This is a question we regularly get, and it’s a tricky answer because it’s both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. If the property is a homeloan the answer is ‘no’, if it’s a buy to let then the answer is ‘yes’.
Perhaps you are wondering why this might be a question? Normally it’s because one of the couple have an issue that would adversely affect the mortgage application, such as a spouse who has a bad credit rating, or they might have other debts (like cars or personal loans).
Another thing that we see is the likes of Stamp 4 status or a persons legal status being an issue so in this case you might see them factored in when it comes to the running costs estimated but the lender will not factor in any of their income, this then puts very negative pressure on the application.
Can it be done? Not without committing a version of mortgage fraud. Regulated entities are required to disclose all facts to the bank when making a credit application on behalf of a customer (CP10 declaration), so the intermediary or lender cannot facilitate an application like this.
The only way it might happen (and typically it won’t) is if the two people have completely different financial affairs and then they make a non-disclosure or false application. Again, this is not legal and deeply unethical. Thankfully banks will normally catch this due to the intertwined nature of finances.
So imagine this couple have children, often one person will pay into the other persons account, or bills are in joint names, or there might be a joint account, child benefit payments may show and in some way tip off the underwriter that there is another person involved. This could also be something as simple as the person having a second credit card for their partner or there being no evidence of food purchases in their current account (everybody has to eat!).
These are all things that when going through an account forensically you tend to notice- that something isn’t stacking up.
Getting back to the original question, you can only buy on your own if it isn’t a family home, if you aren’t married it’s different, but once you put a ring on it you are hitched (at least from a credit underwriting perspective) in every way, including your mortgage application.