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Is there a mortgage on the property?
Yes, you will require searches. If you didn't have a mortgage then it would be your decision to make.
As you have a mortgage it's the prerogative of the lender and they will ask that searches are done to double check the value of the security (charge) they hold over the property.
Legal fees for dealing with transfers of equity should be in the region of £300-450.00 + vat.
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