How Much Does it Cost to do a Transfer of Equity?

A transfer of equity is when a property owner adds or removes parties from the title deeds. Ownership of the property changes, but at least one of the original owners remains on the title deed. For example, a transfer of equity can happen if you add a child or remove an ex-partner from the title deed.

Every transfer of equity will differ in scope. Several costs should be considered when completing a transfer of equity. These range from solicitor’s costs to potential stamp duty.

What is involved in a transfer of equity?

When looking at equity transfer costs, it makes sense that you should first understand what's involved in the process. We discuss what the equity transfer process is like in detail, but in short, it involves the following steps:

Firstly, you'll need to apply for a remortgage or a new mortgage, if you're in need of one. As the property's ownership is changing hands, its equity will shift too. A mortgage provider will need to account for this change in the property's equity.

The next step is to inform a conveyancer. If someone is being removed from a title deed, separate legal representation will need to be sought. If the title deeds are taking on a new name, all parties should be represented together.

Once you give the conveyancer your identification, they will then take care of the legal work. If needed, they'll then confirm details with the mortgage lender.

Your conveyancer will then facilitate the signing of the deed and the transfer of funds between parties. An ID1 form will need to be signed with a conveyancer as witness.

Conveyancing Solicitors

You'll need a Conveyancing Solicitor to complete the legal requirements in a transfer of equity. Not only will they process all the required paperwork for you, but they can also advise you on your property transfer.

Solicitors will charge different legal fees depending on different factors. These include:

  • Property value
  • Whether the property is leasehold
  • How many mortgages there are on the property
  • Whether you need to re-mortgage.

A Conveyancing Solicitor will likely charge between £100 and £500 + VAT. Comparing prices of Conveyancing Solicitors is always a good idea. In doing this, you get the right service for you for the best deal.

Solicitors will also be covering extra charges whilst dealing with your transfer. These include online ID checks (£9) and the official copy of the Register of Title from the Land Registry (£3). You will also have to pay a Land Registry fee to register the ownership change. This will cost between £20 and £305 depending on the price bracket your property falls into.


Mortgage Lenders

If you have a mortgage on your property, you may have to pay your mortgage lender extra charges. Often, lenders will charge you a ‘change of parties’ fee. This happens at the end of a transfer of equity. It covers the lender’s administrative costs of adding or removing someone from an existing mortgage.

Some lenders require you to get a regulated local authority search before the transfer goes ahead. This is to confirm the condition of the house. This often happens if you decide to get a new mortgage with a different lender. The cost of this can range between £60 and £300 depending on the size of the property.

Sometimes lenders won't make you carry out a local authority search. This can happen if the mortgage lenders are confident the house is in good condition. Instead, they may want you to take out local authority search indemnity insurance. This will cover them if they determine that the condition of your house has changed.

If you are becoming the sole owner of your property, you'll have to meet your lender's mortgage requirements. This essentially means your lender needs to check you will still be able to pay the mortgage. You may not get the same rate with your current lender and there may be other charges associated with this.

What are the tax implications of an equity transfer?

What taxes are involved during an equity transfer depends on the specifics of your individual transfer. Spouses or civil partners don't need to pay capital gains tax (CGT) in the event of an equity transfer. If there is a transfer to children or anyone else, they will have to pay capital gains tax.

To avoid capital gains tax, it's a good idea to transfer the property into your spouse or civil partner's name. Equally, you could simply put a share of the property in their name. This can be seen as a potentially exempt transfer (PET) for inheritance tax (IHT). Any liability would shrink gradually over a seven year period if the house price is valued over £325,000.

Stamp Duty when transferring equity

The largest cost you will face in a transfer of equity is when you pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). During a transfer of equity, you’ll be taking on a certain percentage of the equity in a house. You may also be taking on part of any mortgage.

You’ll have to pay Stamp Duty on the equity and mortgage if they are worth more than £125,000 in total. The amount of stamp duty you pay depends on what price band you’re the transaction falls in.

Different rates apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Below is a chart of the price bands:

Purchase price bands (£)

Percentage rate (%)

Up to 125,000




250,001 - 925,000


925,001-1.5 million


Above 1.5 million 12%


For example, a property may have equity of £600,000 and a mortgage of £200,000. If you take on 50% of the equity and 50% the mortgage, this will total to £400,000. The Stamp Duty you'll pay will be calculated like this: 

  • 0% on the first £125,000 = £0
  • 2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
  • 5% on the remaining £150,000 = £7,500
  • Total Stamp Duty = £10,000

The amount of Stamp Duty will change depending on your other assets, such as a second home. You only pay Stamp Duty if you are being transferred equity and/or the mortgage. If you are being taken off the title deeds, you do not have to pay.

Divorce or Separation

Perhaps you split the jointly owned property in a divorce, either between you or under the terms of a court order. If this is the case, you won’t have to pay Stamp Duty. This is assuming that you and your ex-spouse were both on the title deeds and the mortgage.

However, if you are divorcing you may have a financial dispute with your partner. This might mean that the issue of the house is only one of the issues within a financial settlement. Though you will not have to pay Stamp Duty, be aware that there are other costs to pay during a financial settlement.

See your solicitor for further advice if this affects you. You can also read our articles on financial settlements and divorce for advice.