As with any mortgage, a remortgage is a legal transaction and involves a solicitor. As the property is being transferred from one lender to another, the new lender must know if there are any issues with their charge on the property. They need to make sure that the previous lender is paid back and that the right amount is asked for. They will do their own checks on the title of the property and their own charge must be registered by the Land Registry.
As the competition heats up between lenders for remortgage business, many lenders now offer a free-legal package allowing customers to save on legal fees. However, as free-legals become increasingly popular, levels of service have dropped and, unsurprisingly, complaints have risen. If it is a simple remortgage with time to spare, then the free-legal process is fine. If it is more complex, it is best to choose another option.
Many remortgage lenders now offer a cash back option towards legal fees. This is usually between £200 to £500 and goes some way to covering the full legal cost. This enables you to instruct your own solicitor, safe in the knowledge you are dealing with someone you trust. Or you can choose to use your own solicitor and pay the normal fee. If time is against you or it is a more complex situation, your own trusted legal adviser is probably the best option.