

To date, Relendex states it has had no defaults and maintained an average return of 8.78%.

Security

With an average Loan To Value (LTV) of 60% at Relendex, the property market would need to fall by around 40% before any loss could occur. Additional security comes in the form of a first legal charge over the commercial premises. In other words, the property can be liquidated to recover the debt.

Relendex states that a team of experts evaluate borrowers to a set of strict lending and underwriting criteria. In total, there are nine key criteria, including LTV, coverage ratio (ICR), market conditions, locations and tenant quality. A risk grading is then produced for those considering to invest.

The company states that some loans have amortisation schedules to ensure they are not exposed at any point in their lifetime and the company sometimes retains an interest escrow deposit to ensure that interest is paid. Architect and quantity surveyor monitor development expenditure and control drawdowns.

It’s worth pointing out that during 2013, Relendex were unable to fill one particularly large loan. This sounds more like early teething problems and hasn’t occurred since. More significantly, the company’s loan book remains default-free.

Conclusion

The rates offered by Relendex aren’t the highest in the market, but with no defaults to date and strict lending criteria, these are relatively safe investments. Those new to the IFISA market would be probably be better off opting for the Secured-Portfolio option.

If you’re an experienced investor looking for exposure to asset-backed property loans, Relendex’s Self-Select option could help you earn solid yield and balance your portfolio.

Originally Published: Thursday, October 25th, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

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