Transfer of Equity
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Transfer of equity is the legal process of changing the ownership of a property. “Equity” in this case refers to the right of financial ownership, rather than its usual meaning as the actual value of a property.
A transfer of equity can, therefore, mean adding or removing an individual from the title of a property. This can be done for many reasons, but in our experience some of the most common are:
- To add a new partner or spouse to the title
- To remove a partner or spouse in the case of a separation or divorce
- To transfer property between family members
- To gift property
- To comply with a Court Order
As with any major financial decision that can have serious repercussions for those involved, whatever your reason for transferring equity we would strongly recommend seeking legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable Solicitor before beginning the process.
How Does Transfer of Equity Work?
Starting a transfer of equity begins by consulting the original title of the property to check for key details, such as who is currently on it, if there is a mortgage involved, and if there are any other restrictions that may affect the process.
Your Solicitor or conveyancer will then review the title deeds, check the identity of all clients involved, and prepare the transfer deed ready to be signed.
If there is no mortgage involved, then at this point all parties involved (both new and existing owners) can sign the transfer deed at the Land Registry and in the presence of the Solicitor and a witness.
If there is a mortgage on the property, then the consent of the mortgage lender will need to be obtained before the transfer deed can be signed. Your Solicitor can contact your lender on your behalf to obtain this consent but be aware that the lender may want to change the terms of the mortgage before consenting to the transfer. If an agreement cannot be reached, you will have to pay the mortgage before you can go ahead, either in cash or by obtaining another mortgage from a lender who will agree to the transfer.
How Long Does Transfer of Equity Take?
A transfer can take as little as four weeks to complete if it is a relatively straightforward transaction with few parties and no mortgage involved. If there is a mortgage, this process can take longer, particularly if your lender withholds their consent for any reason.
What We Can Offer You
A transfer of equity can be complicated, and depending on the circumstances dictating the transfer it can also be difficult and emotive. That is why it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable Solicitor to help make the process as seamless as possible.
Our Residential Conveyancing team have overseen many transfers of equity for all manner of reasons, and are sensitive to the potentially challenging nature of these transactions. We are also accredited through the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, which attests to our expertise in this area of law.