Transfer of Land Ownership

11/05/2021
72
8 min read
Land or property owners can instruct a conveyancing solicitor to the apply to the Land Registry to change the ownership of property to add or remove legal owners. Since 1995 all land/title ownership is registered in the centralised area at the Land Registry. You must tell HM Land Registry when you change the registered owner.

You can change the registered owner by:

  • Sale of the property to a new buyer
  • Transfer of equity adding or removing someone
  • Transfer of part by breaking up the land

Below, we explain the process for each and will include links to useful articles on the Stamp Duty implications for the transfer of land and Capital Gains Tax.

Land Registry Change of Ownership from SAM Conveyancing. Two arms shake hands while the other two hands pass a transfer of land ownership deed between them.

What to do first before you apply to the Land Registry for Change of Ownership?


    1
    Agree who the new legal owners will be - if you are selling this is simple because you hire an estate agent to find a new buyer. If you are transferring someone on or off then you need to contact your mortgage provider to get their consent to the change.
    2
    Agree what is being paid - if you are selling this is the market value of the property however if it is a sale to a family member under the market value then this is a concessionary purchase. If you are buying out someone's equity or adding someone onto the title you need to calculate how much their share of the property is worth based on the beneficial interest/equity they will own.
    3
    Instruct Solicitors - you need separate solicitors to act for the current land owners and the new owners. The solicitor for the current land owners needs to advise on the transaction so the owners are aware what they are giving away by transferring the land ownership to the new owners. The key concern is that there is undue influence being applied if the amount being paid for the land isn't as much as what it would be worth on the open market in an arm's length transaction.

Do you need a Transfer of Land Ownership Solicitor

We can handle the whole process in a matter of weeks with our panel of transfer of land ownership solicitors. We can help with:

  • Transfer of land ownership advice
  • ID1, ID2 and ID5 verification
  • Transfer a party on or off the legal title
  • Separation Agreements
  • Gifted transfer for no consideration

Fixed Fee | Rated Excellent on Trustpilot | Completions in weeks not months | On all Mortgage Lender Panels


When would I need to register a transfer of land ownership?

Most of us understand that we need to register with the Land Registry when we become the new owners of a property, but there are several other situations where you will need to register a transfer of land ownership.

Transfer of Land Ownership due to Marriage from SAM Conveyancing: An engagement ring icon
Getting married
When you get married or become civil partners, you will probably want to put both names on the title deed of any land that is your shared home.

If the land is owned by one party before the marriage (a pre-marital asset) and the title deed is not updated, then when that marriage ends by death or divorce, the land would still belong in full to the party on the deed. If the owner died before their unmarried spouse, and had a will which left their entire estate to their children for example, the surviving spouse may have no rights over the land which had been their home.

Transfer of Land Ownership due to moving in together from SAM Conveyancing: The silhouetted busts on a man and woman inside a house icon
Moving in with your partner
When you move in together you will need to make a decision about the fairest way to manage the rights of the legal owner and the non owner.

You could draw up a deed of trust, where the non owner gains a share of the beneficial interest for some or no consideration (they pay, or it is a gift), or, a floating deed of trust where their contributions to the mortgage or maintenance costs increase their share of the beneficial ownership. If you would like to keep sole rights to your property, your live in partner would need to sign a declaration of no interest.

If you want to give your partner some legal ownership of the property, as joint tenants or tenants in common, you will need to complete a transfer of equity and register the transfer of land ownership with the Land Registry.

Transfer of Land Ownership due to death from SAM Conveyancing: A gravestone icon
Land Registry transfer of ownership after death
Joint owners of property, such as married couples, will need to transfer the ownership of the property after the death of one of them. We cover this in more detail here:


Transfer of Land Ownership due to Divorce from SAM Conveyancing: A broken heart icon
Breaking up with your partner, or Divorce
If you are both listed as legal owners, you could sell the property and split the proceeds as per your beneficial interest. Alternatively, if one party wants to stay and the other wants to sell, one party can buy out the other(s) with a transfer of equity.

It is likely that this would be dependent on further means testing by your mortage provider, unless you are able to buy out the full value of the seller's share of the equity and their share of the mortgage in cash, by savings, gift or loan. To remove them from the title deed you will need to register the transfer of land ownership with the Land Registry.

What is the Transfer of Land Ownership Process


    1
    Selling
All of the current owners are removed and the buyers are registered as the new owners.


    2
    Transfer of Equity
One, or all of the existing owners transfer some or all of their share of the legal and beneficial ownership of the land to a new or existing owner. There may be Stamp Duty Land Tax payable on transfers exceeding £40,000. (Click to read about your SDLT obligations)


    3
    Transfer of Part
You physically divide the land, selling the separated piece as an individual plot or parcel.


Sale Process
    1
    Get your property ready – you’ll need to have an in date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (If the land includes a building), however you might also want to get the property ship shape with some maintenance and a tidy. Clean and fresh properties sell for higher prices.
    (Click to see what buildings are exempt from EPC)

    2
    Find a buyer – Whether you sell through an online or local estate agent they’ll help find a buyer for your property. Data from Rightmove suggests that the average property requires just under nine weeks (62 days, as of August 2017) for it to be listed as sold subject to contract (STC means you have a buyer but need to go through the conveyancing process)

    3
    Instruct a solicitor – with a buyer you’ll need to have a solicitor to handle your side of the conveyancing on the sale. You can search for one online, use a recommended one or your estate agent will have a referral. The latter though is often more costly as the agent most likely gets a kick back for the introduction.

    4
    Draft contracts – The solicitor provides you property forms to complete that are standard for any sale. You’ll need to confirm what fittings and contents are part of the sale and which aren’t plus you’ll need to state how long you have lived at the property, what you know about it and any changes you have made.

    5
    Enquiries – This is where the buyer’s solicitor asks questions about the property based on the information you have provided or the buyer has obtained through getting searches and a survey.

    6
    Exchange of contracts – once the buyer is ready they’ll agree they are happy to exchange for a specific completion date. This completion date is normally a week or two in the future but could be a month or more. The seller is no longer liable for buildings insurance from the day of exchange.

    7
    Completion – this is the day money changes hands between solicitors, the seller’s mortgage is redeemed, agents paid and the balance of the net sale proceeds paid to the seller. If there is an onward purchase then this is transferred onto the seller’s solicitor. The seller is no longer the owner of the property from completion.

Transfer of Equity and Transfer of Part Process

It is advisable to instruct a solicitor to handle the legal work the Land Registry require to transfer the ownership; especially if there is a mortgage registered over the title.

    2
    Fill in a TR1 form if you're transferring all of your property, or a TP1 to transfer part.
    3
    Get your ID verified by filling out form ID1.

Transfer of Land Ownership Solicitor

We can handle the whole process in a matter of weeks with our panel of transfer of land ownership solicitors. We can help with:

  • Transfer of land ownership advice
  • ID1, ID2 and ID5 verification
  • Transfer a party on or off the legal title
  • Separation Agreements
  • Gifted transfer for no consideration

Fixed Fee | Rated Excellent on Trustpilot | Completions in weeks not months | On all Mortgage Lender Panels


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