- TRANSFER OF EQUITY
We can guide you through this important and potentially sensitive transaction
Transfer of equity is a legal process that allows you to add or remove someone from the title deeds of a property.
There are several reasons you might want to arrange a transfer of equity. Whatever the motivation, it is important to make sure that you understand the legal implications of the transaction and that you are getting a fair deal.
It is also important to make sure the person or entity you are transferring equity to is trustworthy and financially stable.
Common reasons for transferring equity
In our experience, these are some of the most common situations prompting a transfer of equity:
Divorce or separation: Some couples in the process of splitting choose to remain joint owners and sell the property, while others – typically those with children – may want to remove one party from ownership so the other party can keep the house to live in. If this decision has not yet been made, our matrimonial and family law team is available to offer some guidance.
New relationship: If you already own property and have started a new relationship, you might want to consider adding your new partner to the deeds of the house.
Resolving joint ownership: More and more people are teaming up financially to get a foot on the property ladder, mostly with family but sometimes with friends. At some stage, one owner may wish to buy out the others.
Tax planning: Transferring equity to children or other family members can be an effective way to increase your tax efficiency. The property can be treated as a gift, minimising the tax owed when transferring it. If tax mitigation is your objective, we strongly advise you to seek the advice of a suitably qualified financial adviser.
How the process works
Once you have made the decision to transfer equity, one of our specialist solicitors will help guide you through the process, which we set out below.
1. Take a copy of the title deeds
Your solicitor will obtain an official copy of the title for the property and review it to check for a mortgage or any other restrictions on the property. At this point, they will also check the identities of each party.
2. Prepare the transfer documents
Your solicitor will next draw up the transfer deed document ready to be signed.
3. Notify third parties
Any third party involved in the property, such as a mortgage lender, bank or building society, will need to provide their written consent. If the property is being transferred subject to the current mortgage, the lender will need to be a party to the transfer deed.
4. Sign the deed
Once your solicitor has prepared the paperwork, the next step is to meet with them and an independent witness to sign it.
5. Notify the Land Registry
Finally, the details of the deed transfer will need to be passed on to the Land Registry. This will involve a fee which is dependent on the value of the property.