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Do You Need a Solicitor to Remortgage?

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage since I already own my home? How far in advance can you remortgage, and is a conveyancer necessary?

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-06-14
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Do I Need a Solicitor to Remortgage?

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage since you already own your home? How far in advance can you  remortgage, and is a conveyancer necessary?

Let’s look at the requirements, options and costs of remortgaging to help you make informed decisions about do I need a solicitor to remortgage and when it may be worthwhile.

Do I Need a Solicitor to Remortgage?

Not necessarily, if you're applying for a simple product transfer or to remortgage to increase the borrowing value, particularly with the same lender, the answer to do I need a solicitor to remortgage is almost certainly no.

The situation may be different if you decide when to remortgage with an alternative lender, where a solicitor will need to register the legal charge against the property linked to the new mortgage and ensure the previous security is removed.

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Based on your yearly income,
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Most lenders will let you borrow 4.5 times your annual salary so, as long as you have a standard 10% deposit, you should be able to borrow this much.

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Depending on your personal circumstances, some lenders may let you borrow 5 times your salary.

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Lenders usually cap the amount they lend at 5.5 times your salary, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to borrow more than this.

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Do I Need a Solicitor to Remortgage - & Which Type?

There are several types of solicitors and conveyancers, and you might find that when you remortgage, the lender provides free legal services, in which case you won’t need to factor in any additional costs.

However, it would help if you verified whether the legal fees are free or rolled up in your mortgage costs, in which case you might be better off hiring your legal representative, so you have control over the charges and the work they conduct on your behalf.

When Do I Need a Solicitor to Remortgage?

If you're adding another party to your mortgage, such as a partner, you will need a solicitor to deal with the legal processes required to change the ownership and add the additional person to the mortgage deeds.

Another reason you might need to consider do I need a solicitor to remortgage is if you’re remortgaging to remove somebody from the deeds. For example, if you have separated from a previous partner and are remortgaging on your own, you’ll need a solicitor to ensure the change is registered correctly.

Can my ex remortgage without my consent? No, whoever is applying for the remortgage must notify the other person before they can be removed from the title deeds and mortgage paperwork.

How Does a Remortgage Work UK in Terms of Legal Costs?

When remortgage paperwork is approved, you might find there are several different aspects of the legal work, and the instructions you give your solicitor and the complexity of the work will dictate the costs, which could include:

  • Conveyancing fees: £300 to £1,000
  • Land Registry fee: £20 to £910
  • Bankruptcy Search: £2
  • Priority Search: £3
  • Official title copies: £3 to £12

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage and carry out all these tasks? It depends on the new lender's requirements or whether you're applying with the same provider.

Do I Need a Solicitor to Remortgage & Can I Add the Fees to the Balance?

Most remortgage providers provide free coverage as an incentive. If there is a separate legal charge, you’ll usually need to pay this upfront rather than rolling it into your loan – it’s only normally rolled into your first repayment if that is part of the remortgage offer.

It is up to you whether you choose the lender’s solicitor or offer of legal cost coverage when remortgage, but typically you won't be able to opt-out if this service is part of the remortgage terms.

However, not all lenders will include this, and you may need to appoint your own solicitor.

How Long Does Remortgage Take UK for Legal Checks?

Conveyancing for a remortgage is more straightforward than for an initial property purchase, but your solicitor may need to:

  • Complete ID checks.
  • Access a redemption statement from the previous lender.
  • Carry out leasehold checks.
  • Run property searches.
  • Wait for the new lender to complete a valuation.
  • Check the terms and conditions of the remortgage offer.
  • Witness and verify your signature on the new deeds.
  • Conduct bankruptcy and priority searches.
  • Oversee the completion process.

When remortgage reaches completion, the solicitor receives the funds from the new provider, repays the balance on the old mortgage, and remits any credits to you.

How long does remortgage take UK from start to finish? Normally around four to eight weeks, although the legal work shouldn't take this long and is usually included in that average time frame.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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Frequently Asked
Questions

It depends. If you're remortgaging to a new lender or any of the circumstances behind your mortgage have changed, you’ll normally need a solicitor or conveyancer. However, simple product transfers with the same lender won’t always require a solicitor, particularly if the lender doesn’t require any checks or verifications before they’re happy to proceed.

Yes, if you own a property alone and want to remortgage onto a joint mortgage product with a new partner or spouse, a solicitor will arrange the paperwork and changes to the title and mortgage deeds for you.

Yes, if you originally purchased a home with a partner and have since separated and wish to remortgage as a single applicant or with a new partner, you'll need to instruct a solicitor. That is because mortgage paperwork includes formal legal documentation recognising the named individuals responsible for the debt, and you need this to be amended.

In most cases, a remortgage takes from four to eight weeks. However, it could be quicker to work with an experienced broker to negotiate the terms and ensure all the paperwork is accurate and complete to minimise queries or documentation requests.

Yes, your solicitor should be happy to furnish you with copies of all the paperwork, including the mortgage agreement, title deeds and land registry details, which you’ll need for reference.

The basics of a remortgage are that you're repaying your current mortgage and replacing it with a different product. Most people remortgage because they can get a cheaper deal elsewhere or lower interest rates, or they are approaching the end of a fixed-term contract or want to increase or decrease the amount they're borrowing against their property.

Most lenders will hold a remortgage offer for up to six months, so you can apply before the end of a fixed-term deal and implement the remortgage when your current contract ends.

This option is ideal if you'd like to avoid going onto the lender's SVR but don't want to remortgage too soon and find yourself paying early settlement fees.

If you've previously been a signatory of the title deeds or mortgage deeds on a property, you cannot be removed without knowing or without your consent. One of the situations where you will need a solicitor to help with your remortgage is if any of the parties to the property ownership are changing.

Not usually, you can often remortgage without formal legal processes because your existing lender already has documentation and records verifying your ID. However, if it has been a long time since you took out your original mortgage, they might need a solicitor to conduct background checks or to refresh the information they hold on file.

In most scenarios, you can choose either a solicitor or a conveyancer. The primary difference is that a conveyancer is a property specialist and works within the legal side of property purchases and sales. They are normally less expensive than a general solicitor who might offer conveyancing services alongside other legal work.

Solicitors conduct searches on the lender's behalf and also check that there are no issues within the remortgage offer, your application, or related to the property itself that will likely become an issue later on.

You won’t always need a solicitor, but it can be useful to seek independent advice if you’re unsure of any of the clauses within the remortgage offer or would like a legal expert to ensure all the charges and any changes to the mortgage or ownership have been correctly processed.

Many lenders offer free legal services as a perk within their remortgage packages. It isn't particularly easy or normally necessary to forgo this since you won't have any reason to instruct another solicitor to conduct searches or sign paperwork.

However, it could be wise to have your own solicitor if there are any queries or concerns or if the lender offers to manage the legal aspect of remortgaging but will roll up the cost in your borrowing balance.

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The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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