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25th May 2023

Comprehensive Guide to Transfer of Equity and Remortgage Process

Embarking on a transfer of equity and remortgage process journey can be a complex and daunting task. Fear not, for this comprehensive guide will serve as your trusted companion, shedding light on every corner of the transfer of equity and remortgage process, from understanding the nuts and bolts of transferring equity to navigating the ins and outs of remortgaging. Let’s begin this exciting adventure together.

Short Summary

  • Transfer of equity is the legal process of adding or removing a person from the title deeds of a property.
  • Navigating this complex process requires obtaining title deeds and mortgage consent, with assistance from a solicitor recommended to save you time and money.
  • Remortgaging during transfer may provide financial benefits, but should be considered carefully due to associated costs and risks.

Transfer of Equity

Understanding the Transfer of Equity

Transfer of equity is a powerful tool to reshape the legal ownership of a property. Whether it is due to a life-changing event like marriage or divorce, or the desire to gift a property to a loved one, transferring equity can help adapt the ownership structure to better suit the needs of the parties involved.

However, navigating the transfer of equity process can be a complex endeavor, involving multiple steps and legal considerations.

Definition of Transfer of Equity

At its core, transfer of equity refers to the process of adding or removing a person from the title deeds of a property. This legal procedure typically involves completing a form, obtaining signatures from all relevant parties, and submitting the documents to the Land Registry for approval.

In some cases, if there is an existing mortgage on the property, the mortgage lender’s consent must be obtained, or a new mortgage offer must be secured. Ultimately, a transfer deed serves as the legal document that formally attests to the new ownership of the property.

Common Reasons for Transfer of Equity

Various life events can trigger the need for a transfer of equity. Some common scenarios include entering into a marriage or civil partnership, legally separating or divorcing, or gifting a property to a family member. In each case, the process of transferring equity may have different tax implications, such as capital gains tax exemptions for transfers to a spouse, civil partner, or charity.

However, the costs associated with the transfer of equity can vary depending on the specific situation and the value of the property. In all cases, it is important to be aware of the obligatory costs, such as the solicitor’s legal fees and the Land Registry fee.

Due diligence is essential, especially when gifting a property, as the mortgage must be settled prior to the transfer of equity, and seeking legal counsel is highly recommended.

Divorce and split ups

Navigating the Transfer of Equity Process

Embarking on the transfer of equity journey requires careful navigation. Two essential stepping stones in this process are obtaining title deeds and mortgage consent. Title deeds are the legal documents that prove ownership of a property, while mortgage consent ensures that the mortgage lender is aware of and approves the changes in ownership.

Working with a solicitor can greatly facilitate the process, as they possess the knowledge and expertise to ensure a smooth and successful transfer.

Obtaining Title Deeds and Mortgage Consent

Obtaining title deeds and mortgage consent is crucial to a successful transfer of equity. The title deeds provide evidence of the legal ownership of the property, while mortgage consent ensures that the transfer of equity is legally binding and that the mortgage lender is aware of the changes in ownership. To obtain consent from the existing mortgage lender or secure a new mortgage offer, it is necessary to contact the lender to inform them of any proposed changes and obtain their approval.

Keep in mind that the costs associated with a transfer instruction and transfer deed, such as taking a name off a mortgage during the transfer of equity, can be approximately £300 plus VAT, in addition to Land Registry or search costs. It is recommended to inform your lender as soon as possible to obtain consent for the transfer in a timely manner.

Working with a Solicitor

Working with a solicitor during the transfer of equity process can be a wise investment, as they can help ensure that all requirements of the mortgage lender are met and provide any additional information that may be requested.

Moreover, it is important to verify that your solicitor can act for your mortgage lender to prevent extra costs and delays in the transfer of equity process. Should a solicitor not be included on your mortgage lender’s panel, it is likely to incur additional fees and could potentially delay the moving process.


Remortgaging During Transfer of Equity

Remortgaging during the transfer of equity can be an attractive option for some, as it may offer the possibility of obtaining a more favorable rate or loan terms. However, it is important to understand that lenders must assess eligibility and affordability before approving a remortgage during the transfer of equity.

The remortgage process and timeline, as well as the associated costs, should be carefully considered before embarking on this path.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Remortgaging

Remortgaging can offer several advantages, such as obtaining a lower interest rate, decreasing monthly payments, releasing equity, borrowing additional funds, consolidating debt, accommodating life events, paying off the mortgage earlier, and saving money.

However, it is important to weigh these benefits against the potential disadvantages of remortgaging, which include associated costs like legal fees, valuation fees, and arrangement fees, as well as the possibility of increased interest payments over the duration of the loan.

Remortgage Process and Timeline

The remortgaging process typically takes from 4 to 8 weeks after application and involves several steps, including identity verification, reviewing the existing mortgage, examining leasehold terms (if applicable), conducting property searches, assessing the property valuation, assessing the terms of the mortgage offer, signing the remortgage offer, and completion.

When remortgaging during the transfer of equity, the process and timeline are similar, with the legal work for the remortgage managed by conveyancing solicitors concurrently with the transfer of equity. It is important to note that remortgaging may lead to delays in the transfer of equity procedure and could also incur additional costs, such as legal fees and disbursements.


Transfer of Equity Costs

The costs associated with the transfer of equity can vary depending on the specific situation and the individuals involved. Generally, the most significant cost is the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Other costs include the solicitor’s legal fees, identity checks, bank transfer fees, and land registry fees. Generally, the estimated cost for such services ranges from £450 to £1,000, depending on the solicitor selected.

It is important to be aware of any additional fees that may be applicable when transferring equity, such as search fees and other taxes. Planning for these costs can help ensure a smooth transfer of equity process.

Stamp Duty and Other Taxes

Stamp Duty is a UK tax that is typically payable when purchasing or transferring a property. In the context of the transfer of equity, various factors are taken into account when assessing the necessity of Stamp Duty, such as the type of transfer and one’s marital status. For example, transfers related to a divorce, legal separation, or the dissolution of a civil partnership are exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax.

If you are unsure if your transfer will incur Stamp Duty fees, consulting with a solicitor who specializes in this area may be beneficial. They can help you navigate the complex regulations surrounding taxes and ensure you are compliant during the transfer of equity process.

Leasehold Properties and Transfer of Equity

Leasehold properties introduce additional challenges in the transfer of equity process, as they require not only the regular transfer of equity steps, but also obtaining leaseholder consent and notifying the landlord.

Understanding the intricacies of leasehold properties and the transfer of equity process is crucial to ensuring a successful outcome.

Leaseholder Requirements

In the case of leasehold properties, the lease serves as a legally binding agreement between the landlord and the leaseholder, outlining the duration of the leaseholder’s right to occupy the property and the landlord’s obligation to maintain and repair the property. The landlord typically holds the responsibility to make repairs to the structure, exterior, and common areas of the property, as well as to collect service charges from all leaseholders.

It is important to understand the leaseholder’s rights and responsibilities when transferring equity in a leasehold property. At the conclusion of the lease, the right to live in the property reverts to the freeholder.

Leasehold Transfer Process

The process for transferring equity in leasehold properties requires additional steps. The conveyancing solicitor must obtain a copy of the lease and adhere to its terms, as well as notify and receive the consent of the landlord or freeholder. The timeframe for this process is typically 4-6 weeks, during which the solicitor reviews the title deeds and prepares the transfer deed.

Leaseholders must also submit proof of identity and proof of address, as well as any other documents requested by the lender. It is essential to be aware of the expenses associated with the transfer of equity process for leasehold properties, which include legal fees, stamp duty, and other related fees.

Handling Unique Situations and Challenges

Transfer of equity may present unique situations and challenges that require special considerations. For example, transferring equity to minors or dealing with failed eligibility checks can introduce additional complexities in the process.

In such cases, it is important to be well-informed and seek legal advice to ensure a successful transfer of equity.

Dealing with Failed Eligibility Checks

In the event of an unsuccessful eligibility check, it is crucial to inquire with the lender as to why the decline occurred and to review one’s credit record. Re-application should not be done immediately, and consulting a mortgage broker to determine the cause and whether an appeal is a viable option or if another lender should be approached may be beneficial.

A mortgage broker can assist in identifying the cause of the issue, determining if an appeal is viable, or applying to another lender if necessary. Being proactive and well-informed can help ensure a successful transfer of equity, even in the face of challenges.


In conclusion, the transfer of equity and remortgage processes can be complex and challenging, but with the right guidance and knowledge, you can successfully navigate the intricacies of these procedures. Whether you are adding a loved one to the title deeds, adjusting ownership due to a life event, or dealing with unique situations like transferring equity to minors, this comprehensive guide has provided you with the tools and insights needed to make informed decisions and achieve a successful outcome. Emboldened with this newfound knowledge, you are now ready to conquer the world of transfer of equity and remortgaging.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does a remortgage and transfer of equity take?

Transfer of equity and remortgages usually take around 4-6 weeks to complete. However, depending on the lender and the complexity of the situation, it can take longer if certain legal conditions or hurdles need to be crossed along the way.

An experienced solicitor or conveyancer can help ensure the process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Do I need to remortgage for a transfer of equity?

As part of the transfer of equity, remortgaging is generally required to ensure that all parties are properly represented in the mortgage contract. This involves either renegotiating with the existing lender or transferring the mortgage to a new provider.

Therefore, it is likely you will need to remortgage for a transfer of equity.

Do you both need a solicitor for transfer of equity?

In a transfer of equity situation, both parties usually need to have their own solicitor for the transaction to proceed legally. The party who already holds the deed must be represented by a solicitor in order for the transfer to be valid, and it is often advisable for both parties to seek separate representation.

Consequently, we would recommend that you both have a solicitor for this process.

What do solicitors do in a transfer of equity?

As part of the transfer of equity process, your solicitor will carry out a range of legal tasks including checking title documents, creating and submitting legal documents to HM Land Registry (HMLR) and arranging for the transfer deed and mortgage deed (if applicable) to be signed and witnessed.

They will also provide you with support and advice throughout the entire process.

Do i need a solicitor to transfer ownership of a property?

It is strongly advised to consult a solicitor when transferring the ownership of a property, as this process can be complex and requires important legal documents. Doing so will help ensure that your transfer is carried out properly and with full legal protection.

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