Transfer of equity FAQs
Transfer of equity can be a complex process in some cases, so we have compiled the below information based on some of the most common questions we are asked on the subject. If you can’t find the answers you are looking for here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Stephensons, who will be happy to help.
What is a transfer of equity?
Transfer of equity is the legal process by which the ownership of the equity in a property changes. Equity refers to the value of the property, minus any outstanding mortgage secured on it.
This includes adding or removing people to the property deeds or transferring property between family members. Some of the main reasons why people might want to transfer equity include:
- If a relationship breaks down and one partner or spouse leaves the property and the other wishes to buy them out
- If a property is being gifted to someone e.g. a relative or friend
- If there is a court order relating to the property ownership e.g. after a divorce
- When a trust is formed in relation to the property e.g. as part of estate planning
How long does a transfer of equity take?
As with any type of legal process, the time it takes to transfer equity can vary. In straightforward cases, it could take around 4-6 weeks, but more complex circumstances can mean the transfer of equity timescales are extended.
What is required for a transfer of equity?
To proceed with a transfer of equity, it helps if all parties are in agreement about the outcome, as this makes the process more straightforward. The transfer must result in at least one legal owner being named on the deeds of the property.
A copy of the official title of the property is required to start the process, so that it can be checked for details of any mortgages, charges or other restrictions on the property that could affect the transfer. ID checks will need to be carried out and the transfer deed prepared.
If the property has a mortgage outstanding, the written consent of the mortgage lender will be needed for the transfer to go ahead, and the lender will need to check that the person or people to be named on the updated title are able to maintain mortgage payments.
How does transfer of equity work?
The process of a transfer of equity may vary slightly, depending on the specifics of the situation e.g. how many names are being removed or added to the property deeds and whether or not there is a mortgage outstanding on the property.
Various forms need to be filled out by all parties involved, stating that the individuals agree to the changes. The transfer of equity solicitor then files the paperwork and sends it to the Land Registry.
If there is a mortgage on the property, the lender will need to agree to the transfer and conduct their own checks on the people or person who will be responsible for making mortgage payments, to ensure they are in a position to do so. There can also be various tax implications if the transfer of equity is adding people to the title deeds rather than removing them.
The entire process can last from just a few weeks in the most straightforward of transfers, to several months if the situation is complex.
Do I need a solicitor for a transfer of equity?
It’s important that your interests are protected when carrying out a transfer of equity, and an equity solicitor who is experienced in this process is ideally placed to make sure that this is the case.
Whilst some transfers of equity can be fairly simple, others can be highly complex and the consequences of making mistakes with this process can be serious.
The transfer of equity costs will include legal fees along with fixed costs for elements of the process that involve third parties e.g. filing changes with the Land Registry and carrying out the necessary ID checks.
Stephensons are experienced transfer of equity solicitors who have a proven track record of helping out clients to navigate this process successfully, even when the circumstances are complicated.
Call us today on 0161 696 6187 for more information about this service or for a quote for transfer of equity solicitors fees.