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How to remove someone’s name from a property title

After a divorce, split or change of circumstances, you may need to remove someone’s name from a property title. You can hire a conveyancer or do it yourself.

What you need to know:

  • The easiest way to remove someone's name from a property title is to hire a conveyancer. But you can do it yourself by completing the appropriate transfer form from your state or territory government's website.
  • You also need to pay stamp duty, but there are exemptions for marriage or de facto relationship breakdowns.
  • Removing a name from a property title means you need to refinance any mortgage on the property.

How to remove someone's name from a property title

A property title is an important legal document that lists the registered owners of a property. You may need to remove someone from a title because of a change in ownership, relationship breakdown or even a death.

  • While it's possible to do it yourself, property title changes can be a complicated process and you may be better off seeking qualified legal advice.

Read our complete guide to changing property ownership here

The simplified steps to removing someone's name from a property title are:

  1. (Optional) Hire a licensed conveyancer or solicitor. You can pay a qualified conveyancer to handle the paperwork for you. You'll still need to complete the transfer form and pay the government fee, plus the conveyancer's fee.
  2. Fill out a transfer of title form yourself. You can skip the expert help and do it yourself. You'll need to find and complete the appropriate form and lodge it with the appropriate office for your state or territory government. You'll need the property's Torrens Title, the names of the transferor and transferee and the "consideration amount" (the money paid to the transferee) and the "share transferred" (for example, if one half of the property has been transferred from the transferee to you, the transferor).
  3. Submit the transfer of title form. You'll need to submit the completed and signed form to the lands department or state revenue office in your state or territory. You may also be required to submit supporting evidence, for example a death certificate.
  4. Pay the fee and wait for the form to be processed. Pay the necessary fee to have the transfer of title form processed. Fees and processing times vary between states and territories.

The steps outlined above are a simplified overview of the process. Your specific situation may be more complicated depending on where you live, the nature of your relationship to the other person (or people) on the property title and whether or not there's a mortgage on the property.

When completing forms you may also need to verify your identity or have the forms witnessed.

What if there's a mortgage on the property?

If there's a mortgage on the property title (that is, you're still paying off a home loan), removing someone from the title gets more complicated.

In the lender's eyes you're both on the hook for the money you borrowed together. You will need to refinance the home loan. This means discharging the old mortgage and applying for a new one in your name only.

Your lender will need to assess your income, debts, assets and spending, and have the property valued again so it can determine that you can afford to repay any outstanding debt yourself.

Do I have to pay stamp duty when removing someone's name from a property title?

Short answer:

  • If you are (or were) married or in a de facto relationship: Probably not.
  • In other circumstances: Yes, you generally have to pay stamp duty when removing someone from a property title.

You can remove your ex-partner's name from the title and avoid stamp duty

If you're removing a partner's name (spouse or de facto) because of a relationship breakdown then you may be exempt from paying stamp duty.

You should get legal advice here, but in general there are 2 ways to avoid stamp duty in this situation:

  • Obtain a consent order. You can apply to the Family Court for a consent order related to how your finances and property will be handled.
  • Enter into a Financial Agreement. A Financial Agreement is a contract between 2 (or more) parties that covers financial arrangements between the parties, including property and other assets. You will both need legal advice to draw up this agreement.

In either case, you should seek independent legal advice. You can also call the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321.

  • Note: In Victoria, spouses and de facto partners can avoid stamp duty while transferring property between themselves only if the property has been their primary residence (their home) for the last 12 months. If not, stamp duty applies.

Situations where you will have to pay stamp duty

In other cases, removing someone's name from a property title means the remaining person on the title takes full ownership of the property. And they'll have to pay stamp duty.

This is calculated on the amount of the property you're taking ownership of, based on the current market value.

Here's a quick example:

  • You own 50% of a house and your sister owns the other 50%.
  • You bought the property for $500,000 several years ago. You each paid $250,000.
  • Your sister agrees to sell her portion of the house to you. You remove her from the title.
  • You have to pay stamp duty on the 50% share you've acquired.
  • Because the property is now worth $600,000 you'll pay stamp duty on $300,000 (50% of the current value) regardless of how much you paid your sister.

You're liable for stamp duty even if you're gifted a share of the property and no money changes hands.

Removing someone from a property title by state and territory

If you want to remove someone's name from a property title yourself you can visit the following website depending on where you live:

If you find the information is hard to find or too confusing you can contact the relevant government office with a question. Or you can contact a conveyancer who practices in your state or territory.

How much does it cost to remove someone's name from a property title?

The costs vary widely depending on your specific circumstances but in general these are some of the costs you'll have to pay:

  • Lodgement fee. This is the fee charged by the government for processing the change in title. The cost varies but costs around $150 in several states.
  • Conveyancer fee. If you go with a conveyancer they'll charge you for their services, plus the lodgement fee and other costs. Ask how much it will cost upfront and compare a few conveyancers first.
  • Mortgage discharge and registration fees. If you have a mortgage you may need to discharge the old loan and register the new mortgage when you refinance.

Do I have to remove my ex-partner's name from the property title in a divorce?

You don't have to remove anyone's name from a title just because you're getting divorced. It's a good idea to seek independent legal advice first, but you have multiple options.

  1. Keep both names on the title and mortgage. You could agree to keep paying off the mortgage and keep both of you on the title. This is convenient and could work if you're both able to agree on your future financial plans. It's a good idea to draw up some kind of contract with a solicitor just to be safe.
  2. Remove one person from the title and refinance the mortgage. This is the process outlined in this article. You may decide that one person will buy out the other or you may not.
  3. Keep the property as an investment. You could both decide to live separately in new properties and convert your former property into an investment property. You'll still need to refinance the mortgage to an investment loan.

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Frequently asked questions about removing someone’s name from a property title

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178 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JazOctober 30, 2023

    I own 99 share of a home I live in my son has a one hundred share of the property
    I wish to pay him out for his 100th share but due to a breakdown in relationship he is unwilling to discuss or agree to a settlement can I proceed ?

      AvatarFinder
      SarahNovember 1, 2023Finder

      Hi Jaz, We’re not licenced to provide personal financial advice, we suggest you get legal advice to proceed with your proposed transaction.

    Default Gravatar
    ShaunFebruary 10, 2023

    I am divorced ang my ex wife and I agreed that I would continue to pay the mortgage and she would keep the house as part of the settlement. The house is now paid off, how do I remove my name from the title deeds?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardFebruary 21, 2023Finder

      Hi Shaun,

      You can complete a title transfer form available from your state or territory government’s website (typically a land registry service site but it does vary). You can also speak to a conveyancer who can arrange this for you.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    JasonJuly 16, 2022

    My father and I are both on a mortgage together but I’m not living there or paying for anything at that house anymore. He is in arrears and it is affecting my credit scores. Am I able to get my name off the mortgage and will this decision affect me in the future?

      AvatarFinder
      RichardJuly 29, 2022Finder

      Hi Jason,

      I suggest getting some legal advice from a conveyancer or solicitor first.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    kellyMay 12, 2022

    how do i go about removing an ex girlfriend off my deed that is joint tentant

      AvatarFinder
      RichardMay 13, 2022Finder

      Hi Kelly,

      If you are both listed as joint tenants on the property title deed then this means you both own the property fully together. So removing one person from the deed would definitely require their agreement and you should probably speak to a conveyancer to make sure you approach everything legally and fairly.

      The exact process you need to follow to remove a name from a title differs slightly in each Australian state and territory. You may check out the links on this page for the government body that handles property title transfers in each state or territory. It’s a good idea to contact the relevant department for detailed instructions on the process where you live for specific instructions on how to change your property title.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    KateMay 1, 2022

    My husband and I own vacant land that will become our principal place of residence once we build. Are we able to take him off the title so it’s only in my name and avoid stamp duty? There is no loan associated with the property

      AvatarFinder
      RichardMay 2, 2022Finder

      Hello Kate,

      I suggest talking to a conveyancer about this. Removing someone from a title is not difficult, but I’m not sure about avoiding stamp duty.

      Kind regards,
      Richard

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