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Conveyancing solicitors for transfer of equity

Here at Homeward Legal, we're here for you every step of the way, from buying your first home to selling, remortgaging and downsizing. We're even here for you whatever the reason when you want to transfer ownership of the property.

What is a transfer of equity?

A transfer of equity happens when an owner wants to add one or more people to the legal register of a property or may want to remove one or more people other than themselves from this register. This could mean creating a co-owner, taking a name off the lease or transferring it all together. 

If transfer of equity sounds like the right thing for you, Homeward Legal's transfer of equity solicitors make the process simple.

What does equity mean?

Equity is simply the residual value of the property after any mortgage is deducted from the current market value.

For example, if your property is worth £250,000 and you have an outstanding mortgage of £100,000, you have £150,000 equity in the property.

Why might I need to transfer equity?

There are a number of reasons for transfer of equity, such as marriage or divorce. You may want to transfer equity to your son or daughter, or to another family member. 

The reasons for transfer of equity are unique to every person and property, and Homeward Legal are sensitive to the fact there will be multiple parties involved in such matters. You can rest assured that your transfer of equity will be dealt with discretion and care, and in a timely manner.

What if there is no equity or negative equity in the property?

It is possible to find yourself in a ‘negative equity' situation when the outstanding mortgage exceeds the current market value. This could happen when a buyer has taken out a high LTV (Loan to Value) mortgage and the value of the property has subsequently fallen.

In these circumstances, the future owner will need to ensure they have made suitable arrangements with the mortgage lender. Homeward Legal's nationwide panel of conveyancing solicitors are experienced in working with owners and lenders to ensure this process runs smoothly.

What is the transfer of equity process?

A transfer of equity can be incredibly simple, as long as all of the terms and conditions are clear between the parties. Once all parties are in agreement, an official document called a Deed of Transfer is drafted for all parties to sign. Any existing mortgage formalities are also completed. If the new owner or part-owner is taking out a new mortgage, then your transfer of equity solicitor would also represent the lender's interests in completing this.

Transfer of equity can have an impact on stamp duty, capital gains tax and land tax, and matters are often accompanied by a remortgage too. If you have a mortgage, you are obligated to inform the lender if the names on the deeds are changing. You cannot change a name on the mortgage without changing the deeds, and vice versa. In these cases, Homeward Legal will treat the equity transfer and remortgage as one piece of work, aiming to complete this as soon as possible.

How long does a transfer of equity take?

The lengthiest part of the transfer of equity process usually surrounds the mortgage lender assessing the eligibility. If you are transferring equity without a lender being involved, the process can be incredibly quick. The more complicated the transfer or equity, the longer the process can take. But, if both parties are agreed and can sign the document promptly, it can be a relatively smooth process. 

The post-completion formalities with an equity transfer are similar to those carried out on a purchase. An SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) return may need to be completed (even if no stamp duty is due) and sent to HMRC within 30 days of completion.

The next stage is to register all interests and charges over the property at the Land Registry, at which point the property is formally registered in the new party's name(s).

Do you pay stamp duty on transfer of equity?

Whether you need to pay SDLT or not depends upon the ‘consideration' and the nature of the transfer of equity. Consideration refers to the amount of the property you will take from the previous owner. Consideration includes both equity (the value of the property) and the value of the mortgage. 

If the property is a ‘gift' and there is no mortgage, or the property is split equally between two people, there will be no stamp duty to pay. Similarly, if couples are legally separating or transferring equity by court order, there is no need to pay SDLT. 

However, in most cases when the property is split unequally, a mortgage is transferred, or the amount being transferred is over the stamp duty threshold, there may be some tax to pay. 

Whatever your circumstances, your transfer of equity solicitor will explain any expected fees and payments to help you take the right course of action for your transfer of equity.

Is there a Land Registry fee for transfer of equity?

There is a Land Registry fee for transfer of equity, which costs between £20 and £125 depending on the price bracket your property falls into. You will also be charged a nominal fee for the official copy of the register of title from the Land Registry, as well as online ID checks.

What are the solicitor costs for transfer of equity?

Your solicitor's transfer of equity costs will vary depending on the value of your property, whether the property is leasehold, the mortgages on the property, and whether you need to remortgage. 

But when you complete a transfer of equity quote with Homeward Legal, the costs will be explained to you. To find out how much a transfer of equity solicitor costs with Homeward Legal, simply fill in the ‘Quick Quote' form after you've selected ‘Transfer of Equity' from the dropdown conveyancing service menu below.

Frequently asked questions...

For a transfer of equity in conveyancing, the required legal documents typically include: 

  • Transfer Deed: This document transfers ownership from one party to another. 
  • ID and Proof of Address: Identification documents for all parties involved, as per anti-money laundering regulations. 
  • Mortgage Deed: If a mortgage is involved, the lender might require a new or amended mortgage deed. 
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Form: If applicable, a form declaring the transfer for taxation purposes. 
  • Consent Forms: If there's a mortgage involved, the lender's consent to the transfer is usually required. 
  • Title Deeds and Registers: Documents confirming current property ownership and legal rights. 
  • Financial Statements: Sometimes, financial information might be required, especially in cases involving the release of equity or changes in shares of ownership. 
  • Legal Forms and Declarations: Various forms and declarations required by solicitors or conveyancers to ensure legal compliance.

The specific documents needed might vary based on the circumstances of the transfer, the involvement of a mortgage, and any particular requirements of the involved parties or lenders. Consulting with a solicitor or conveyancer is essential to ensure all necessary paperwork is prepared and executed correctly.

When undergoing a transfer of equity, its impact on the existing mortgage depends on various factors: 

  • Lender's Requirements: Most lenders will assess the new owner's financial situation, creditworthiness, and ability to cover mortgage payments. 
  • Consent: The lender typically needs to consent to the transfer, ensuring the new owner meets their lending criteria. 
  • Mortgage Terms: The lender might require the existing mortgage to be reassessed or even a new mortgage to be taken out. 
  • Financial Assessment: The transfer might trigger a reassessment of the mortgage terms, such as interest rates or repayment conditions. 
  • Release of Liability: If the transfer involves removing one party from the mortgage, the lender needs assurance that the remaining party can cover the mortgage independently.

The impact on the existing mortgage during a transfer of equity can vary significantly depending on the lender's policies, the financial status of the parties involved, and the nature of the transfer.

The transfer of equity affects property ownership and responsibilities among parties in several ways: 

  • Ownership Shares: It alters the distribution of property ownership shares among the involved parties. 
  • Legal Responsibilities: The new owner(s) assume(s) legal responsibilities tied to property ownership, such as maintaining the property and paying associated taxes or mortgage payments.
  • Liabilities: Parties transferring their ownership share might have reduced liabilities or obligations concerning the property, subject to agreements and legalities outlined during the transfer.
  •  Consent for Decisions: New owners gain the authority to make decisions regarding the property, including modifications, sales, or letting it out, depending on the share of ownership.
  •  Financial Commitments: The transfer can affect financial commitments, with new owners becoming responsible for ongoing costs or commitments associated with the property.

Whether a new valuation or assessment is needed during a transfer of equity depends on various factors: 

  • Lender Requirements: If a new mortgage is involved, the lender may require a fresh valuation to assess the property's current market value and its suitability as collateral. 
  • Change in Equity: Significant changes in property shares or equity might prompt a reassessment to determine the property's updated value. 
  • Property Condition Changes: Any substantial alterations or improvements to the property since the last assessment might warrant a new valuation. 
  • Valuation Process: The valuation is typically conducted by a qualified surveyor appointed by the lender. They'll assess the property's condition, size, location, and comparable sales to determine its current value.

If a valuation is required, the lender usually arranges it through a surveyor to ensure an impartial and accurate assessment of the property's value.

In a transfer of equity, the agreement of all involved parties is typically necessary. Here are some considerations: 

  • Lender's Consent: If there's an existing mortgage, the lender's approval for the transfer is necessary. They may assess the new owner's financial status and agree to any changes in mortgage terms. 
  • Legal Considerations: Some properties might have legal restrictions or clauses affecting transfers, which should be reviewed. 
  • Tax Implications: Tax considerations, like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), might apply based on the circumstances of the transfer. 
  • Possible Complications: Disagreements among parties or complexities in reaching a unanimous agreement could pose complications during the process.

No. With Homeward Legal's panel of conveyancing solicitors, when you get a quote for conveyancing services from us, the legal price we quote you is the price you'll pay.

You should be aware, however, that some property solicitors do not give accurate quotes, only estimates, often putting standard conveyancing fees in the small print, possibly to make the headline offer seem far more attractive. The final bill you receive may then be much more than you budgeted for as a result. With Homeward Legal, we offer Fixed Legal Fee** conveyancing quote with no hidden charges and with our No-Completion No Fee

If in the unfortunate event that your property transaction falls-through you will not be liable for any of the conveyancer's fixed legal fees* for the work completed.

Why not complete an instant online Fixed Legal Fee* Quote with No - Completion No Fee† today. Or, call one of our friendly team, available 6 days a week, on or by using our eligibility checker.

If you would like more information on the transfer of equity process, or you're ready for Homeward Legal to help, simply fill in our quote form, or call us on or request a callback and we'll be happy to speak to you.

Your Fixed Legal Fee** quote from Homeward Legal ensures that you pay no more than we have quoted you for and is based on the information you’ve provided to us being true and accurate.

There are specific circumstances on a minority of transactions that may require additional charges that could not be foreseen at the outset.

A list of those charges and explanations can be found here with details of the potential cost. These will only be charged following discussion with your conveyancer with a clear explanation of what they are for.


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