Conveyancing is the legal process involved in remortgaging a property. Knowing what to expect can help to give you peace of mind.
We’ve enlisted the help of industry experts and compiled everything you need to know about remortgaging in this definitive, practical guide.
Before making the decision to remortgage, it’s important to have a full understanding of the fees you may be charged for leaving your current deal and setting up the new one. These will vary depending on the terms of your deal, so it’s important that you speak to your existing lender and your new provider (if you’re changing) for a complete view of all the fees you’ll have to pay.
Once you’ve found a mortgage deal you’re happy with, your solicitor will get to work conducting all the standard checks and searches needed to remortgage the property. These include:
Proof of identity – your solicitor will request a form of identification from you as a standard precaution against money laundering.
Checking the title deed – this is a document that proves ownership of a property, usually held by your existing mortgage lender.
Property searches – some mortgage lenders will ask for searches to be carried out on the property before agreeing to lend you the money. The searches will check for issues such as planning permission affecting the property, building control and environmental factors.
The searches required for remortgaging are not usually as strict as for purchasing a property, and your lender may not require any at all.
Some lenders will accept search indemnity insurance in place of searches. This is a policy provided by specialist insurers to protect the mortgage lenders if no searches are being carried out for the remortgage.
Usually, search indemnity insurance will only cover the lender and you will need to confirm that you have no knowledge of any changes to the property or title that might adversely affect its value.
More legal work is required in remortgaging a leasehold property. If your property is leasehold your solicitor will need to check that the length of the lease complies with your mortgage lender’s requirements.
They will need to ask your landlord or managing agent to confirm that service charges and ground rents are up to date and provide a copy of the buildings insurance – unless the lease states that it’s up to you to insure your property.
A copy of your lease will also be needed. If you can't find it, your conveyancer will need to request a new copy from the Land Registry.
Your conveyancer will ask your existing mortgage lender for details of your current mortgage. They will also ask for a redemption statement, which gives notice that you wish to pay off the outstanding amount. The statement includes details of what you owe, plus any associated penalties, exit fees or costs.
Your new mortgage lender will then carry out a valuation of the property and make a formal remortgage offer. A copy of the offer will be sent to you and your conveyancer, who will discuss the terms with you.
Once you’ve reviewed the offer and are happy to proceed, you’ll need to sign the new mortgage deed.
Before requesting the mortgage funds and completing, your solicitor will need to carry out some final checks.
These include a bankruptcy search to check whether you’ve ever been declared bankrupt, and a priority search, which checks that no changes have been made to the property title since the remortgaging process started.
On the completion date, your solicitor will receive the mortgage funds from your new lender, and use these to pay off your old mortgage and any administrative fees. They will then deposit any remaining money in your account.
Once your old lender has confirmed that they’ve received their money, your solicitor will inform the Land Registry of your remortgage and update the title deed with details of your new lender.
The Land Registry will then send a new title deed to your solicitor, who will pass it on to you.
Below, you can see all the legal fees you’ll have to pay when remortgaging, which you should take into account when working out your budget.
This is a search conducted to check that you've never been declared bankrupt. The search has to be carried out for each person named on the mortgage.
These are the fees you’ll pay your conveyancer or solicitor for carrying out the legal work involved in remortgaging a property. Charges vary, but cheapest is not always best – it’s better to find a conveyancer you can trust.
Land Registry fee
This is the fee charged by the Land Registry to register your new mortgage on the property. The fee will depend on the value of the property.
This is the fee charged by the Land Registry to obtain a copy of the title to your property for remortgaging purposes.
This is conducted by your conveyancer just before you complete on your new mortgage to make sure no changes have been made to the title of the property since you started the remortgaging process.
Choose a conveyancer or solicitor offering fixed fees - this will help to keep costs under control.
Be clear about costs from the start - use our conveyancing fees guide to help you.
Assume you need to use a local firm - someone who is efficient and keeps in touch will do the job just as well.
Just choose the cheapest option - paying a little extra for an experienced conveyancer is money well spent.
Be fooled by extremely low quotes - there are likely to be hidden fees that will cost you more in the long run.
Conveyancing is the legal process you have to go through if you’re buying, selling, remortgaging or extending a lease.
Typically, a sale or purchase in England or Wales will take around 8-12 weeks from the moment an offer is accepted to the point of completion.
However, the conveyancing process varies from case to case and it can take longer depending on the complexity of the transaction, the number of people in the chain (if applicable), and how quickly you can respond to queries from your conveyancer.
When you buy or sell a property, conveyancing typically costs between £500 and £1,500. But fees can vary depending on a number of factors including the firm you choose, the type and price of the property in question, and where it’s situated.
See our guide to conveyancing fees to find out more about the costs involved, or use our cost calculator to get a personalised quote with a cost breakdown.
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This is a penalty charged by your mortgage lender if you pay off the mortgage early. It compensates the lender for lost interest.
The Land Registry is the government body that keeps all records to registered land and property in England and Wales. It is divided into regional offices, each with its own Chief Land Registrar.
A lender is an individual, bank or building society that provides a mortgage loan to a borrower. The borrower will repay the mortgage in regular instalments, usually over a period of five to 30 years.
The property title will provide ownership details and an accurate description of its location and boundaries.
This shows the current mortgage balance, outstanding interest, daily rate of interest, and any early repayment fees if applicable. It confirms the exact amount due to fully repay your mortgage on the date the statement is created.