How do I Deal with a Jointly Owned Property after a Relationship Breakdown?

Julia Khan
Senior Associate Solicitor, Residential Conveyancing Manager

If you’ve agreed that you’re no longer going to live in a property that you jointly own after a break up, then unless you’re going to sell the property, you’ll want to officially remove your name from any mortgage and change the legal ownership. This means you can be sure you’re no longer legally or financially responsible for the property or any mortgage secured on it.

Mortgages and other liabilities such as Council Tax are usually “joint and several”. This means that even if you no longer live at the property, if they aren’t paid, you could still be responsible for the whole debt, which you may not even know is building up if the letters are still being sent to the property.

This could affect your credit status and ability to get finance, employment or another mortgage so it’s very important to deal with properly.

If you’d like advice about removing a name from a property, please get in touch with our specialist Conveyancing Solicitors who will be happy to talk this through with you.

Call now 0808 134 9750 or Get Conveyancing Quote

Transfer of Equity

A Transfer of Equity is the legal process of adding or removing an individual from the legal ownership of a property held at HM Land Registry, including any mortgage on the property. Once any payment to the outgoing party has been agreed, the person staying on the title and taking over any mortgage will need to get consent from their existing mortgage lender or may need to change mortgage lender. They’ll need to meet the lender’s affordability and other criteria and it’s important that payments are kept up to date in the meantime.

If neither of you are planning on continuing to live at the property, it might be possible for the property to be rented out, either with the consent of any mortgage lender or by changing to a Buy to Let mortgage. Lenders have different criteria for buy to let mortgages. Renting out a property will involve in the owner in legal responsibilities as a landlord and there may be tax implications both in terms of the rental income and when you come to sell so it’s important to do your research, take advice and keep proper records.

If you cannot agree what is to happen to the property or you can’t get consent to transfer or to let, the property will need to be sold.

You’ll need to talk to your mortgage lender or financial adviser about your options. Our Conveyancing Solicitors will then be able to advise you on any legal aspects of the options open to you.

What is the process for a Transfer of Equity?

It’s best to get help from a legal expert when you’re looking to transfer ownership of a property.

The process will usually go like this:

1. One of our Conveyancing Solicitors will review the title deeds for your property and check for any outstanding mortgages or restrictions that affect your property.

Consent will need to be obtained from any lender or restriction holders before the transfer can proceed or you may need to obtain a new mortgage with a different lender.

2. Once any consent or new mortgage offer is received, we’ll prepare a Transfer Deed. This is the document used to remove or add a property owner from the title deeds.

3. This will then need to be signed by all parties and any agreed payment made before completion can take place. The Transfer will then need to be submitted to the Land Registry with an application for registration to formally change the ownership.

Here for all of your Conveyancing Needs

Our expert Solicitors can help you with a range of important legal services and advice if you and your partner have separated.

We can help with:

      • Removing a name from the title deeds and mortgage
      • Selling your home if you both decide to
      • Making or updating your Will and checking the basis on which property is jointly owned
      • A Court Order requesting a transfer of property, separation agreements and financial settlements

We’ve helped many separating couples with Transfers of Equity and associated advice. Let us help you too. Get in touch today for a fixed fee quote.

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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.