Adding your partner’s name to your house title

Adding a partner to your property is straightforward, but it's a big decision that requires some serious consideration.

The Department of Land and Property Information recommends that everyone seeks legal and professional advice before adding someone to their property title.

Click through to your state government website for more information

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. This can include the Certificate of Title after you have the Transfer Form stamped from the Office of State Revenue (OSR). There is usually a fee involved in this process.

  • Married couples. Both involved in the property have rights to the property, so each individual would have a claim on the property 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, its wise to protect your investment under a ‘tenants in common’ arrangement. Speaking to a solicitor will help this process run smoothly.

What type of agreement should I get?

Although you may be in a perfectly happy relationship, circumstances may change in the future. If you do have equity built in the property, you may want to consider getting a ‘tenants in common’ agreement so you’ll get the shares back if you decide to sell the property.

When you purchase a property with one or more other persons in New South Wales, you will need to specify if you’re holding the property as joint tenants or as tenants in common. This will be specified on your contract and in your transfer document. Before entering any agreement, legal advice should be sought.

  • 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, one party would own a third and the other owns two-thirds. If one 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.

Adding a long term partner to your property

Title John and Ling have been dating for three years and are ready to move in together. Ling already has a property in Dee Why, Sydney, while John still lives at home with his parents. The agreement is that John will move into Ling’s property, pay 50% of the upfront costs towards the mortgage and start making 50% of the repayments. Ling has already paid up to $100,000 of repayments, which means she already owns 20% of the property.

Ling and John approach the lender first to see if they can get approval. 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 ‘tenants in common’ agreement - if anything were to happen to the relationship, Ling would own a 60% share of the property and John 40%. After Ling and John fill in the appropriate paperwork and pay the fee of $350 which the lender adds onto the principal, the house is now under both of their names.

Amount Description
Property Value $500,000
Upfront costs when Ling bought the property (including stamp duty, title transfer, legal costs) $21,400
Upfront costs for John $10,700
Loan amount already repaid by Ling $100,000
Loan amount $400,000
Fortnightly repayments $1070.99

Even though adding a partner to your house title should be a joyous occasion, being realistic and prepared in the first place will avoid any surprises later. When you carry out this process, all parties should be aware of whether you transfer all, or part of your ownership of the property. Most importantly, be aware of both the personal and legal consequences.


Will I pay stamp duty when transferring my property into my partner's name?

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 realise this exemption, you'll need to fill out an exemption form, which is available from your state office of revenue.

There are a number of conditions which must be met before this exemption is able to be realised, 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.


What forms do I need?

  • Transfer form. This is available from the Land and Property Information website. To fill in the form correctly you should record your name as both the transferor and the transferee on the form and record your partner’s name as the transferee. You need to sign as the transferor and transferee, whereas the other party signs as the other transferee. If you think you’re eligible for a stamp duty exemption, log onto the OSR website. You must have the Transfer Form stamped or marked by the OSR to be exempt.
  • Certificate of Title. This will be held by you or your current lender.
  • Mortgage documents prepared by your lender. If you currently have a mortgage, your lender should be the first party to consult. They will provide you with any other relevant documentation to be lodged.

  • A Grant Deed. By using a grant deed you will transfer all of your interest, ownership and rights to the property immediately. Upon signing a grant deed you lose all rights and have no further control over the property. If you are living there you immediately become a tenant and can be evicted by the new owner at any time.

Title Deeds

  • A Trust Deed. A trust deed is usually used when the property is secured for the purposes of carrying out an obligation that involves the home such as a mortgage or the repayment of an equity loan. If you do not repay the loan your home can be sold out from under you at a public auction.
  • A Quitclaim Deed. A Quitclaim deed, much like a grant deed, immediately transfers all of your previous interest, ownership and rights concerning the property. A Quitclaim deed can be used to add or remove any person’s name on the original title document in a simple straightforward manner. However, a Quitclaim deed has no warranty as the grantee has the same power as the grantor. For this reason it can be the most suitable method to transfer property between family members, as gifts or special circumstances.

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Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a Lead Publisher at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

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165 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    IanOctober 9, 2018

    My wife purchased an investment property 20 years ago, we have now completed a knockdown/rebuild on this property. We are now using it as our principal place of residence. Previous marital home in joint names will be sold. Will we be liable for stamp duty, fees etc if the property is transferred into joint names?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniOctober 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      In some cases, stamp duty is not payable when a partner is added to a property title. The property you live in is usually exempted on stamp duty. Stamp duty exemptions vary in every state. It is best to verify this matter from your state’s revenue office.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    clareJune 14, 2018

    My husband buy a house in his own name after we married. This house is in mortgage in his own name. If I want to add my name to this property, how can I do that? Any stamp duty we need to pay? Our house is in queensland.

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiJune 15, 2018Staff

      Hi Clare,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      Generally, both involved in the property have rights to the property, so each individual would have a claim on the property regardless of whose names appear on the deeds.

      Every case is different when it comes to adding a partner to your property, so the Department of Land and Property Information recommends that everyone seeks legal and professional advice through the process.

      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 realise this exemption, you’ll need to fill out an exemption form, which is available from your state office of revenue.

      There are a number of conditions which must be met before this exemption is able to be realised, and these can change from state to state. Always check with your lender before carrying out any transfer of title or mortgage.

      Hope this clarifies.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    MicheleMiNovember 11, 2017

    I want to add my husband to my mobile home Deed on registration whatever you want to call it but I need to know what I need to do and how much it will cost me.

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynNovember 11, 2017Staff

      Hi MicheleMi,

      Thank you for your comment.

      To add your husband to your property title, you’ll need to fill in the necessary forms and apply with your state government. Please note that the process, including the costs and fees, may differ in each Australian state and territory.

      Generally, you’ll have to fill in the following:

      – Transfer form: You can obtain the transfer form from your state government website. You’ll have to record your name as both transferor and transferee and add your partner’s name as transferee.

      – Certificate of title: The original certificate of title may be held by you or your lender. You’ll be required to provide this document.

      – Mortgage documents: If you already have a mortgage, you must first seek advice from your lender. This way, they can provide any relevant mortgage documents that may be required to add in your partner’s name to your property title.

      You are well advised to kindly seek advice from a conveyancer who can help you with the whole process and the fees involved.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    TraceyJuly 17, 2017

    I will be moving in with my fiancée at the end of the year. He owns his home and has no mortgage. I have agreed to buy into his property and the arrangement will be 50/50. In order for me to pay my half share and get the property deed into joint names, what is the process and are there any other fees I will need to pay?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 28, 2017

      Hello Tracey,

      Thank you for your inquiry today.

      The process and fees would vary depending on your local state revenue requirements. Please click the applicable state government website for more information.

      Once you have selected the government website, please search for forms and/or fees guide. Example is like this page in Victoria state.

      Alternatively, you may contact a conveyancer or the local property office for further advice.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    JoshiJune 28, 2017

    I sold one property which was in my name only and purchase one new property in my wife name, now I want to add my name into the property as co-owner for income tax purpose, or want to do back dated Gift Deed , can I do it ?
    What is the procedure ?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayJune 29, 2017Staff

      Hi Joshi,

      Thanks for contacting finder. Please note though we are not property experts, we’re more than happy to offer you a general advice.

      Yes, it is possible to add your name to your new property. Just to confirm though if this property is under mortgage? If so, best that you consult first with your lender. If they would allow you to add your name, you can start the process by filling out the relevant transfer form which can be obtained from the Land and Property Information website. Typically, the process and fees involved vary from state to state so best that you visit your local government website. Please click on the name of your state (listed above) to be redirected to the official site.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    camilleJune 27, 2017

    Form for adding a name to a title in Victoria

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 28, 2017

      Hello Camille!

      You can visit this page to locate the forms you might need.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    LisaMay 23, 2017

    My uncle recently purchased a home and has since found out he is terminal. He wished me to have the property after he is gone. He is single and he does have two children who he never sees. It is a duplex and I can live in one and rent the other one out. I cannot be approved for a home loan at this time, but I can pay the note. It is an VA home loan. Is there anything I can do to keep this property. Thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynMay 24, 2017Staff

      My uncle recently purchased a home and has since found out he is terminal. He wished me to have the property after he is gone. He is single and he does have two children who he never sees. It is a duplex and I can live in one and rent the other one out. I cannot be approved for a home loan at this time, but I can pay the note. It is an VA home loan. Is there anything I can do to keep this property. Thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynMay 24, 2017Staff

      Hello Lisa,

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au. Please note that we are a financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions. Please note that we are not mortgage specialists so we can only offer a general advice.

      Sorry to hear about your uncle’s condition. Since the property of your uncle is still on a mortgage, he has to get in touch with his lender first to get consent before he can remove his name (and add your name) in the property deed. After he’s got his lender’s consent, that’s the time that he can start the process of transferring the property to other names (or in your name). Please note that since it’s still on mortgage, the lender would usually conduct an assessment of the new owner’s (you) overall financial situation and see if they can service the home loan. In this case, you’d need to get in touch with a mortgage broker – http://www.finder.com.au/mortgage-brokers who can help you with your borrowing options.

      Further to the process of transferring the property, basically, this differs slightly in each Australian state and territory. The general process is actually outlined here – https://www.finder.com.au/how-to-remove-someones-name-from-a-property-title. Though removing/adding names to the property deed can be actioned by yourself, you’d still be best to seek advice from a conveyancer who can walk you through the whole process and the fees involved.

      I hope this information has helped you in any way.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  8. Default Gravatar
    scottMay 9, 2017

    My wife passed away several years ago and now i am re married how do i go about putting my new wife on the deed for the house and remove my old wife’s name Thank YOU

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are changing the details of your property deed, our guide on this page may help.

      Kindly note that each state and county have different processes and fees relating to changing the property deed. It would be best to reach out to the local government agency that handles property titles and deeds to discuss the process and fees in relation to making this change.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  9. Default Gravatar
    VictorMay 2, 2017

    I purchased a house and soon after I got married. What type of deed do I need to add her to house?

    • finder Customer Care
      HaroldMay 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Victor,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Once you get married, both involved in the property have rights to the property, so each individual would have a claim on the property regardless of whose names appear on the deeds.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  10. Default Gravatar
    FanniemayApril 3, 2017

    how to remove someone’s name off a house title that is not on not on my deed or my loan?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayApril 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Fanniemay,

      Thank you for your question and for contacting finder.com.au – we are a financial comparison website and general information service we are not mortgage specialists so can only offer general advice.

      Removing a name from a title differs slightly in each Australian state and territory, so you’d be best to visit your local state government that handles property title transfers. Although basically, the transfer process is quite similar throughout Australia, to start with, you’ll need to fill out a relevant transfer form that can be obtained from your state government department’s website. Please see the list of states in the blue box found on this page.

      Furthermore, if the property is under a mortgage, you’ll also need to speak to the lender about the name change on the deed for proper documentation. You can also seek an advice from a conveyancer or solicitor to be guided with the correct process and the fees that may be involved.

      Cheers,
      May

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