Skip to main content

We know people look forward to retirement and yet for some close to retirement age, that dream may feel quite distant. At Banner Jones, we've helped many homeowners to generate a tax-free lump sum by releasing equity tied up in their property. 

For a friendly, personal service contact our property solicitors on 0330 017 6309

An investor has pulled out causing our chain to collapse, what can we do?

The current market and national economy is so uncertain that people may choose to wait and indeed remove their risk by pulling out of the transaction.  Although there is no reason not to carry on as normal in terms of the legal process we have to consider slower transaction times or hesitant investors or buyers.

At what point in the process is it legally binding?

You can withdraw from a sale or purchase up until the point contracts have been exchanged. Any deposits paid after exchange of contract will then by non-refundable. After contracts are exchanged you are then responsible for the property you are buying and should arrange suitable insurance from this date.

Equity Release costs?

There are all sorts of “hidden” costs including:

  • Completion
  • Arrangement or application fees
  • Valuation fees
  • Insurance
  • Early repayment charges
  • Legal fees


You should also consider the following:

  • If your circumstances change in the future, will you be able to move home? Any equity release scheme will affect the inheritance you are able to leave to your children or grandchildren
  • There could be implications for your entitlement to social security benefits
  • Who will be responsible for repairs and maintenance of the property?
  • Tax implications
How does Equity Release work?

To be eligible for any of the equity release schemes available, you must generally speaking:

  • Be aged at least 60, own your own home, have paid off all or almost all of any existing mortgage over the property.
  • Own a property worth at least £40,000.
  • Own a property built out of brick or stone.
How long are local searches valid for?

A local authority search completed for a house purchase is valid for 3 months.

How long does the conveyancing process take on average?

We usually say 4-6 weeks for an average sale or purchase. Queries and concerns can often come out of the local authority searches which need further investigation and sometimes this leads to re-approval from the Mortgage lender. This can add further time into the process.

Is Equity Release right for me?

It may be that you could consider other options as opposed to equity release, such as moving to a smaller property or cashing in other “nest eggs”, such as premium bonds or savings.

What different Equity Release Schemes are available?

The schemes fall under 2 broad headings: “Reversion Schemes” and “Lifetime Mortgage Schemes”. Each type will have advantages and disadvantages.

What happens if there are disruption to banking services due to coronavirus?

If banks or mortgage lenders are unable to move funds around due to staffing shortages then this will disrupt your completion, however, be reassured that they will be doing everything they can to prevent this scenario.

What happens if we can’t produce certificates for work we’ve had done on the house we’re selling?

You can indemnify the work by taking out an insurance policy. This means that you can not be held liable for any future fault on the work that was done. We can arrange this for you

What is Stamp Duty and how much will I have to pay?

Stamp Duty is a tax levied by HM Government on a transfer of property. For residential property this tax is calculated at 1% for property values between £125,001 and £250,000, 3% for values between £250,001 and £500,000 and 4% for those of £500,001 and over. Duty may also be chargeable on any rental charge (leases only) - this affects both residential and commercial leases where different thresholds are applied.

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Tenants is Common is where two or more people are entitled to the proceeds of sale in distinct shares - on the death of one, his/her interest will not pass to the survivor(s) but will be part of his/her estate. Joint Tenants are on the other hand 50/50 Co-owners of land - when one of them dies, his/her rights of ownership pass to the survivor(s).

Will a surveyor/valuer attend the house I want to purchase or are they not carrying out surveys currently due to coronavirus?

Each company will be following their own policies and procedures as well as the government guidelines, which may result in a slower service or more precautions being put in place, or indeed surveys being cancelled.

Will removal companies be happy to enter properties during the coronavirus measures?

As things stand, it will be down to the individual companies who will have their own policies in place so the best thing is to contact our remover and discuss their policy with them.

Will the search providers be able to carry out searches during the coronavirus measures?

The majority of the searches are automated through computer systems and will therefore not be affected, however, the local authority searches are done by visiting the council offices.  Please therefore expect lengthy delays on the return of those searches as some council offices are not allowing visitors.

Talk to our team