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Adding your partner’s name to your house title

When adding a name to a property title or transferring house title to your spouse, there are a few steps, costs and forms involved.

It can be an exciting decision when you choose to own a property together with a partner, family member or friend. To ensure everyone's interests are protected, you should go through the process of adding their name to the property title so that the decision is reflected.

When changing a property title it's always a good idea to get professional legal advice beforehand. On this page you can find general information about adding a name to a property title, including links to state and territory government websites.

Government websites and forms

The paperwork and process for adding a partner's name to your property title differs in each state and territory. You can find the relevant websites below. You will usually need the following forms and documents:

  • Mortgage documents. If you have a mortgage, your lender will need to provide documents you need before adding your partner's name to the title.
  • Property title. You will need the original property title or certificate.
  • Transfer form. This is the government paperwork you will need to complete. There will also be a fee. Fees and forms differ by state.

State and territory forms

Contact your lender before changing the title

If you plan to transfer a share in your property or renegotiate any mortgage, the first step is to contact your lender. Your lender will assess the financial situation of both parties and may or may not give you consent. If approval is given, your lender will most likely lodge all the documents.

  • Married couples. Both involved have rights to the property, so each individual would have a claim on it regardless of whose names appear on the deeds.
  • Adding a long term partner. By adding a partner onto the mortgage, you will both get fair rights if the property is sold. If you initially purchased the property, it's wise to protect your investment under a ‘tenants in common’ arrangement. Speaking to a solicitor will help this process run smoothly.

What type of ownership agreement should I get?

Although you may be in a perfectly happy relationship, circumstances may change in the future. If you already have equity in the property you may want to consider getting a tenants in common agreement. Rather than a 50/50 arrangement, this will give you a more proportional share of the property based on the amount you own.

Before entering any agreement, seek legal advice.

  • Joint tenants. Both parties will own the property in equal shares and if one of the owners die then their share will automatically pass onto the other owner (even if you have a will). This type of agreement is most popular among married and long term de facto couples.
  • Tenants in common. Both parties can choose to own the property, either in equal shares or unequally. For example, 1 party would own a third and the other owns two-thirds. If 1 of the owners die then their will decides who gets the ownership share. This agreement is popular with owners who don’t want their share to go to other owners, such as friends or business partners.

Example: Adding a long term partner to your property

John and Ling have been dating for 3 years and are ready to move in together. Ling already has a property in Dee Why, Sydney worth $750,000 while John lives with his parents. The agreement is that John will move into Ling’s property and start making 50% towards the monthly repayments.

Ling has paid $50,000 worth of repayments and provided a $100,000 deposit. She now owns $150,000 worth of the property, which means she owns 20% of the property.

Ling and John first approach the lender to see if they can get approval to get a joint loan. After reviewing their finances, the lender consents to adding John’s name to the title and mortgage. The lender also works with a third party legal service to obtain all the legal documents and a draw up a "tenants in common" agreement. This allows them to specify how much each person will own.

They decide that Ling will own 60% of the property (including the portion she already owns) and John will own 40%. After Ling and John fill in the appropriate paperwork and pay the transfer fee of $350, the house is now under both of their names.

Will I have to pay stamp duty?

In some cases, stamp duty is not payable when a partner is added to a property title. This includes married, de facto and same sex couples. To get this exemption, you'll need to fill out an exemption form. This is available from your state office of revenue.

There are a number of conditions you need to meet to qualify for this exemption and these can change from state to state. As mentioned above, always check with your lender before carrying out any transfer of title or mortgage.

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197 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AndrewJanuary 22, 2024

    My son and his partner have brokered the idea that – if we gift them $100k towards a deposit for the purchase or a dual living house for myself and mother move into and we both contribute to the mortgage – they can get the loan in their names as we can not..

    we would right up a property title agreement [ if thats the correct term ] for all of us to be on the title and with an agreed percentage between all parties.

    look for advice ?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardJanuary 23, 2024Finder

      Hi Andrew,

      You require personal financial and legal advice that we can’t provide here. I suggest talking to a solicitor or conveyancer and a mortgage broker.

    Default Gravatar
    MarkJuly 28, 2023

    Hi. Me and my wife built our house her mother gifted my then girlfriend the land to build on we weren’t married at the time but both our names are on the mortgage. but my name is not on the deeds. Now that were married the last 4 yrs and putting my name on the deeds would I have to pay stamp duty or other taxes

      AvatarFinder
      RichardJuly 28, 2023Finder

      Hi Mark,

      We can’t provide personal financial or legal advice on this matter. I suggest contacting a conveyancer or solicitor.

    Default Gravatar
    NatJune 27, 2023

    If you’re in a joint home loan can a borrower be omitted from the contract of sale/ title, or is this considered fraud?

      AvatarFinder
      SarahJune 28, 2023Finder

      Hi Nat,

      Any owners listed on the property’s title must be listed on the contract for sale, or the sale would be considered fraudulent.

      Generally if you apply for a joint mortgage, both parties will also have their name on the property title or deed and both are considered the legal owners of the property.

      If your name is not on the title but is on the loan, some lenders may see you as a guarantor rather than an equal borrower or they may consider you don’t hold any ownership or rights to the property, even though you might be held responsible for repaying the loan.

      Every bank and lender has their own policies so it’s a good idea to check with your bank before signing any contract.

    Default Gravatar
    jean-claudeMarch 12, 2023

    I own a factory in Kalgoorlie W.A only in my name for the last 15 years and now i want to include my wife’s name for taxes purpose What is the best way to do that Regards.

      AvatarFinder
      RichardMarch 16, 2023Finder

      The best approach is to talk to a conveyancer.

    Default Gravatar
    GeogiaFebruary 22, 2023

    Where can I get a Transfer of Title form?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardFebruary 23, 2023Finder

      Hi Georgia,

      It depends on your state or territory. It’s usually the land registry office or titles office.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

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