Transfer of equity:what do i need to consider when transferring our jointly-owned home into my partner’s name?

Question: My partner and I jointly own our home. For tax efficiency purposes we have been advised to transfer the property into my partner’s sole name.

Is this process straightforward and are there any further considerations I should take into account?  

Answer: This type of transaction is known as a transfer of equity and is commonly used to move property assets between connected people.

While it is possible to complete a transfer of equity yourself, I strongly recommend appointing a solicitor to assist, as there are a number of issues to be aware of.

If you have a mortgage on the property, you will need the lender’s consent before proceeding with the transfer.

Some people will use this chance to redeem the existing mortgage and take out a new one; appropriate financial advice should be sought in such circumstances.

Where your home is subject to a mortgage, stamp duty may be payable as the transfer of the underlying debt, from one partner to another, is generally viewed as consideration by HMRC and therefore subject to taxation.

Once the transfer deed has been signed, your solicitor will be able to register this at the Land Registry to complete the transfer of ownership.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

If you have a question for Piers King, email [email protected]standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE.

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