The transferring of equity is when the person who currently owns a property either adds or takes away a person from the deeds to the property. The name could be added to the deeds when a couple marry and then want to combine their assets. If a couple split and want to divorce, one of those named on the deeds to the house could be taken away.
When two people are named on the title deeds of a property they are referred to as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’. The difference between these terms is the percentage of ownership and what happens when one person dies.
‘Joint tenants’ each hold a 50% share of the property, whereas ‘tenants in common’ hold unequal shares. If one party put more to the property, then they could have more of a share. The other difference is what happens to the property when one of those named in the title deeds were to die. In the case of ‘joint tenants’ the ownership would automatically be passed to the surviving partner. It is different with ‘tenants in common’, with the wishes of the deceased person being followed in accordance with the terms of their will.
The six stages of transferring equity
Instruct a solicitor
Even though the transfer of equity can be done yourself, it can be an extremely complicated process, especially if the two parties are not in agreement, such as when couples are getting a divorce.
Before a solicitor can act for you, they will need to verify your identification.
Review the title deeds
The solicitor will then obtain a copy of the title deeds from the land registry. Both parties will need to make sure that everything is correct before they can continue with the transfer of equity.
Prepare transfer deed document
The solicitor will then prepare the relevant documents you will need in order to transfer equity.
The signing of the transfer deeds
Once drawn up, the documents needed in order to transfer equity will need to be signed and witnessed by an impartial third party.
Reister the deed transfer
Finally, the new title deeds for the property are registered with HM Land Registry.
This is a fairly straightforward process when both parties are in agreement and if the property is free of a mortgage. It should only take between 2-4 weeks. If disagreements take place, for example, or if one of the party refuses to cooperate, then this could make the process take much, much longer. This is why the use of a solicitor is recommended.