No. Many years ago, the equity release schemes that were available were not regulated. The dangers of these schemes were that they didn’t offer the legal protections of modern-day plans. The industry is now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Since 1991, the industry has also been overseen by its governing body – the Equity Release Council (ERC). The ERC has a strict Code of Conduct which is designed to protect consumers and keep you financially safe. This includes:

  • You must receive financial and legal advice.
  • That all products must have a ‘no negative equity guarantee’ – which means that your loved ones will never repay more than the value of your home.
  • That you can stay in your home for life.
  • That all those taking out equity release have at least one face-to-face meeting with an independent solicitor.
Equity release is an advised financial product, which simply means that you cannot take out a plan without having taken appropriate financial advice from a suitably qualified professional.
That’s fine. We have a brand-new office in the heart of Haywards Heath where you can come to meet us or alternatively, we can do it over Zoom/Teams or the phone.

It is always good to meet face to face but ultimately, we will do whatever makes you the most comfortable.
Yes. With a lifetime mortgage there is no standard affordability assessment and the lending is based on an assessment of your age and the value of your home. There are just 4 criteria you need to meet:

  • You are over 55.
  • You are a homeowner and you own property in the UK.
  • Your property is worth a minimum of £70,000.
  • You will settle any outstanding mortgage upon completion of the equity release.
No. All equity release products now come with a ‘no negative equity guarantee’ which means that no matter what the debt is compared to the value of your home when you pass away or move in to long term care, no debt will passed on.
Yes. A lifetime mortgage is just like any other mortgage and although the lender may have a charge over your property (a note on the land registry so that the house cannot be sold without their permission) you will remain the owner throughout. Home Reversion plans don’t offer this which is why we do not advise on them.
No. The house can only be sold when you die or move into long-term care. If the mortgage is in joint names, then this applies only when the last person leaves the property.
Yes. The lender will take the purchase property value into account to work out if they will lend you what you need
That’s true, they can. However, it is becoming less common and there are products in the marketplace where the ERC’s end in as little as five years. This will all be explained to you as part of the advice process
Whenever you are going to pay a fee for any service it is always important to ensure you are comparing like-for-like. There are a providers out there that charge £0 (or a reduced amount) but they may only offer advice on their own products or a small panel whereas we have a whole of market offering. You may find that due to different interest rates etc. a product with no fee at the start may very soon cost more than one with a fee due to the interest compounding year on year.