Equity is often defined as your property’s value minus the outstanding sum of the mortgage. If you’re married, you can only transfer half of the equity of the property to your partner. However, it will require you to undergo an equity transfer process when you also want to remove a name on the deeds of the property, or if you wish to buy out an ex-spouse.
If the reason for the need of equity transfer is divorce or separation, you need to discuss it with the lender first to see if you can afford the mortgage by yourself. Yet, there are some instances when a couple separates, and one takes over the property while the other one leaves and says that they are not interested in the property any longer.
It may seem tempting to let the situation be as it is since you won’t have to worry about filling out paperwork and going through tedious processes. However, it’s crucial that you get a transfer of equity; otherwise, the estranged partner may still have a stake in the property. You never know what is going to happen in the future, which is why you need to secure your future today by sorting out the change of equity before situations take a turn for the worse.
The Process of a Transfer of Equity
As you begin the procedure, you will first need to acquire an official copy of the title of the property. You will have a conveyancer by your side to help you through the process, and they will review the deeds, your identity, and prepare the transfer documents.
If there is no existing mortgage on the property, you and your partner may sign the transfer deed in the presence of a witness. After this, your conveyancer will register the agreement at the Land Registry.
On the other hand, if there is an existing mortgage on the property, you need to get the consent of your mortgage lender first. This is because if you are adding a name to the title, that person will be equally liable for the mortgage as well, and the same works if you will be removing a name on the document. Keep in mind that it is highly likely that the lender may make some adjustments to the mortgage terms before they give you consent.
It’s also possible for the lender to not agree to the equity transfer. If this situation happens to you, you will need to repay the mortgage before you are allowed to make the change.
How Long Does the Process Take?
When it comes to the duration of the transfer of equity, know that it will likely depend on several factors. For one, if there’s an outstanding mortgage on the property, and another would be if both parties are in agreement about the terms. If the property has no mortgage, the process will be quicker.
Typically, a simple change of ownership may take around four to six weeks to complete.
How Much Does the Procedure Cost?
The cost of transfer of equity varies, and this will depend on the value of the property and other circumstances. Moreover, the number of mortgages on the property can also affect the cost of the ownership change. In fact, the procedure may incur additional costs, such as Stamp Duty or Capital Gains Tax.
There will also be conveyancing fees that you need to take care of as a conveyancer will be significantly helpful in the entire process. The prices will be based on several factors, which will generally be between ?100 and ?500 plus VAT. There may be additional charges that you may need to pay as well, such as online ID checks, or Registration of Title copy.
Mortgage lenders may add their own fees that will cover the administrative costs involved in the transfer of equity. The largest expense you need to take care of is the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) when a party is taking on equity or mortgage that is more than ?125,000, which will require a Stamp Duty Land Tax. However, if a party is leaving the property’s title due to divorce, there will be no tax charges.
When Does the Transfer Take Place?
A change of ownership can happen not only in divorces, and you can either transfer equity to another family member or your children. The only aspect you need to remember is that a property change doesn’t work like sales because here, you will need at least one existing owner to be on the deed when the change is finished.
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Transfer of Equity?
Keep in mind that you can transfer the equity to someone even if they are under 18 years old. However, if you will carry through with this option, you will need a trust deed that will designate a trustee who will hold the property temporarily until the recipient is of legal age. The transfer agreement is a legal document that officially assigns the property ownership, which will then be signed by all parties involved.
The transfer of equity may seem like a simple process until you find yourself drowning in the overwhelming legal process. This is why you need to know as much as you can about it to understand the process. Additionally, hiring a conveyancer to help you through is a practical move because they will take care of the legal process. All you will need to do then is to wait and provide necessary requirements that the legal expert may ask from you.
Regardless of your circumstances, transferring ownership can be a daunting process. This is primarily because there are details to cover, such as getting consent and the possibility of having to pay for SDLT.
Fortunately, there are many conveyancers as well as conveyancing tools that you can access today to help have a more seamless procedure. At the same time, be sure to choose a reliable one that will suit your needs. It’s also advisable that you have access to a conveyancing calculator to ensure that you’re paying for the right fees. This will help you plan your budget well for your transfer of equity because you will have a general idea of the costs that you need to prepare.
Check out our conveyancing calculator and compare various conveyancing fees. We also provide our clients with a platform that helps them find a conveyancing professional and legal property expert to manage their move in the UK. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!