Transfer of Equity: How to add or remove someone from your property title

Changes in property ownership happen all of the time. Perhaps you want to add your partner or child to the title of your house, or maybe you want to remove your ex-partner from it.

Either way, a Transfer of Equity is the most popular method of doing so.

In her latest article, Licensed Conveyancer Julia Gaunt outlines how a transfer of equity works and the process involved.

Can you transfer ownership of a property in the UK?

Yes, it is possible to transfer ownership of a property in the UK. You can either add or remove an owner of a property, in various different ways.

You can gift full or part ownership of a home to someone by adding them to the title deeds of the property as a joint owner 

You can have up to four joint owners of a property whose names will show on the register held by the Land Registry.  If there are more than four legal owners, then the extent of their ownership should be recorded in a separate document (a declaration of trust).

declaration of trust can also be used to specify each owner’s contribution to and share in the ownership of a property.  This is particularly important if there are unequal contributions to the acquisition of a property.

Related: What is a declaration of trust and why do I need one?

What is transfer of equity?

Transfer of equity is where a property owner adds or removes a person to the title of their house, changing the legal ownership of the property.
Usually, where a person is being added to the title, they would buy their share in the property’s value (typically 50%).

And where a party is being removed from the property, the remaining owner will need to buy the other person’s share out.

How do I remove my ex-partner from house deeds?

The process for removing someone from the house deeds, whether your ex-partner or not, begins with your lawyer reviewing the title deeds to find the details of the mortgage, if applicable, and the parties involved.

They can then get permission from the lender, again where a mortgage exists, as the party being removed from the title of the property will need to be released from the mortgage; and draft a transfer document which will legally remove the individual and transfer ownership.

How do you transfer a house to a family member?

Transfer of equity can be used to transfer full or part ownership of a property from you to another person, whether this is a family member or partner etc.

Transfers of this type can involve the family member buying their share of the property from you. Or, alternatively, you can choose to simply gift someone a share in the property with no money changing hands.

Gifting a property in this way can be beneficial as stamp duty will not apply.

The transfer of equity process will start with a valuation of the property and end with parties signing the legal documentation and registering the transfer with HM Land Registry.

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