Remortgaging a leasehold property - what happens after the offer is issued?Our guide 'I've got my mortgage offer, what happens next?' explains the next steps and the role of your conveyancer.
If you’re looking to remortgage a leasehold property, your lender will require some additional checks by your conveyancer that aren’t needed if you’re remortgaging a freehold property.
Here’s a handy list of the information your conveyancer will need to get from the freeholder or managing agent who looks after the property. Bear in mind that the remortgage process can take slightly longer for leasehold properties due to the extra information requirements, so you should allow around six weeks from mortgage offer to completion.
• Ground rent and service chargesYour lender will want evidence that any ground rent or service charges you’re liable for are paid up to date, so they’ll need a statement from the freeholder showing that nothing is outstanding.
• Any expected increases in ground rent or service charge
Your conveyancer will also have to supply your lender with information about any major works that may be planned for the property. For example, if all leaseholders in your property are going to have to pay to replace a worn-out lift in the next few months, the lender will want to know how much these repairs are likely to cost, and whether you’ll be able to afford them without this affecting your ability to pay for your mortgage. Lenders are more cautious about checking this information now due to high and increasing ground rents and service charges.
• Details of any disputes between freeholder and leaseholderIf you’ve fallen out with the freeholder who owns your property, perhaps because they won’t carry out repairs that they are liable for, your lender will need to know about this so they can consider if it will impact on their security. If possible, try to resolve any disputes before you start the remortgage process.
• Copy of block buildings insurance policy Buildings insurance is compulsory when you take out a mortgage, so your lender will need to see a copy of the buildings cover for the block or house you live in. The freeholder of the property, or their managing agent should send you a copy of this each year, but if you don’t have one you can request it and then forward it on to your conveyancer.
Notifying the freeholder of your plansYour conveyancer must let the freeholder or their managing agent know about your plans to remortgage and change lender. They will need to agree to you remortgaging before your lender will accept your application.
The freeholder will typically charge a notice fee for providing any information required by your conveyancer and for agreeing to a new charge on the property, which you, the leaseholder must pay.