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Do you need a solicitor for a remortgage?

It can be helpful to have a solicitor on hand when you remortgage – but a solicitor isn’t needed in every situation

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 10 May 2023

3 min read

Do I need a solicitor to remortgage?

A frequently asked question about remortgaging is if you need to hire a solicitor before you can remortgage your property.

Why do you need a solicitor for a remortgage?

You will usually only need a solicitor if you are choosing to remortgage to a new lender. It won’t be necessary to hire a solicitor if you are switching to a new mortgage with your current lender. This is a simpler process known as a product transfer.

When you remortgage, a solicitor will be needed to verify certain things for your new lender. The lender will need to check:

  • That you legally own the property you wish to remortgage
  • That you are who you say you are (identity checks)

A solicitor will also be needed to make legal changes to your property documents/title deeds. These documents will need to include the following details:

  • Your new lender
  • New loan amount and mortgage term (if different)
  • Person or people named on the mortgage (you may have chosen to add or remove someone e.g. in the event of a marriage or divorce)
  • Changing your legal title (name) if you have been married, divorced or simply changed it

In most cases, banks and building societies will be able to offer an option to use their own preferred conveyancing solicitors. These will in some cases be free legal services, so keep this in mind if you are concerned about saving money. Don’t just assume these services are free though – it is best to check first so you’re not given an unexpected bill later.

We would always recommend reading reviews before hiring a solicitor. You can also ask family or friends for their opinions, if they have previously used the lender’s solicitor. You want to feel confident your solicitor will do a good job – not cause you additional stress.

You do have the option to use your own solicitor, rather than the bank’s preferred choice. Some lenders can however be strict about which solicitors they approve for you to use. This can sometimes make using theirs the least complicated option.

Do I need a solicitor if I am remortgaging with the same lender?

If you decide to remortgage with your current lender, you won’t need to pay legal fees or hire a solicitor. This is because there isn’t any additional legal work needed with this type of remortgage.

You can also avoid extra charges such as exit fees. You may still need to pay early repayment charges though, if these are attached to your mortgage. Before remortgaging, you can request a redemption statement from your lender. This will outline your remaining mortgage balance and any attached fees.

When you remortgage with your current lender, this is known as a ‘product transfer’. You simply switch over from one mortgage to another. If the lender approves you can also borrow more on your existing mortgage, which wouldn’t require a solicitor either.

You will have already provided all the relevant legal details for your original mortgage. The only thing that now needs to be changed is Land Registry data. This will need to be updated to reflect all the changes that have been made.

Note: Before deciding to remortgage, it is best to get proper advice from a qualified mortgage expert. This can help you assess your best options before starting the process. A mortgage specialist can advise you about any legal requirements and recommended solicitors.

More about remortgaging

Here we have some more of our top guides related to remortgaging, to help you learn more:

Resources

Statista – Monthly remortgage approvals in the UK (January 2010 – November 2022)

Gov.uk – Registering land or property with HM Land Registry

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