'My mortgage lender is ending my two-year fix and I haven't been in the house for two years - can they do this?'

Can a lender end your fixed-rate deal early? This was the crux of a question asked by Money blog reader Michelle from Kent...

"I bought my first flat in April 2023 with a two-year fixed-rate mortgage. I got the deal with the help of a broker, who has now contacted me saying my deal is due to end in November - significantly earlier than I had expected. I've spoken to my lender - they said the deal I was on no longer exists. Is there anything I can do to keep my current rate?"

We asked David Hollingworth, associate director at L&C Mortgages, to answer this one...

"Fixed mortgage rates do what they say on the tin and lock in the interest rate payable for a specified period of time. Those periods will generally be blocked into market sectors and so are usually tagged as two, three or five-year fixed rates.

"Once that deal is taken, the terms cannot be changed by the lender and the rate can't be brought to an end early.

"Some lenders will fix their deals for a specific number of years from completion, but a lot of lenders' rates will be fixed until a specific end date. That could mean that the fix will last even longer than two years at the point that the application is made.

"However, it can take time to complete a deal, especially when purchasing a property which may be subject to a lengthy chain.

"Mortgage offers will typically be valid for up to six months. If you originally agreed to buy your flat before the end of 2022 then the deal on offer at the time could feasibly have been fixed until November 2024.

"That could have equated to two years or more when you applied but if it took some time to complete the purchase, it would explain why you feel that you haven't benefited from a full two years of the fixed rate.

"It would be a good idea to look back at the original mortgage offer, which will specify all the product details. That will detail when the fixed rate ends and what rate the mortgage will move onto after that.

"That's likely to be a higher variable rate, so it makes sense to shop around for a better deal well before the current rate comes to an end.

"A broker will be able to help you work out the best available rates for you, whether from your current lender or from across the whole market."

This feature, first published in our Money blog, is not intended as financial advice - the aim is to give an overview of the things you should think about. Submit your dilemma or consumer dispute via:

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