There are certain criteria that you must meet before you are considered eligible for equity release. Take a look at the questions below to check whether you are eligible for equity release on your property.
If you, or your partner, are not 55 years or over than you will not be entitled to equity release. If you have a joint plan, you must go by the younger person’s age. Meaning that even if one of you is above this age bracket, if the other one isn’t then you will not fit the age criteria. It is also worth noting that for home reversion plans the minimum age is often set higher so always check with your provider.
2. Does your property have a minimum value of £70,000?
The property you own, which you are looking to release equity from, must be worth at least £70,00, or in some cases even higher. It is worth checking with your provider what their required minimum value is before you take out an equity plan with them
3. Do you own and occupy your property?
In order to release equity from a property you must be able to prove that you both own and occupy it. It doesn’t mean to say you can’t have other properties, but this must be the main property you occupy for at least 6 months of the year.
4. Is your property of standard construction?
Most providers will want to see that your property is built of sound, standard construction. Again, you must check with your provider what they consider to be standard. Obviously brick or stone walls and tiled or slated roofs are the norm, but it is worth checking if you have a thatched roof or other alternative constructs within your property.
5. What is the status of your property?
Your property must either be considered freehold or, if it is leasehold, it must have at least 75 years remaining on the lease for it to be eligible for equity release.
6. Do you have other loans and mortgages?
If you have an existing loan or mortgage with a greater value than the amount you are looking to release, then you will not be eligible for equity release.
If you have answered all of these questions and think you may be eligible and are interested in releasing equity from your property you should now think about getting some professional advice. The Equity Release Council offers access to numerous financial advisers and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issues a series of useful guides, which are great to read up on before speaking to a professional.