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A couple, holding a plastic house model in their hands; our Conveyancing Solicitors in Lytham discuss property ownership when two or more people are buying a house.
Moving in with your partner is an exciting step in any relationship, and for many couples, transferring property into your joint names symbolises a commitment to a shared future. Whether you’re unmarried or entering into a civil partnership or marriage, owning property together can have significant legal and financial implications. In this blog, our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston outline the process and considerations involved in transferring property into joint names when moving in with your partner. 

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MG Legal's leading Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston offer all of our Conveyancing services on a clear, fixed-fee rate.  
 
Our team put your first, and work with care to ensure that your wishes are met. Call us today on a free, no-obligation basis at: 01772 783 314. 
Get in touch today to speak to our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston. 

Understanding Joint Ownership 

First, it’s essential to understand the two main types of joint ownership: 

Joint Tenants 

Both owners have equal rights to the entire property, and there’s a right of survivorship, meaning if one partner dies, the other automatically inherits their share of the property. 

Tenants in Common 

Each partner owns a specified share of the property (not necessarily equal), and there’s no right of survivorship. Each partner can pass on their share to beneficiaries of their choosing upon death under their Will. 
Choosing between these types of ownership depends on your relationship, financial situation, and long-term plans; however, our Conveyancing Solicitors always advise people to consider their options carefully as one choice does not suit all clients. 
 
Below, our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston have summarised the key steps you should take when transferring property into your joint names. 

Step 1: Obtain Legal and Financial Advice 

Before making any decisions, consult with a conveyancing solicitor specialising in property law, and possibly even a financial advisor. They can provide tailored advice based on your circumstances, helping you understand the legal, tax, and financial implications of transferring property into joint names. 

Step 2: Decide on the Type of Joint Ownership 

Discuss with your partner and decide whether you want to become joint tenants or tenants in common. This decision will impact your rights to the property and how it’s handled if one of you passes away or if you separate in the future. 

Step 3: Mortgage Considerations 

If there’s a mortgage on the property, you’ll need to inform the lender about your intention to transfer the property into joint names. This usually requires applying for a new mortgage in both names, which involves credit checks and assessing your combined financial stability. The lender must approve this change, as it effectively changes the terms of the mortgage. 

Step 4: Transfer of Equity 

The process of transferring property into joint names is known as a transfer of equity. This involves adding your partner’s name to the deed, which is the legal document proving ownership of the property. Your solicitor will prepare the necessary paperwork, including a Transfer Deed, which both you and your partner will need to sign. 

Step 5: Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) 

Depending on the property’s value and your circumstances, you may need to pay SDLT (or LTT in Wales) when adding someone to the property deeds. The rules can be complex, so it’s important to seek advice from your conveyancing solicitor or financial advisor to understand any potential tax liability. Generally, conveyancing solicitors can assist you with the calculation of SDLT, but in more complex cases, a financial advisor specialising in SDLT may be required. At MG Legal, we have a working relationship with many very good financial advisors, so, no matter how complicated the SDLT calculations, the conveyancing process will be made seamless. 

Step 6: Register the Transfer with the Land Registry 

Once the transfer of equity is complete, your Conveyancing Solicitor will register the change with the Land Registry. This legal step is crucial, as it updates the official records to reflect your joint ownership of the property. 

Why choose MG Legal Solicitors? 

No hidden fees.

Transparent fees. 

Our solicitors offer their services on a clear fixed-fee or hourly rate, and accept personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis. 
We are the experts

We are the experts. 

Here at MG Legal, our team of friendly solicitors are fully-qualified and have over thirty years' experience in helping clients just like you. 
Regular Communication

Regular communication. 

When you work with MG Legal, your solicitor will be in regular contact so you have step-by-step updates. 
Multiple Office locations.

Multiple office locations. 

If you are looking to instruct our solicitors, we have offices in Garstang, Longridge, Lancaster and Lytham for your convenience. 

Considerations 

Agreement 

It’s wise to draft a cohabitation agreement or declaration of trust, especially if you are going to be owing the property as tenants in common. This document can outline what happens to the property if you separate or if one partner dies, providing clarity and protection for both parties. Such a Deed prevents ambiguity and can stop disputes over your estate in the future. 

Wills 

Consider updating your Wills to reflect your new property ownership status and ensure your wishes are carried out in the event of death. Even property held as joint tenants passes under a person’s Will if they’re the sole surviving legal owner at the date of their death. 

Financial Planning 

Joint property ownership can affect your eligibility for certain benefits, your credit rating, and your financial independence. Make sure you fully understand these implications. 
Transferring property into joint names is a significant decision with lasting implications for your relationship and financial future. By carefully considering the type of joint ownership that best suits your needs, seeking professional advice from Conveyancing Solicitors, and understanding the legal and financial processes involved, you can ensure a smooth transition to joint property ownership. 
For legal advice, contact our Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston on 01772 783314 or email property@mglegal.co.uk. Our Conveyancing Solicitors are CQS accredited, a mark of excellence in the Conveyancing world, and have years’ of knowledge and experience to benefit your transaction. 

Why choose MG Legal, Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston? 

Clear, fixed-fees 

Fully-Qualified Conveyancing Solicitors 

Tailored Service 

Multiple Office Locations 

Decades of Experience 

Home Visits 

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