Transferring a Property into Joint Names
03 March 2020
When the legal title of a property is transferred from one name into joint names, this process is known as a Transfer of Equity. In this article, we explain how to go about transferring a property into joint names and what is involved in the process.
The process itself is relatively straight forward and your chosen Conveyancing Lawyer should be able to assist you with this, but there are some important factors for you to consider.
Types of Joint Property Ownership
In England and Wales, there are two ways in which a property can be jointly owned by two or more people; either a joint tenants or as tenants in common.
When a property is owned as joint tenants, the whole of the property is owned jointly, with neither owner holding an identifiable share. When one owner dies, the property will pass into the sole name of the surviving joint owner under the Right of Survivorship.
Owning a property as tenants in common is slightly different in that each owner has a defined share of the property. Often this is 50/50, but this could vary depending on the financial contribution each person made. This is the 'beneficial interest' each person has in the property. When one owner dies, their share in the property will be passed on either in line with the terms of their Will (if they have one) or inheritance laws if they don't.
You and the co-owner of the property will need to decide which type of joint ownership is right for you.
Updating the Title
Your Conveyancing Lawyer will need to obtain a copy of the property title. If the property is registered then they can search the Land Registry for this. If the property isn't registered your Conveyancing Lawyer will ask you for the Title Deeds.
Once your Conveyancing Lawyer is satisfied the title is in order, they will then prepare a Transfer Deed to transfer the property from sole name to joint names. All of the joint owners will be required to sign the document which records the transfer of title.
Your wishes relating to the type of joint ownership and the beneficial interest each person has in the property will also be recorded in the Transfer Deed. You may also wish to create a Declaration of Trust, though, to record your specific intentions.
Things to Think About
As part of the ownership transfer you should also consider the following:
Do you currently have a mortgage on the property? If you do you will require consent from your mortgage company to transfer the ownership. Your mortgage company will require the new owner to enter into the mortgage. Your Conveyancing Lawyer will be required to comply with any lender requirements as part of the transfer.
If you intend to re-mortgage your property you will be required to apply for your new mortgage in joint names. The re-mortgage and transfer will be completed together by your Conveyancing Lawyer.
If your property is leasehold you may require consent from your freeholder and/or managing agent for the transfer. The new owner may also be required to execute a Deed of Covenant which will be an additional cost. Your Conveyancing Lawyer will advise you if this is necessary when they review the title to the property.