This type of transfer allows you to add or remove names to the deeds of a property. It is recommended that you ask for advice from a legal representative specialising in this procedure before you start the process, as there are some legal steps to follow.
When would I need to consider a ToE?
There are many reasons to consider a ToE. For example, it may be that you are marrying and intend to add your spouse to the deeds of the house. Or if you are separating, you may want to remove your spouse’s name and buy out their share. ToE is often used to transfer the ownership of a house to other family members such as children, for example. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-change-ownership-of-your-help-to-buy-home.
What if there is a mortgage on the property?
If the house has an existing mortgage, then you would have to let the mortgage lender know that you are considering a ToE, as they would need to agree to the new party being part of an existing mortgage. This would entail a new application. If there is no existing mortgage, then the process of ToE is relatively simpler.
Can I do it myself?
It is technically possible to do this process yourself, but it is not advisable as it entails a knowledge of the relevant legal procedures and forms, which have to be submitted to the correct governing bodies so that the ownership of your house is properly and legally registered. This includes reviewing title deeds, preparing new deeds and then submitting them to the Land Registry. You will also need to contact your mortgage lender, who will often demand legal representation to oversee the ToE process and re-mortgaging process if that is needed. So it is usually advisable to engage legal representation. Try looking for legal advice from firms such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/transfer-of-equity-process-3894. These firms can often advise you on the ToE process, answer any questions you may have and direct you to a local solicitor who specialises in ToE.
How long will it take?
A ToE can proceed fairly quickly if there is no mortgage outstanding. If you have to negotiate with your mortgage lender, it will take longer, but most ToEs are usually finalised within 5-6 weeks.
Transferring ownership of a property needs careful consideration and proper legal advice. So it is worth doing some research about the process, but once you have decided on your legal representative and everything has been agreed, you may find the transfer will proceed sooner than you think.