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Surrendering your property

You may decide to sell your home if you are struggling with mortgage payments. You can then find more affordable housing.

There are costs involved in selling a home. You need to pay for things like:

  • A valuation
  • The estate agent's fees

There are also costs to move into a rented home, like:

  • Removal costs, or
  • A deposit

These costs may be tough if you have mortgage arrears.

Can my lender help with selling my home?

Contact your mortgage lender if you cannot afford the costs. Tell them:

  • You cannot afford to keep paying your mortgage
  • You would like to sell your home

They may be able to help you.

Some lenders offer an 'assisted voluntary sale' scheme for people in financial difficulty. It will:

  • Give you time to sell your home
  • Offer extra help with the costs

Your lender may agree to smaller mortgage payments until you sell your property.

Handing back your keys

You can also hand back the keys to your lenders if they cannot help you sell your home.

This is called 'voluntary surrender'.

This would be a big step. Contact us for expert debt advice to see if there are other options to help you.

It is often better to put the property on the market and sell it. Even if you had to move out.

You will get a better price by selling it than by handing it to your lender to sell.

There are a few things you need to do before handing your keys back:

1. Find new accommodation

2. Remove all the things you own

  • You might not have access to the home once you return the keys

3. Take final meter readings for your utilities

4. Let your local authority and utility suppliers know you have moved out

Once you are ready, you need to:

  • Give the keys to the mortgage lender
  • Explain the situation

You can do this by:

  • Handing in the keys at a branch, or
  • Posting them by special delivery

Make sure you only include your mortgage account number if you post the keys. Do not include the address, for security purposes.

What happens once I have surrendered my property?

Once you hand back your keys:

  • Your lender sells the property for you
  • You get back any money made from the sale

Properties sold at auction do not often get the best price.

In some cases, the property may sell for less than the outstanding mortgage. This means:

  • You have a mortgage shortfall
  • You need to pay this back to the lender

You may still be responsible for some costs until the house is sold. Things like:

  • Council tax
  • Water rates

Make sure you keep the buildings insurance policy until the sale is complete.

Help and advice

Try our online debt advice tool if you are:

  • Struggling with mortgage payments
  • Thinking of selling your home

Our experts will help you make a budget and give advice on how to deal with your housing situation.