Transfer of equity: I want to transfer my house into joint names – how can I do this and will I have to pay stamp duty?

Question: When my husband and I married we bought a house together. I already owned a house and now I want to transfer that one into our joint names.

There is no mortgage on it. We realise this should be done formally, even though no money will change hands. What is the procedure? 

Answer: This is known as a transfer of equity. You would be the transferor and you would transfer the equity in the house to you and your husband as the transferees.

A TR1 transfer document should be prepared and you can ask your solicitor to do this for you, and also to register the transfer at the Land Registry following completion of the transfer.

Decide whether to hold the property as tenants in common or as beneficial joint tenants.

As tenants in common you may hold the house in unequal or equal shares and on death the house would pass according to the terms of the Will of the deceased, or under the rules of intestacy if there is no Will.

As beneficial joint tenants the deceased’s share automatically passes to the survivor of the two of you.

Your husband is not paying any money, so there is no stamp duty.

There is no Capital Gains Tax liability as the transfer is between spouses, but it may be payable on any future disposition of the house.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. Questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here.

Fiona McNulty is a solicitor specialising in residential property.

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