Equity Release  

Flat roofs and takeaways blamed for equity release rejection

Flat roofs and takeaways blamed for equity release rejection

Having a flat roof is the most likely reason for being rejected for equity release.

Research by equity release lender More 2 Life showed the most common reason for an unsuccessful equity release application was having a flat roof because they need replacing regularly.

Equity release lenders look for long-term durability in the properties they lend on.

This year has been the market’s busiest start to any year so More 2 Life has created a guide to understanding equity release lending criteria.

The guide says equity release could be declined for reasons including being located next to a takeaway or being a non-standard construction, such as being made of wood or cob.

The main reasons for equity release being rejected was that the property might struggle to sell.

Even clutter was in the top 10 reasons for equity release being rejected because despite it not having long-term impacts, it made it harder to assess whether the property was structurally secure.

Only 4 per cent of homeowners over 65 used their property wealth to support themselves, while only 3 per cent used it to support friends or family.

This comes as the Equity Release Council asked the government to improve promotion of later life lending services because despite the low use of property wealth, research showed 51 per cent of those aged over 45 saw property wealth playing a role in their financial planning.

Meanwhile one in four planned to use the value of their property to help family members while they are still alive.

David Harris, chief executive at More 2 Life, said: "With increasing numbers of people aware of the benefits of equity release, we know that being declined by a lender can be devastating for the client and a real disappointment for the adviser who has worked to help them.

"We are in the fortunate position that we can help the vast majority of our customers but we believe it is important to educate advisers so they can start to manage their clients’ expectations."

But despite equity release lenders such as More 2 Life believing in a “strong vibrant adviser community”, there was a worry of a shortfall of trained equity relief advisers as the market continued to grow.

Only around a quarter of advisers are authorised to give advice on equity release products. Abbie Knight, head of digital at Embark, warned that unless the number of advisers trained specifically in equity release increased, such services would fail to become the norm.

Kay Ingram, director of public policy at LEBC, said "Those seeking to explore equity release should ensure that they are talking to a specialist adviser and a member of the Equity Release Council which sets minimum standards to safeguard consumers interests.

"It is also advisable to consider equity release alongside all other options and dealing with an ERC member which is also an holistic financial planner will best achieve this."