Transfer of equity means that a property owner is changing the legal ownership or status of his property. There are several reasons why someone might decide to do this. Recently married couples may want their property in both their names. Divorcing couples may want the property back in just one of the co-owner's names. Also, some property owners are advised by their accountants or tax planners to transfer part of their property into another family member's name. If someone wants to change the amount of shares they have in property, this also is considered transfer of equity.
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Contact the land registry for an official copy of the title of deeds.
Arrange for both parties to sign the transfer deed; a witness must be present.
Notify third parties of the transfer of equity, including mortgage or secured lenders. The lender must provide a written consent to the transfer of equity.
Determine if stamp duty is necessary. While a stamp duty land tax form is usually required when a transfer is complete, there are exceptions. If the transfer of equity is part of a divorce's court order, for example, stamp duty may not be required.
Register the transfer of equity with the land registry; a fee will be required. The legal identity of the clients must be checked.
Tips and warnings
- The term "equity" applies to the difference between the value of a piece of property and the outstanding mortgage on that property.
- While children under the age of 18 cannot legally hold property in their name, a trust deed can be completed, which means that the adult can hold the property for the child until they are of age. The owner of the property is at liberty to decide at what age the child can inherit the property, even if it is after age 18. For example, a grandfather may want to bestow property to their grandson when he reaches the age of 25.
- If one owner is being removed from a deed, the potential new owner may need to write a letter explaining the decision. The remaining owner will need to prove that she can pay the mortgage on her own. If this cannot be proved, the existing owners may need to stay in the equity partnership.
- The transfer of equity process is complex, and it's recommended that legal advice is sought.
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