Remortgaging your property – Why do I need a solicitor?

Tue 21st Mar 2023

If you’re looking to remortgage your property, conveyancing solicitor Kerry Tresidder provides some expert advice on what you might need to consider.

What is remortgaging?

Remortgaging is when you take on a new mortgage on a property that you already own – usually to replace your current mortgage with another. Homeowners may change lenders or stick with their current provider, depending on the deal that is being offered.

Homeowners tend to remortgage to save money on their existing mortgage, consolidate debt, get a better interest rate, or release some equity from their property. Many people will remortgage when their fixed-rate deal comes to an end – usually after a period of anywhere between one and ten years.

Why do I need a solicitor?

In some circumstances, you won’t need a solicitor (for example, if you’re sticking with the same lender). However, in many cases, a solicitor is needed to deal with the legal aspects of a remortgage.

Your mortgage will be registered at the Land Registry and your solicitor will need to deal with removing your old mortgage from the title and registering the new one.

At Coodes, we have experience in the more complicated transactions, such as when your remortgage also involves:

  • A change in the ownership of the property (e.g., if you are adding a joint owner or removing a current owner, known as a Transfer of Equity);
  • Repaying a government Help-to-Buy equity loan; and
  • Equity release mortgages – Heidi Start’s blog on this gives more details.

What does the remortgaging process involve?

Once issued, your solicitor will receive a copy of the mortgage offer. They will check this, as well as any special conditions and the valuation, and report back to you. They will also send you the mortgage deed to sign and return.

Your solicitor will act for your lender as well as you. At Coodes, we check the lender’s requirements and the property title, so we can submit our Certificate of Title to the lender.

Searches

Some lenders require searches to be carried out (such as local authority, environmental, drainage and water and/or mining searches), in which case we will apply for and check these.

However, many lenders will accept “no search indemnity insurance” which is a cheaper and quicker alternative. We will check and confirm this when reviewing the mortgage offer.

Anything to report?

Lenders require solicitors to refer certain things to them to check they’re still happy to lend on the property, for example, a defect in the property’s title or an adverse search result.

If something like this arises, we will discuss with you, offer a potential solution, then present this to the lender to check they’re happy to proceed.

Balance of existing mortgage

Your solicitor will also obtain a redemption statement from your current lender, showing the balance required to repay your current mortgage. A copy will be sent to you.

Request funds

Once your property title, mortgage offer and any searches have been checked, and the lender is happy to proceed, we can request the funds and set a completion date. We will check you’re happy with the date before requesting the funds from the lender.

Your solicitor will carry out a bankruptcy search (to check you’ve not been made bankrupt) and Land Registry priority search (to check there have been no changes to the title).

On the day of completion, we receive the money from your new lender; repay the balance to your previous lender; settle our fees; then transfer the balance to you the same day.

Registering the new mortgage

We will update your property’s title at the Land Registry, ensure the previous mortgage is removed and your new mortgage is registered.

Why use Coodes’ conveyancing solicitors?

Coodes has a specialist, experienced and knowledgeable residential property team with vast experience of dealing with remortgages.

We are on the lender conveyancing panels of all the mainstream lenders, and many of the non-mainstream lenders too – a group of conveyancing law firms approved to work for clients obtaining a mortgage.

Coodes also has a long history and working knowledge of Devon and Cornwall – we understand unique issues such as radon, mining, Mundic block (mining waste in foundations). We also have experience in dealing with properties with private access roads; private drainage systems; and private water supplies.

We can provide solutions and ways to work around it to satisfy you and your lender.

It’s important that when you call us, you can speak to your solicitor and/or their assistant, who will be familiar with your file. You will be given your solicitor’s direct dial and you can contact them when you need to – we get to know our clients and add the personal touch.

Our top advice

To help speed up the process of remortgaging, try and get the necessary paperwork together in advance, such as planning permissions, building regulations certificates, indemnity insurance policies, statutory declarations, and any specialist reports.

We will send you a mortgage questionnaire at the beginning of your transaction, giving guidance on what documents may be required. We will also explain exactly what we need from you.

Don’t be afraid to ask your solicitor any questions you may have, or to stay in touch regularly. By doing this, having your paperwork in order, and providing your solicitor with information requested in a timely manner the remortgage process will be quicker and easier for everyone.

For more information about remortgaging your property, contact a member of our residential property team. Use our Contact Us form or call 0800 328 3282.

Tue 21st Mar 2023

Kerry Tresidder

Associate

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