How does transfer of equity work?
If you want to change who owns a property, whether you and your partner are separating and one of you is keeping it, or you simply need to transfer ownership to someone else, you will need to complete a transfer of equity.
Whatever the reason for changing ownership from one party to another, transfer of equity is a legal process, and so it’s essential you instruct a specialist transfer of equity solicitor.
In this blog, our conveyancing solicitors look at the reasons for a transfer of equity and explain the legal work involved, to help make your property transfer hassle-free.
What is a transfer of equity?
A transfer of equity is the legal process of adding or removing someone from the ownership (title deeds) of a property. By transferring the ownership, you also transfer who owns the equity in the property.
Equity is the amount that you own outright, less any mortgage you have on that property. For example, if you own a house worth £350,000 and have a mortgage of £100,000, your equity is £250,000. Without a mortgage, your equity would be £350,000.
Although the process involves equity, money itself is not necessarily transferred between parties. It is more about the ownership that is tied to that share of money.
Barcan+Kirby’s specialist conveyancing team can guide you through the process and ensure a smooth transfer.
Reasons for a transfer of equity
You might need a transfer of equity for various reasons, such as:
- A gesture of love: properties can be transferred between family members as a gift.
- Estate planning: as part of strategic estate planning, you may need to adjust property ownership to align with future goals or inheritance plans.
- The death of a loved one: you may need to transfer property ownership after the passing of a family member or co-owner.
- Marriage or partnership: if you get married or form a civil partnership, your property might need to be transferred to your new partner, or you might need to change your ownership from sole to joint. In contrast, if a relationship breaks down or you divorce, the property ownership needs to be adjusted to reflect this.
Do I need a solicitor for a transfer of equity?
Because a transfer of equity is a specialist area of conveyancing, we highly recommend that you instruct an experienced solicitor who can ensure the process runs smoothly and answer any questions you have along the way.
What is the transfer of equity process?
As with many conveyancing transactions, there are numerous steps involved in a transfer of equity. Here are the key steps that our Conveyancing team can undertake on your behalf:
By verifying your identity, ID checks ensure security and prevent fraud. This is crucial when it comes to large transactions such as transfer of equity.
Funds and documentation
If any funds are involved in the transfer, we’ll ask relevant questions and review documentation to ensure transparency and compliance.
We’ll obtain a copy of your property’s title from the Land Registry and review it to ensure a smooth transfer process.
If you have an existing mortgage, our Solicitors will gather details such as the outstanding mortgage amount, edit fees, or any early repayment charges, so we can request a redemption statement.
New mortgage terms
If you’re obtaining a new mortgage, our team will review your mortgage offer and ensure it is compliant with any special conditions.
For leasehold properties, we’ll check the lease terms, including ground rent and remaining lease time, to ensure you meet the new mortgage lender’s requirements.
Depending on the mortgage lender’s policies, we may need to carry out searches. Alternatively, we might arrange search indemnity insurance as a quicker and cost-effective option.
Preparation of Transfer Deed
We’ll prepare the Transfer Deed, a legal document facilitating the property’s ownership transfer, with specific considerations based on the nature of the transfer.
Once all property transfer requirements are met, you’ll be required to sign the Transfer Deed and Mortgage Deed (if applicable).
Our team will handle the financial aspects of your property transfer, including receiving mortgage funds from the new lender, redeeming the old mortgage, and transferring any remaining funds as necessary.
If applicable, we’ll assist with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax and ensure the submission of the necessary return to HMRC.
Land Registry process
We’ll register the transfer and any new mortgage with the Land Registry, ensuring the removal of the redeemed mortgage from the title deeds.
Tax and estate planning
If you are thinking of transferring equity to save your estate from paying Inheritance Tax, it is best to seek specialist financial advice from an Independent Financial Advisor. Once you have done this, you should consider how the gift impacts your estate distribution once you pass away. As part of this, we recommend revising your Will and seeking legal advice on estate planning from an experienced solicitor.
Contact our transfer of equity solicitors about a property transfer
At Barcan+Kirby, our specialist transfer or equity solicitors can guide you through the entire property transfer process, providing personal and expert legal advice to make your property transfer a seamless experience.