Deed of Assignment - Transfer your beneficial interest in property

15/05/2020
A deed of assignment, in relation to property, is used to assign an equitable interest in land to another party. Equitable interest is also known as beneficial interest. Unlike a deed of trust that is drafted at the point of purchase, a deed of assignment is drafted at the point you own the property and want to assign some or all of your ownership to someone else. The objective is similar to that of a deed of trust as it allows joint owners to share the beneficial interest in property in a tax efficient way for receiving property income, such as rent or capital gains, or as part of inheritance tax planning.

Do you need a deed of assignment?

Our solicitor can draft you a deed to assign beneficial interest in property, normally for tax reasons, with a fast turnaround and competitive fixed fee. Click to get a quote or call 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

Drafted by a qualified solicitor introduced by SAM Conveyancing


When can't you use a deed of assignment?

  • Before you own the property - As you need to already own the property before you can assign the beneficial ownership you cannot use a deed of assignment on purchase. You should instead look to use a deed of trust as your declaration that you own the property in unequal shares. Click to read what is included in a deed of trust.
  • If you own the property as joint tenants - Joint tenants have equal rights to the whole property and as such can't assign any part of it - you co-own it 100% together. To assign an equitable interest to someone else you would need to sever the joint tenancy and change the legal title to tenants in common. Click here to read how to change from joint tenants to tenants in common or call us on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

Is a deed of assignment suitable for a Form 17 declaration?

Yes it is as Form 17 states:

"If you live together with your spouse or civil partner, we normally treat income from property held in your joint names as if it belonged to you in equal shares and tax each of you on half of the income, regardless of actual ownership. Please complete this form if you want to be taxed on your actual shares (known as `actual basis'). You'll also need to provide evidence that your beneficial interests in the property are unequal, for example a declaration or deed "

Deed of Assignment Format

The deed of assignment format will depend on the details of the transaction and what is agreed between the Assignor, the party giving the equitable interest, and the Assignee, the party receiving it. In general terms a deed should include:

    1
    Background - details of the transaction between the Assignor and Assignee;
    2
    Assignment - what is being assigned including any consideration for the assignment;
    3
    Costs - the parties agree on who is to cover the legal costs for drafting the deed; and
    4
    Notice of Assignment - written confirmation that the assignment of equitable interest has been executed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any stamp duty land tax liability?

The deed doesn't change who the legal owners are, however it does change the entitlement to the beneficial interest. As the assignee will acquire an interest in land, stamp duty land tax (SDLT) or land transaction tax (LTT) will be payable by reference to any chargeable consideration given for it. Chargeable consideration is defined in the Finance Act 2003, Schedule 4, Stamp Duty Land Tax: chargeable consideration. Consideration can be cash changing hands or the taking on of a debt (such as a mortgage or personal loan). To work out the total consideration you add the cash/money being paid for the assignment and the new owner’s share of the existing mortgage/loan debt. If the total consideration exceeds the stamp duty threshold, then stamp duty is payable at the prevailing rate.

This is a useful article to read - Stamp duty on transfer of property between spouses

Why do a deed of assignment instead of a transfer of equity?

The assignment of equitable interest doesn't change the legal title and as such may be preferable if the owners can't or would prefer not to change the legal title. A transfer of equity would change the legal title and, if there is a mortgage, require the mortgage lender's consent which, depending on the individual circumstance, might be withheld. With assignments of beneficial interests, the legal title does not change and as such there is no legal requirement to consult the mortgage lender.

Do you need to witness a deed of assignment?

All deeds need to be witnessed and the witness should be someone who is not related to the parties and doesn't benefit from the transaction.

Do you need to change the restrictions on the legal title?

Assignors that are named on the legal title at the Land Registry should have the requisite restriction cancelled and if applicable the Assignee's name should be replace the Assignor's name. Although with this said, the common restrictions to appear on a legal title when there is a beneficial interest under a trust of land are restrictions in standard form A, B or C and these do not name the Assignor. The Land Registry does not therefore need to be notified if the beneficial owners protected by these restrictions change.

Can you assign 100% of the beneficial interest?

Yes you can. This is known as a Declaration of no interest in property

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