A step-by-step DIY guide to transferring equity in a property

When you transfer all or part of your ownership of a property, this is referred to as a 'transfer of equity'. In property law, 'equity' means the value of someone's ownership in a property.

There are several reasons why you may want to transfer ownership of a property, in full or in part, to someone else. The following article is intended for people looking to transfer ownership of their property to another person.

If you are planning to transfer equity to another person, click here for a transfer of equity quote.

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DIY Equity Transfer

The two types of property transfer

Full transfer of ownership

If you are giving the property to another person e.g. a family member, you would be transferring full ownership of the property.

Part transfer of ownership

If, for example, you are the sole owner of a property and you want to give your partner, spouse or child a share in the property (e.g. 50%), you would be transferring part ownership of the property.

The basic property transfer process is the same in most cases, whether you are transferring full or part ownership.

What is the legal process for transferring ownership in a property?

Transferring ownership (equity) in a property is a legal process. This process is normally completed by a conveyancing solicitor.

Transferring equity is usually a quick and inexpensive process. The process can sometimes be more involved, especially when there is a mortgage on the property. It is critical that the transfer and registration process is completed correctly, as any errors could have tax implications.

Using a conveyancing solicitor will ensure that no technical or legal mistakes are made.

The process for completing a transfer of equity is as follows:

1. Complete a Change the Register (AP1) form

This standard form is used to notify HM Land Registry (HMLR) of the change of ownership in the property:

2. Complete the correct transfer form (TR1 or TP1)

If you are transferring full ownership of the property you need to download and complete the:

If you are transferring part ownership of the property you need to download and complete the:

3. Complete a Certificate of Identity Form (ID1) form

You will need to prove who you are to HM Land Registry. To verify your identity, you will need to download and complete the:

4. Calculate the HM Land Registry fee

The fee payable to HM Land Registry will depend on the type of application. To calculate the correct fee see: HMLR Fee Calculator.

5. Send the completed forms to HM Land Registry

Your solicitor will send the completed forms and the correct fee to:

HM Land Registry Citizen Centre
PO Box 74
GL14 9BB

Common transfer of equity FAQ's

How do I add my partner to a property deed?

To make your partner or spouse a joint owner of the property, you will need to add them to the legal title. You will need to decide how much of the property is been shared (e.g. a 50/50 split between partners), and complete the correct Land Registry forms.

TIP: Depending on the value of the new owner’s share, they may have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

How do I give my property to a family member?

The most common reason for people transferring ownership of a property to a family member is to minimise or negate Inheritance Tax (IHT). If the full ownership of the property is being transferred for zero payment, this is sometimes called 'gifting' the property.

A property will not be subject to inheritance tax if the former owner (e.g. the parent) lives for 7 years after the property is transferred. If the former owner dies before the 7-year time limit, tax may be due.

If you are transferring a property as a gift, you can follow the procedure above and complete the TR1 form.

How do I remove someone from a property deed?

This usually happens following a divorce or separation, or where friends or family have bought a property together and someone wishes to be released from ownership.

You will need to check which transfer form to complete, and there may also be tax to pay.

How do I transfer property after a part-owner has died?

In most cases, if two people own a property jointly, the surviving owner will become the sole owner of a property when the other owner dies.

The correct legal transfer must be completed, however. The surviving owner must complete a DJP form as part of the transfer process and send this to the Land Registry.

How do I transfer ownership if there is a mortgage on the property?

It is usually possible to transfer ownership of a property with a mortgage, however, the process is considerably more complex and will require more time to complete. To ensure their interests are protected, the mortgage lender will be involved and will require legal representation.

Your solicitor may also be able to act for the mortgage lender, but you should check that your solicitor is on the lender's panel of approved solicitors at the start of the process.

When you get a Quittance transfer of equity quote, you can also get a quote for the required remortgage work.

Seek professional advice

Even if no money is changing hands, transferring property can be a complex process. Whatever the circumstances of the transfer, there may also be Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to pay.

In order to protect yourself legally, and ensure that everything is done correctly, it is strongly recommended that you speak to a conveyancing solicitor.

Your next step

Whether you are gifting a property to a child, getting married or separating, or transferring equity for any other reason, we can help you find an expert conveyancing solicitor. Even if you are just looking for advice, we can help.

If you are also planning to remortgage as part of the transfer process, the remortgage legal work can be completed at the same time as your transfer of equity.

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher