The UK is a popular destination for second homes or investment properties for overseas residents. Analysis by the Centre for Public Data in 2021 suggested foreign ownership stood at 250,000 up from less than 88,000 homes in 2010.
If you are an overseas individual looking to buy a home in the UK with the help of a lender, they will most likely ask you to appoint a process agent. Here we explain to buyers what a process agent is and what to look out for when appointing a process agent for a mortgage.
Elemental offer a UK Process Agent service.
For further information visit our service page.
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Why is a process agent needed for a UK mortgage?
The process agent is there to protect the interests of the lender and will be a necessary hurdle to securing the mortgage. If something were to go wrong, for example defaulting on the mortgage, the lender will be able to serve court papers to you in the UK, rather than your own legal jurisdiction, which would be much more costly and complex. The process agent would then be responsible for forwarding these papers to you.
What are the exact requirements?
The exact requirements will vary from lender to lender. But the main terms of the condition of lending are usually:
- The buyer will appoint a process agent in the event of legal proceedings.
- Failure by the process agent to notify the buyer will not invalidate the proceeding.
- If the buyer’s appointed process agent is no longer able to act, the buyer will appoint another process agent within a specified time.
What to consider when taking out a process agent for a mortgage?
In our experience, when taking out a process agent for a mortgage it’s important to pay particular attention to the following:
- Duration – many mortgage lenders will insist that the appointment is made for the duration of the mortgage term but do ask your lender or solicitor as sometimes they do allow a shorter term.
- Fees – because some lenders will insist on appointing a process agent for the duration of the contract, it is worth comparing prices as the differences over a 25-year mortgage can be significant.
- Joint–Mortgage – if it is a joint mortgage then you will need an additional appointer. Some providers will offer a discount for more than one appointer.
- The letter – some lenders have specific formats that they would like the process agent letter to take, it is worth checking.
- Mail – If you plan to use the address to receive other mortgage-related correspondence such as statements, there may be a per-item forwarding charge or you may need a mailing package.
- The provider – the onus will be on you to ensure the process agent continues to remain in place and so it’s important to ensure you pick a provider that has a proven track record.
Elemental’s process agent service for mortgages
Our process agent service fees are refreshingly straightforward. We charge one one-off setup fee and then a fixed fee for every year:
- You can find out how much a process agent with Elemental is going to cost by using our process agent fee calculator. We have also written a guide to process agent fees.
- We will work with you to put in place a process agent for whichever term your mortgage provider accepts.
- When it comes to renewing, we charge a low renewal fee and we don’t impose a minimum renewal term.
- For joint mortgages, we offer a discount for additional mortgage holders (appointers).
- Appointments can be completed instantly online and there is no same-day service fee.
- If you require a bespoke letter please send it through and we’ll take a look, we can usually help.
Elemental is a specialist corporate services firm. We’ve helped clients from over 100 countries here in the UK. We offer a professional process agent service without hidden extras. If you have any questions about process agent requirements for your mortgage, please get in touch. Or, you can visit our process agent service page for an instant quote and complete a process agent appointment online.