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A guide to transfer of equity – what’s the process?

Transferring the equity in your property can seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be stressful.

We’ve put together a straightforward guide covering all the key questions around equity transfers. Whether you want to understand the ins and outs of what a transfer of equity means or learn step-by-step how the process works, our guide breaks it down in simple terms.

Let’s make sense of transfers of equity…


What is equity?

Understanding home equity can feel confusing at first, but we’re here to walk you through it in simple terms. When we talk about the equity in your home, we essentially mean how much of it you truly own outright. You can get to that number by taking the current total value of your property and subtracting what you still owe on your mortgage.

Let’s take an example to make things clear, say your home is valued at £200,000 in today’s market. But your outstanding mortgage sits at £150,000, this would mean that you have £50,000 worth of equity built up so far.

What is a transfer of equity?

A transfer of equity refers to the legal process of changing the names on a property’s title deeds.

Life can throw anything at you, we understand that – marriages, divorces, new partners, inheritance changes, it’s sometimes hard to predict. But your record of home ownership needs to reflect this.

While each situation has its own nuances, the process fundamentally includes filing the right paperwork to record the ownership change, working with your mortgage lender to amend the loan if needed, handling any required stamp duty tax payments, and formally registering the updated property records. We'll explore the step-by-step transfer of equity process more later on so everything is crystal clear.

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Why would I need to transfer equity?

Sharing ownership of your assets can get complicated when circumstances shift. There’s no shortage of reasons you may need to legally transfer equity in your home. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common reasons for transferring equity:

Adding a partner

Adding a partner is one of the more exciting reasons why you need a transfer of equity, in this situation you are adding a person to the Title Deeds.

Separation or divorce

In case of a split, you may need to fully transfer equity to whichever partner will remain in the home.

Buying out owners

Over time you might find yourself needing to buy out the equity shares of a former co-owner, like an ex-spouse or partner.

Gifting equity

How generous – gifting part of your home’s equity to loved ones! Parents often choose to add children to property deeds.

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Do I need a conveyancer to transfer equity?

Transferring equity can feel like navigating a legal maze, hiring a conveyancer will help guide you through with expertise.

With many technical considerations, including mortgage and tax implications, we understand that feeling of being overwhelmed. Your conveyancer will work closely with you the complete the legal and administrative work for your transfer of equity.

Your conveyancer will handle:

Navigating legal challenges: With conveyancers specialising in property law, they have the expert knowledge to steer clients through transfers of equity.

Preparing documents: The paperwork involved processing transfers of equity adheres to rigid requirements. Conveyancers ensure every document, from transfers, deeds registration and more, is fully accurate and compliant.

Update Land Registry records: Updating the Land Registry with the updated property ownership details is crucial. Your conveyancer will handle this for you.

Explaining tax implications: Depending on the specifics of the transfer, Stamp Duty (SDLT) may apply. At Eden, we get specialist tax advice on each case.

Liaising with lenders: For mortgaged properties, conveyancers communicate with lenders to secure necessary approvals and address financial impacts.

Guiding financial settlements: Where buyouts or agreements have a role, conveyancers assist in formally documenting the financial terms involved fairly and legally.

Instructing a conveyancer to assist you in your transfer of equity ensures that you are legally protected and ensures that the legal transfer is completed correctly.

What is the process of transferring equity?

Transferring equity in your home can seem incredibly daunting when you first start looking into it.

It's legal process with a lot of moving parts, paperwork, approvals needed, and fees to consider.

We completely understand why you might feel overwhelmed! But take a deep breath, because when the process is broken down step-by-step, it becomes much more digestible and manageable.

Here is a thorough walkthrough of what the full transfer of equity process entails:


Step 1 – Instruct a conveyancer

Start by consulting a conveyancer who will assess your needs, explain legal implications, and put a plan into action. Your conveyancer will be your map throughout the whole transfer of equity process.

Step 2 – Confirm ownership details

Your conveyancer will conduct a Land Registry search to ensure all current ownership information is correct before proceeding.

Step 3 – Prepare transfer documents

Next comes the formal paperwork. Once your conveyancer understands your case, it’s time to prepare the necessary documentation. This will include the Transfer Deed, outlining the details of the equity transfer and all the parties involved, ready to be signed.

Step 4 – Mortgage lender consent

For mortgaged homes, you’ll need consent from your lender, who may need to amend your mortgage terms and agreement. Your conveyancer will handle contacting them.

Step 5 – Signatures and consent

Your conveyancer will work diligently to collect official signatures from everyone included in the property transfer.

Step 6 – Submission to Land Registry

Once the transfer deed is signed, your conveyancer will submit it for you to formally register the change in ownership.

Step 7 – Pay SDLT (if applicable)

If stamp duty applies, don’t worry – your conveyancer will ensure payments are properly made to HMRC on your behalf.

Step 8 – Legal completion

When all the above is fulfilled, you’ve completed, congratulations! It may seem like a marathon at first but taking it step-by-step with the right guidance makes all the difference. Make sure you instruct a conveyancer you trust.

How long does a transfer of equity take?

We know that you’ll be eager to complete your transfer of equity as quickly as possible. The timing can vary quite a bit, but here’s a realistic expectation: The full process usually takes between 4-8 weeks when all goes smoothly. We wish we could give you an exact timeline for transferring equity, but many factors in play impact the pacing:

  • Complexity levels: Is it a straightforward case or does it have lots of complicating factors? The more complex, the longer conveyancers need to work on your case.
  • Mortgage involvement: If there is an existing mortgage, getting your lender’s approval and reworking loan details adds steps to the process.
  • Responsiveness of everyone involved: How quickly can all relevant parties provide signatures, approvals, and essential information? Hold-ups increase timelines.

While it’s frustrating not having a definite date when you’ll hold those updated title deeds in your hands, your conveyancer should be able to provide you with realistic expectations once they have assessed your unique situation.


How much does a transfer of equity cost?

We totally understand - unexpected costs arising can feel like the absolute last thing you need on top of an already stressful process. Trying to determine what exactly it will cost you to transfer equity can also feel confusing.

There are often so many moving parts and intricacies involved from case to case. While we can't give you an exact price tag upfront before assessing your unique circumstances, we can help make sense of the likely costs in play.

Here's an extended breakdown of some of the most common fees and charges you can expect as part of transferring equity:

1. Conveyancing fees

You’ll pay your conveyancer between £500 - £1,000 in  legal fees for the work they complete whilst acting on your behalf through the transfer of equity process.

2. Transaction costs

From document checks to bank transfers, your conveyancer covers admin fees that they will pay on your behalf (£20 - £150).

3. Land Registry

When transferring equity, you need to register the changes with the Land Registry. This will typically cost between £20 and £455.

4. Freehold consent (if applicable)

If you are transferring equity of a leasehold, you’ll need to get consent from the freeholder of the property. This can cost up to £250.

5. Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is often the largest cost when transferring equity. Stamp duty is owed based on the nature of the transfer of equity.

If you are adding a partner or spouse to your title deeds, you will only have to pay SDLT if the chargeable consideration exceeds the SDLT threshold (250,000). Learn more about when you’ll have to pay stamp duty here.

If the transfer of equity is a gift, or half the property is split between two people, SDLT is not payable. If a couple is separating or divorcing by a court order, there will also be no SDLT to pay.

Check out our full guide to Stamp Duty in the UK here.

6. Remortgaging

If you are remortgaging at the same time as transferring equity, you’ll incur additional costs. Again, depending on your situation will depend on the costs you incur, but we break it all down in our guide to remortgaging.

Transfer of equity checklist

Need the above at a glance? No worries, here's your transfer of equity checklist:

What is equity?

  • How much of your property you truly own outright
  • Current property value minus the outstanding mortgage

What is the transfer of equity?

  • Changing names on a property's title deeds
  • File paperwork to record ownership change
  • Work with lender to amend mortgage
  • Handle stamp duty payments
  • Formally register updated records

Why transfer equity?

  • Add or remove a partner
  • Separation/divorce
  • Buy out former co-owners
  • Gift equity to loved ones

Need a conveyancer?

  • Navigate legal challenges
  • Prepare compliant documents
  • Update Land Registry
  • Explain tax implications
  • Liaise with lenders
  • Guide financial settlements

The step-by-step process:

  1. Instruct a conveyancer
  2. Confirm current ownership
  3. Prepare transfer documents
  4. Get mortgage lender consent
  5. Collect signatures & consent
  6. Submit transfer deed to Land Registry
  7. Pay applicable stamp duty
  8. Legal completion

How long does it take?

  • 4-8 weeks typically
  • Depends on complexity, mortgage, responsiveness

What are the costs?

  • Conveyancing fees
  • Transaction/admin fees
  • Land Registry fees
  • Leasehold consent
  • Stamp duty tax
  • Remortgaging fees

Frequently asked questions

What is the transfer of equity timeline?

Transfer of equity timelines can vary significantly, although we can’t provide you with an exact timeline, here’s a rough guide for what to expect:

  • Week 1: Instruct a conveyancer and provide them with details of the transfer. The conveyancer will order initial searches and paperwork.
  • Week 2: A property valuation is conducted to assess the current market value. The new equity split is determined based on this.
  • Week 3: Your conveyancer drafts the legal transfer deed and mortgage documents (if remortgaging). All parties need to review and approve.
  • Week 4: The transfer deed is signed by all parties. Mortgage funds are received if applicable.
  • Week 5: The conveyancer registers the transfer and pays any Stamp Duty due on your behalf. They update the deeds with the Land Registry.
  • Week 6: The conveyancer certifies completion once registration is finalised. The transfer of equity is complete.

Remember that this is just a rough guide, and your process could be more complex than this and have more steps.

What are the costs of transferring equity?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the costs you may encounter when transferring equity:

  • Conveyancing fees: £500 - £1,000
  • Transaction costs: £20 - £455
  • Land Registry costs: £20 - £455
  • Freehold consent: up to £250
  • Stamp duty: The largest cost (if applicable). Owed based on the nature of the transfer of equity
  • Remortgaging: If applicable, this could incur additional costs, dependant on your situation

Simple, transparent conveyancing

At Eden, we understand that buying or selling a home can be overwhelming. We’re here to make conveyancing simple.

We will be in touch with you weekly, providing updates and being there when you need us. You can contact your property lawyer whenever you like, to ask whatever you like.

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