FAQ's

If you are considering the option of a Home Reversion,
here are some FAQ’s which may help you come to the
right decision for your personal circumstances

New Customers

  • What is equity release?
    Equity release is a retirement solution, helping to make the retirement years more financially comfortable. It allows homeowners to raise money from their property, as a lump sum, whilst providing the right to remain living in their home until death or a move into long term care providing they adhere to the terms & conditions of the plan.
  • How do I find out if equity release is suitable for me?
    Equity Release companies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In order to understand our plan in detail, find out which is most suitable for you and the implications of releasing equity from your home, you must receive financial advice.

    Bridgewater Equity Release Limited does not offer advice on their plans and you will need to use a financial adviser.  Please contact Age Partnership.
     
  • How much can I release?
    The cash sum you receive depends upon several factors
    • your age(s),
    • whether the application is on a single or joint basis
    • the current open market value of the property
    • the percentage being sold
    • and if you choose a product with a monthly rental payment
    For an indication of how much you can release please click here to visit our equity release calculator.
     
  • What can I use the funds I have release for? ​
    You can use the money to do whatever you wish.  If you have a current mortgage or any legal charge on the property this would need to be repaid on completion of the plan.
  • Do I need to use a financial adviser?
    Yes, it is essential that you obtain financial advice before applying for equity release.  It is important to consider all the options on the market and consider benefits and grants which may be available. Find out more
     
  • Will I still own my property?
    With a home reversion you are choosing to sell all or part of your home.  We will take full legal title of the property and you will be granted a lifetime lease.  If you chose to retain a percentage of the property a Declaration of Trust will be drawn up to confirm the equity split.
  • Can I move to a different property once I have taken out a plan? ​
    Yes, our plans allow you to move home should you decide to do so in the future, subject to the new home meeting the Property Suitability Criteria applicable at the time.  However, all costs relating to the move would be your responsibility. 
  • Do I have to pay anything upfront?
    There are no fees to be paid to us at either application or upon completion.  We also offer a free valuation.

    Your financial adviser may charge a fee and commission, they will advise you of this in your initail meeting.
  • Will my monthly payments change?
    Fixed Rent Plan

    The monthly rent is set and will not increase.  

    The following options are available with this plan:
    Rent cease option, where the rent payments will cease at age 80, 85 or 90.  
    Rent reduction option, where the rent can reduce to 50% on the death of one client if the plan is in joint names.  

    Escalating Rent Plan

    The rental payments will increase by 2.5% per annum. This will be set out in your plan agreement and we will write to you when the payments are due to increase.  

    The following options are available with this plan:
    Rent cease option, where the rent payments will cease at age 80, 85 or 90.  
    Rent reduction option, were the rent can reduce to 50% on the death of one client if the plan is in joint names.  

    View Product Summary
     
  • What happens if I can’t afford the monthly payments?
    You should contact us as soon as possible when having difficulties to make your monthly payment.  The sooner we are aware of it, the more chance we have of helping you.  We will work together to find, where possible, a solution or arrangement to address the problem.  

    However, you should be aware that, in the worst case, you may be at risk of losing your home for non-payment of rent. 
     
  • Can I leave some inheritance for my family?
    This will depend on the percentage of the property you agree to sell.  If you sell less than 100% the proceeds from the sale will be split in accordance with the terms of your plan.
  • How long will it take to receive my money?
    We have found through our years of experience that this is influenced greatly by your choice of solicitor. Subject to you appointing a solicitor who is experienced in Home Reversion Plans it is possible to complete the plan within 6-8 weeks of application.  For more information on solicitors who are members of the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance (ERSA), please visit www.ersalaw.co.uk or ask a Age Partnership Advisor.
  • Is Equity Release regulated?
    Yes. Equity Release is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  The FCA are an independent body reporting to the government, that helps to ensure that financial products offered to the public are fair and meet the required standards.    
  • What is the difference between a home reversion plan and a lifetime mortgage?
    With a home reversion all, or a percentage of, the property is sold for a cash lump sum. The percentage you retain will remain the same regardless of any change in property values, unless you decide to release further equity. The Reversion provider takes legal title of the property (your remaining share is protected by a Declaration of Trust) and  you have the legal right to live in your home for as long as you choose.

    A lifetime mortgage is a loan secured on your home where interest is rolled-up to be paid when the scheme ends. However, with some plans, regular repayments can be made, therefore reducing the amount owed. ERC approved loans offer a No Negative Equity Guarantee. This means that if property prices do not rise sufficiently and the debt exceeds the value of the property at the end of the plan your estate are not required to repay the difference.
     
  • Does my property have to be valued?
    Yes. The amount of cash you will receive is based on the current value of your property, we will instruct a FREE independent valuation.
  • Will I have to pay tax on the money raised?
    Money raised through equity release from your main residence is not usually taxable. However, your financial adviser can discuss with you the possible tax implications of taking out equity release.
  • Can I still keep the deeds to my house?
    As land registry information is now electronically stored we are happy for you to keep your paper deeds. Please ask your solicitor to request these from us.
  • Can I make alterations to my home?
    Yes, it is still your home and you can make minor changes to the property.  However, if you wish to make major or structural alterations to your property you must first check with us to get our written authorisation before starting any works.
  • Can I end the plan early and buy back my property?
    It is possible for you to buy back your property at the current market value. If you think you may wish to buy your property back in the future it is important you discuss this with your adviser.
  • What if a relative or carer wants to live with me?
    We would allow a relative or carer to move into the property. You should notify us before they move into your property and they will be required to sign an Occupants Deed to confirm that they will vacate the property within 1 month of your death or moving into care.
  • Why does my property have to be inspected?
    As set out in the terms & conditions of the plan you are responsible for maintaining the property.  Every three years we will write to you to arrange an appointment to view your property. Once a convenient date and time is agreed, a surveyor will visit and carry out an inspection. They will forward us a report, which you can request a copy for your records. 
  • Who is responsible for maintenance and insurance?
    You remain responsible for the day to day maintenance of your property (for example, decorating and repairs) together with the property insurance and all bills.
  • What happens should I need to move permanently into long term care?
    If the choice is made for you to move into permanent care we will need written confirmation from you or your personal representative. If you are the sole occupant arrangements will need to be made to clear your property and return the keys to us. We will then arrange for your property to be placed on the market for sale.

    If you entered into the plan with a spouse or partner, and only one of you needs to move into long term care, the other plan holder can remain in the home for the rest of their lifetime or until they need to move into long term care.
     
  • What happens to my plan when I die?
    If you entered into the plan with a spouse or partner, upon the death of the first plan holder, we ask that you inform us and send us the original death certificate, so that we may update our records. We will return the original death certificate to you.

    Upon death of the last surviving plan holder, the executors of your Estate need to notify us and provide us with details of the solicitor dealing with your Estate. We would then write to them requesting that the property is cleared and the keys forwarded to us. We will arrange for the property to be valued and placed on the open market. Once a sale is completed the proceeds will be split in accordance to the percentages owned.
     
  • Do I have to instruct a solicitor?
    Yes. It is a requirement of the industry body The Equity Release Council (ERC) that you take independent legal advice when taking out an equity release plan.
  • Can I choose my own solicitor?
    Yes. You can choose your own solicitor to represent you when taking out a home reversion plan with Bridgewater.  We do strongly recommend that you use a specialist equity release solicitor such as a member of the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance (ERSA).
  • Can I choose which surveyor values my home?
    Yes. You are able to choose a surveyor of your choice from our panel. All members of our panel are independent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) surveyors with adequate indemnity insurance.
  • Do I need to consult my family before proceeding?
    We would recommend that you discuss your plans with your family before making an application for a home reversion.  Your financial adviser may ask that some of your family members attend the meeting with you. 
  • What happens if I miss a monthly rental payment?
    Where a direct debit payment is returned as unpaid we will contact you to make arrangements to collect the payment. We will consider other methods of payment, such as debit or credit card, however additional charges may apply.

    A charge may be levied for unpaid DD in line with the tariff of charges.

    If rent arrears persist, we will instruct our solicitors to deal with any claims. In worst case, you may be at risk of losing you home.
  • Can I change the date of my direct debit?
    Rent is to be paid in advance by direct debit on the 1st day of each month, if this causes you any difficulties please contact us to discuss.  
  • Do the products conform to the standards laid down by the Equity Release Council
    Our Home Reversion with No Rent fully conforms to the Equity Release Council Product Standards.
    Our Home Reversion with Fixed or Escalating rent does not conform to the standards because you will be at risk of losing your home if you do not keep up your monthly rent payments.
    Further information can be found here
  • Am I responsible for any charges relating to my Home Reversion Plan?
    Depending on the action which needs to be taken, a charge may be payable.  Please see our Tariff of Charges which shows all the administration fees.