There are many different scenarios when it might be necessary to change the name or names on your property title deeds – fortunately, this is usually a straightforward process provided it is done correctly.
Reasons For A Name Change On Property Deeds
As a guide, you might need to change the name on your property deeds in the following situations:
- Marriage – if you marry and change your name to that of your partner’s, you can arrange for your name change to be amended at Land Registry by showing your marriage certificate to your conveyancer to start the process.
- Inheritance – if you inherit a property, its title deeds need to be changed to alter the name to yours. You need to pay a fee to Land Registry for this, depending on the value of the property.
- New trustee – if a new trustee is appointed to the trust property, the Deed of Appointment must be registered at Land Registry.
- Deed poll – if you change your name by deed, your conveyancer can arrange for the name change at Land Registry.
Do You Need A Transfer Of Equity?
A transfer of equity is the legal process that enables you to add or remove the name of someone from the title deeds of a property. As a minimum requirement, there is no sale of the property and at least one original owner remains on the deeds.
You will need a transfer of equity in certain circumstances, including:
- Divorce or relationship break – if you need to divide up your assets and that includes property, then the names on the title deed will need to be changed to reflect the change in ownership
- Marriage or new relationship – if you want to add your partner’s name to the deeds of the home you own
- Joint owners – if you want to buy out your joint owner/s so that you own more equity in the property
- Tax benefits – if you transfer equity to your children or other family members to reduce your tax bill in the long-run, seek legal advice first. Many people choose to gift their share of property to their children or partner, for tax reasons
To transfer equity, you need at least one legal owner and no more than 4 owners in total. To work out the value of the share being transferred, you usually need to obtain a current market value first. If there is a mortgage on the property, the mortgage lender must consent to the transfer.
What Is Equity?
Equity is the amount of your home that you own. To calculate this, you take the property’s value and then take away any mortgage on it, and the remaining amount is your equity in the property.
What Is The Transfer Of Equity Process?
Your solicitor will guide you through the transfer of equity process to ensure it is straightforward and completed correctly.
As a guide, the process involves:
- Checking the title deeds
- Preparing the transfer deed documents
- Your signing of the transfer documents with a witness present
- Any mortgage lenders or banks linked to the property providing written consent
- Registering the transfer deed with Land Registry
- Paying the registration fee, which ranges from £50 to £920 depending on the value of the property
What Happens When There Is A Mortgage?
If there is a mortgage on the property, an agreement must be reached with the lender before the transfer of equity can proceed.
There are different ways to achieve this, including:
- Paying off the mortgage
- Transferring the property as part of a buy-out
- Remortgaging the property to release enough funds to pay off current mortgage and buy out the share you want
If there is a mortgage but the equity transfer is being done as a gift, such as a parent gifting the property to their children, with no money being exchanged, then consent from the lender is needed.
Is There Stamp Duty To Pay?
The answer is yes, potentially, if the property has an outstanding mortgage.
By adding a name to a title deed when the property has a mortgage, the new person is taking a share of the responsibility for the existing mortgage on the property and agreeing to pay off the mortgage debt. This means also taking on the required stamp duty land tax for that amount too – the stamp duty owed will be calculated based on the value of the mortgage and their share of the property.
If there is no mortgage on the property, no stamp duty is owed.
How We Can Help You With Your Transfer Of Equity
How a transfer of equity works depends largely on each individual situation, which is why we always recommend clients seek legal advice before starting the process. We always work hard to complete an equity transfer in the most efficient way, while acting in the best interests of our clients.
Transferring equity can be an overwhelming experience for homeowners. However, by providing professional and tailored guidance, our conveyancing solicitors will ensure your equity transfer is as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
To speak to one of our specialist conveyancers about a transfer of equity or changing the names on the title deeds of a property, please contact us on 01244 311 633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can Make An Online Enquiry and one of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.