Transfer of Equity

Do you own a property? Are you looking to add or remove someone from your title deeds? If so, you may need to arrange a 'Transfer of Equity' – and our Solicitors can help you with this. For free initial advice, get in touch with us today. Give us a call or complete our short Online Conveyancing Quote Form to see your quote online instantly.

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If you want or need to change the ownership of a property without selling it, you need a Transfer of Equity.

There can be a number of reasons why you might need to arrange this. You may want someone else to become a joint owner of your home or you need to remove someone from the deeds for whatever reason. Either way, our team is here to help.

The process might be simpler than a sale or purchase. But changing the deeds to a property still involves specialist legal work which is why it's important to call on our specialist Transfer of Equity Solicitors. We'll take care of all the legal aspects of changing ownership – and make sure that it's a seamless, stress-free process.

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What is a Transfer of Equity?

A Transfer of Equity is a legal process where someone is added to, or removed from, the deeds of a property. From a legal point of view, this changes the ownership of the property, but there's no sale involved. And it also doesn't have to mean that any money is transferred as part of the process. It just means that someone else is now (or no longer) a co-owner of your property.

For a Transfer of Equity to take place, at least one of the original owners must stay on the property title deeds. If not, it will be classed as a sale or purchase. 

What is Equity?

Equity is the name for the monetary value tied up in a property. In simple terms, it's the overall value of that property – minus any amount still owed on any outstanding mortgage or charge against the property. An example:

  • Your home cost £250,000.
  • You still have £50,000 left to pay off your mortgage
  • The equity in your home is £200,000

In a Transfer of Equity, a new owner normally takes on a share of that value. But if an owner is being removed, your share will transfer to the remaining owners. It might be, for example, that you want to make your husband, wife or partner a joint owner of your home.

In this case, you can transfer half of this equity (£100,000) to them.

Why do I need to arrange a Transfer of Equity?

The need to change ownership of a property can be down to many different reasons. At Simpson Millar, our Transfer of Equity Solicitors are used to helping people when their personal situation or relationships change. Some examples are:

  • Adding a partner to your title deeds
  • Removing an ex-partner from the deeds if you separate
  • Changing the percentage of shares owned in a jointly owned property
  • Transferring property between family members
  • 'Gifting' a share of a property to loved ones
  • A Court Order requesting for the transfer of a property

If one of these situations applies to you, let our team of specialist Solicitors and Conveyancers help. Even if you're not sure if a Transfer of Equity is the right solution for you, we could still make things clearer. 

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Why you can trust our Transfer of Equity Solicitors

Our expert team of Solicitors are on hand to make the Transfer of Equity process as quick and stress-free as possible. Using our skills and experience, we'll guide you every step of the way so you'll always know what to expect.

But there are so many other reasons why you can count on us if you need a Transfer of Equity.

  • We're called the "open lawyers" because that's what we are – open and honest with all our clients. We'll tell you what's what in simple terms, so you know what's going on.
  • We have a dedicated and experienced team of Conveyancing specialists who can help you with your Transfer of Equity needs, covering all the legal aspects for you.
  • Our team is fully accredited under the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme – a quality standard for property law specialists, recognised as a mark of excellent by lenders and other solicitors.

For even more reason to trust us, why not see what people like yourself have to say about us? We're rated 'Excellent' on Trustpilot for a good reason. And here are just some of our satisfied clients who came to us with their property needs:

My solicitor was always keeping me updated and made me aware of any costs and explained everything to me so I had all the information to make any decisions that needed to be made. Mark.
Fast, efficient and smooth conveyancing service all the way through. We were kept up to date during the entire process and were able to get answers to questions as we needed them. Mandeep.

The Transfer of Equity Process: What does it involve?

The first step of the Transfer of Equity process is for your Solicitors to review the title deeds for the property. This is to check if there are any outstanding mortgages or other restrictions that could affect the property.

After this, your Transfer of Equity Solicitor will:

  • Review the deeds obtained from the Land Registry
  • Check your ID to make sure they can act for you
  • Prepare the legal documents needed for the transfer (or transfer deeds)

What Difference Does a Mortgage Make in a Transfer of Equity?

If the property still has a mortgage, the lender will need to give consent before the Transfer of Equity process can move forward. If someone is being removed from the title deeds, the lender must be satisfied that whoever owns the property after the transfer can keep up with paying off the mortgage. If a lender doesn't approve the transfer, the mortgage must first be repaid in full.

If there isn't an outstanding mortgage, the Transfer of Equity can be completed by signing the transfer deeds with a witness present. Updated deeds are then registered at the Land Registry.

Not sure about something? Need further support? No problem. Our Solicitors can help with any queries you still have about the Transfer of Equity process. Speak to a member of our team today by calling 08002605010 or contacting us online.

What Happens on Completion Day?

If there is a mortgage on the property, your Solicitor will submit final searches once your lender approves your Transfer of Equity. If the searches are clear and the Transfer is completed by all parties, your Solicitor will send you a Completion Statement. This sets out all the financial parts of the transaction. You'll also be asked for the remaining balance before you can move forward.

Getting a new mortgage? You'll first have to sign the Transfer Deed and a new Mortgage Deed before you can complete. In this instance, your Completion Statement also includes the value needed for you to pay off your existing mortgage at the same time as transferring the property.

Once the transfer is complete, your Solicitor registers the new owner or owners with the Land Registry.

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Transfer of Equity costs: How much will you have to pay?

For many people, the cost of a Transfer of Equity will be an important consideration. That's why we make sure our fees are competitive and transparent. Unlike many Conveyancers and Solicitors, we won’t add extra fees to add to the headline quoted fee.

In some cases, there may be unforeseen circumstances that require extra work. If this happens, we'll let you know what's required and how much it will cost. After all, we're here to make the process as quick and simple as possible.

No extra work? The quote you receive is the fee you'll pay for your Transfer of Equity.

Do I need to pay Transfer of Equity Stamp Duty Land Tax or Land Transaction Tax?

If budgeting for a Transfer of Equity, it's vital to provide accurate information to your Solicitor at the start. This includes why you're transferring your property and how much of your mortgage is still owed – plus any new mortgage amount or increase in your existing mortgage.

Your Solicitor will then provide a breakdown of the legal fees and disbursements involved. You'll also be told if, as part of your Transfer of Equity, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT in England) or Land Transaction Tax (LTT in Wales) will be payable.

It's important to know if SDLT or LTT needs to be paid so there aren't any nasty surprises.

SDLT on a Transfer of Equity is not usually payable if it's subject to a Court Order. But it may be payable if you get married and wish to transfer a property into joint ownership, for example:

  • Mr Jones owns a property worth £500,000, with an outstanding mortgage of £400,000. Mr Jones marries Mrs Smith and transfers equity, with Mrs Smith being responsible for 50% of the existing mortgage i.e., £200,000.
  • In this case, HMRC will charge SDLT on the amount paid for this property consideration i.e., £200,000, or 50% of the existing mortgage. The SDLT due is therefore £1,500.

Do you need to pay stamp duty on a property transfer between family members?

SDLT can be complicated. And it can often need the expertise of a specialist Transfer of Equity Solicitor to help you know where you stand. If you're planning a transfer between members of your family, SDLT may not apply if it is a 'gift'. This is because there's no transfer of monetary value involved, and your family members aren't taking on any liability for the mortgage.

In all cases, your Solicitor will review the reasons for making your transfer and the calculations. From this, they can tell you if SDLT is payable. For further details, please see www.gov.uk. You can also find other examples where SDLT is paid on a Transfer of Equity for reference.

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.