Residential Transfer of Equity and Remortgage

Introduction

The SRA Transparency Rules require all regulated law firms, who publish as part of their usual business that they offer certain services, to supply information on the prices they charge for those services. For pricing on other types of work, we can provide an estimate upon request. 

Our team has over 50 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters involving freehold and leasehold transfers of equity (transfers) and remortgages. The team has particular expertise in residential conveyancing transactions for all varieties of properties.

We have 10 key client facing individuals who may work on your matter, with a strong technical team and separate management team in place to ensure we give you the best possible service. Rebecca Kibby, CEO of Conveyancing Services, has overall responsibility for the work regardless of who works on your matter. Rebecca's details are at this link and details of her team can be found here.

Transfers and/or remortgage transactions can vary greatly in requirements and complexity. Your transaction will be dealt with by people whose expertise is appropriate to the task in hand.

Freehold, leasehold, transfers and remortgages

You will see that there is a difference between freehold and leasehold properties, and transfers and remortgage transactions, which will affect your costs.

  1. Owning the Freehold of a property means owning the property outright, including the land it's built on.
  2. Owning a Leasehold property means you own the property for the length of your lease agreement with the Freeholder.  When the lease ends, ownership returns to the freeholder unless the lease is extended (and there are different ways in which you can extend a lease, including a statutory right under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended)).
  3. Transfers are where the legal ownership of a property is transferred between parties. I.e. a property currently held in joint names is transferred to one or an additional party is being added as a legal owner.
  4. Remortgages are where you decide to take out a new mortgage product with a lender and redeem your existing mortgage (if applicable). This may be at the same time as a Transfer as defined above or a standalone remortgage transaction.

What are the fees and disbursements involved in a standard transaction?

Fees

Our legal fees are fixed for a standard transaction, with some additional fixed fees for supplemental activities that can be associated with your instruction.

Our legal fees cover all of the work required to complete the transfer and/or remortgage of a property.

Our legal fees are as follows but note that transactions can become more complex than originally thought (for example if you are transferring a property with an existing Help to Buy product, dealing with an unregistered property, there are defects in the title that cannot be covered with indemnity insurance, there are uncooperative third parties, etc).  If so we will of course contact you to ensure you are kept updated with any additional unexpected costs before they are incurred.

Transaction Our Legal Fees
Transfer £850 + VAT
Remortgage £850 + VAT
Transfer and Remortgage £1,100 + VAT

We may also charge the following fixed fee:

Electronic money transfer fee - £30 + VAT (£36) – this fee is charged for the same day bank transfer that is required when redeeming any registered charges (eg mortgages) on completion

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties.. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure your transaction proceeds smoothly.

Stamp Duty Land Tax – SDLT may be payable when all or part of an interest in land is transferred to you in exchange for monetary value. The rules you use to work out how much SDLT you pay depend on the circumstances of the property transfer and further information can be found on HMRC's website (www.gov.uk/guidance/sdlt-transferring-ownership-of-land-or-property) or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority's website here.

  1. Land Registry fee for copy documents - £6 – this is the expected cost of obtaining an up to date copy of your title
  2. Land Registry fee for any required final searches in order to protect the priority of your transaction at the Land Registry between completion and registration - £6 + VAT.
  3. HM Land Registry fee for registration – the Land Registry will charge a fee for registering your transfer and/or remortgage. Land Registry fees can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees. Please see Scale 2.
  4. Freehold and Leaseholdproperties – where your transaction involves a leasehold property your Landlord or Management Company are likely to charge a fee for obtaining information that may be required by any new mortgage lender and to comply with any title restriction requirements. The usual cost is between £100 and £300 plus VAT. This fee varies from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more than the range given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have confirmation from the Landlord or Managing Agents.  This fee is not applicable if a freehold property is involved.
  5. Searches – some mortgage lenders require full searches to be obtained when a property is remortgaged (costing around £350). Other lenders will instead accept search insurance (costing around £20). We will be able to confirm this when we know if this will apply and which lender is providing the new mortgage funding.
  6. LMS fee - £15 + VAT (£18) - If you are obtaining a mortgage and your chosen lender uses the LMS STARS system, they may make a charge of £15 plus VAT which will be payable on completion.  This will be detailed on your completion statement if your lender has made this charge.

Example of total cost

Our Legal Fees£1,100 + VAT (£1,320)
Bank Transfer Fee £30 + VAT (£36)
Land Registry Fee for copy documents £6
Land Registry Fee for final searches £6 + VAT (£7.20)
Land Registry Fee for registration £30
Search Insurance £20 (approximate)
Total £1,419.20

How long will my house transfer and remortgage take?

How long it will take for a transfer and/or remortgage to complete will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 6 and 12 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the speed of any lenders, any freeholder requirements and the speed/approach of any other parties involved in the transaction. For example, if you are transferring a property from joint to sole names with no existing or new mortgages, it could take 4-6 weeks. However, if you are transferring and remortgaging a leasehold property involving more than one lender (i.e. main lender and Help to Buy charge), this can take significantly longer and sometimes between 3 and 4 months.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the transfer and remortgage of a residential property vary widely according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages of the transaction:

  1. Take your instructions and send our initial documentation to you to complete and return
  2. Obtain appropriate identification documents from you
  3. Obtain title documents from the Land Registry
  4. Obtain an information pack from your freeholders (if required)
  5. Review any mortgage offer and comply with any lender requirements
  6. Obtain any required searches
  7. Draft the required transfer and mortgage documents
  8. Circulate all documents for signature by all parties
  9. Provide you with an itemised statement of the funds due back to you (or from you as appropriate) on completion
  10. Agree a completion date and finalise the completion accordingly
  11. Deal with post completion formalities including repaying any existing charges and registering the transfer and / or remortgage at the Land Registry

Supplemental Fees

Some transactions will involve additional features which will result in your Conveyancer having to carry out additional work. We will charge an additional fee in the following scenarios:

  1. Help to Buy Equity Loan - £200 + VAT (£240) – where you are transferring or remortgaging a property with an existing Government or Armed Forces Help to Buy equity loan, an additional fee of £200 + VAT will be charged (per equity loan).
  2. Unregistered - £200 + VAT (£240) – if the property you are transferring or remortgaging is unregistered, we will make an additional charge of £200 + VAT to account for the additional time in reviewing the title documents and the additional registration requirements.
  3. Declaration of Trust - £150 + VAT (£180) – where you are transferring a property to joint names and require a Declaration of Trust to be drafted to set out your individual shares in the property an additional £150 + VAT will be charged. Where a more complex trust deed is required, we will refer you to a trust specialist who will advise you of their estimated fee at that time.