Remortgage Process Explained by SAM Conveyancing
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Remortgage Process Explained

8 min read

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Remortgage Process from SAM Conveyancing
Remortgage Process from SAM Conveyancing
 Remortgage Conveyancing
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Remortgage Process
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There are many different reasons why you might need to remortgage your home. It may be to free up equity for an extension or to settle a second charge on the property. It could even be to simply secure a better mortgage interest rate. The majority of remortgages take place close to the end of the fixed beneficial interest rate.You need a solicitor to complete the remortgage process for you, and there are some more lenders who offer Free Remortgage Legal Fees, however the free work doesn't include additional work such as transfer of equity, help to buy loan repayment or staircasing.

The remortgage conveyancing process is faster than when you purchased the property with the key objective to satisfy the requests of your new mortgage lender. Unlike on the purchase, the solicitor does not raise legal enquiries to investigate the legal title (this would have been done when you purchased the property), although they do look for restrictions and charges that could affect their ability to register the property with the new mortgage interest. This article explains exactly what happens during the conveyancing for your remortgage.

If you are looking for legal support during your conveyancing call our specialist remortgage conveyancing team on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

*Terms apply

What is the Remortgage Process?

    Find a solicitor, ID and title checks
    Mortgage offer and request current mortgage statement
    Update Land Registry Post Completion

    Find a solicitor, ID and title checks
Your solicitor will need to prove who you are through their ID checks. Our solicitors do this using 1 form of photo ID and 2 forms to prove your address; both are then checked through an online checking system which costs £8 per name (read this article on What ID does my conveyancing solicitor need).

If you are remortgaging for a lower amount and looking to pay off some of your mortgage, then your solicitor will need to confirm the source of the funds you are using to pay off the mortgage (read this article on How to prove source of funds)

You solicitor will then request a copy of your title deeds to confirm if:

  • there are any charges or restrictions on the title that need satisfying
  • you are the legal owner of the property

If the property you are remortgaging is a leasehold (read more about leasehold properties) then the solicitor reviews the covenants in the lease to confirm who they have to serve notice on to confirm the change of charges (mortgages or loans) to post-completion (read more about What Happens Post Completion). The solicitor will also confirm the leasehold title is compliant in accordance with the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) Handbook.
    Mortgage offer and request current mortgage statement
Your mortgage lender issues their mortgage offer to your solicitor. Different mortgage lenders will have different requirements for their solicitor to adhere to. Whereas some won't ask the solicitor to do anything more than their obligations under the CML, some mortgage lenders request additional information to be provided to them before they will agree to funding the proposed mortgage. For example, Paragon Mortgages requires the solicitor to provide copies of planning permission, building regulations and rights of way, however Santander PLC doesn't require this.

If there is an existing charge registered on the property, then the solicitor requests for the mortgage lender to provide a current mortgage statement in order to discharge the balance on completion.

Different mortgage lenders have different criteria with regards to the local authority search. Some mortgage lenders are happy for you to take out local authority search indemnity insurance, some will not and expect you to obtain either an official local authority search or a personal regulated local authority search (read to find out the difference between official and personal).

This effects you both in the cost and in the time it takes to obtain the desired information. For search local authority search indemnity insurance the policy is issued within minutes and the costs are as stated to the right.

The cost of a regulated local authority search costs around £124, however the cost of an official local authority search obtained directly from the council ranges from £60 up to £300. There are also some mortgage lenders who require you to provide environmental searches, chancel indemnity and water and drainage searches.

Find out from the CML which property searches or indemnity insurance you need

The solicitor will take out an OS1 priority search to freeze the title of the property from being able to have any changes applied to it and then complete a bankruptcy search on you. The OS1 costs £3 per title and the bankruptcy search costs £2 per legal owner searched.

Once your solicitor is satisfied that the title is satisfactory for the purposes of the mortgage lender, that you have sufficient funding to redeem the current charge on the property and that you have passed their due diligence, then the solicitor will agree with you a date to complete. They will then send off the certificate of title to the mortgage lender requesting the release of the mortgage funds in time for completion.

The solicitor sends you a financial statement before completion detailing the balance required to complete or due to you. This is an example of a freehold remortgage conveyancing costs for a property valued at £250,000:


Mortgage advance from new lender



Mortgage to redeem

£323 INC VAT

Remortgage legal fees


Remortgage land registry fee


Local Authority Search Indemnity Insurance


Online ID check


Official Copy and title plan


OS1 & Bankruptcy


Balance to be paid to complete remortgage

* Leasehold remortgage financial statements would need to include a notice fee payable to the freeholder and any other leasehold payments due.

Once your mortgage advance is received in from your new mortgage lender and you and your solicitor are ready to complete, then your solicitor will redeem your existing mortgage, settle their invoice and any disbursements (online ID check, official copy costs and OS1/bankruptcy). The balance, if any, is then repaid to you. The only amounts left will relate to the Land Registry fees and any costs due to the property being a leasehold.

    Update Land Registry Post Completion
The process for discharging the old mortgage and registering the new mortgage at the land registry can take between 1 to 6 months after completion. The time delay is linked to the Land Registry having a backlog of work. This can be extended further for leasehold properties if the freeholder/managing agent delays in releasing the notice. Delays can be worsened if your service charge and/or ground rent are in arrears so make sure that you have settled these prior to remortgaging otherwise you may have a stand-off with your freeholder not releasing your notice until your service charge account is settled (read more about What happens after completion).

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a remortgage take?

A remortgage can take a matter of weeks to complete once you have a mortgage offer. The delay normally relates to the time it takes to get your mortgage offer (remember a mortgage in principle isn't a mortgage offer and you'll still need to get a mortgage valuation).There can also be delays with the freeholders providing notice after completion, especially if you haven't paid your service charges and ground rent.

Remortgage Process

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What are the remortgage solicitor fees?

Remortgage legal fees are cheaper than the normal conveyancing fees for buying a home because there is far less work needed to be done. Here is a summary of work for a buying a home versus a remortgage:

What work is done when Buying?
What work is done when remortgaging?
  • ID and AML checks
  • Review proof of funds
  • Order and review conveyancing searches
  • Liaise with mortgage lender
  • Review home buyer survey
  • Review all legal documents and raise enquiries
  • Exchange and complete
  • File SDLT and register at Land Registry

  • ID Checks
  • Download office copy and check current legal ownership and charges/restrictions
  • Request mortgage redemption statement for existing mortgage
  • Receive new mortgage offer
  • Completion
  • Update new charge at Land Registry

Can the remortgage process be completed online?

In 2013 Peter Rodd a member of the CQS technical panel stated to the Law Society that not all clients would like a 100% online remortgage process. The conveyancing process and technology as a whole have moved on since then where the whole process is likely to be completed online; even including mortgage deeds soon. This is being driven by the Land Registry to stream line make registration of remortgages.

Can you get free remortgage legal fees?

There are some mortgage lenders who offer the legal work for a remortgage free of charge if you use their chosen conveyancer. You can click to find out about Free Remortgage Legal Fees - The Pros and Cons to using the mortgage lender's solicitor. Here are a list of conveyancing solicitors and conveyancers who the mortgage lenders use:

  • Enact Remortgage
  • Grindeys Solicitors Remortgage
  • Optima Legal Remortgages

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Free Remortgage Legal Fees - The Pros and Cons to using the mortgage lender's solicitor

Free Remortgage Legal Fees - The Pros and Cons to using the mortgage lender's solicitor

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