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.

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When you make the choice to own a property together with a partner, family member or friend, it's an exciting decision. But you should go through the process of adding a name to a property title, so that the decision is reflected, to ensure everyone's interests are protected.

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 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, 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, 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.

Example: Adding a long term partner to your property

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

Ling and John approach the lender first 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 ‘tenants in common’ agreement. 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.

What happens if John and Ling break up? Ling owns 20% of the property to begin with. The remaining 80% is split in two, so Ling would own a 60% share of the property and John 40%.

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, which 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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169 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    ColinJuly 14, 2021

    Dear Sir or Madam. I live with my partner of 15 years in an apartment held in my name only with clear title. How do I include her in the title and is there any stamp duty to pay ? Thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SarahJuly 16, 2021Staff

      Hi Colin.

      You can add your partner’s name to your property title by following two simple steps:

      Step 1: Contact your lender
      You must inform your lender in the first instance. Your lender will assess the financial situation of both parties before they give you consent to add your partner’s name. If granted, your lender will tell you what documents you need to submit to complete the process.

      Step 2: Add your partner to your property title
      This can be done by filling out the necessary government forms and submitting them to your state government. Click on the specific state links in the article above to get access to the forms you need. In general, you’ll need to fill in the following:
      1. Transfer form. This can be obtained from your state government’s website (details above). The form and associated fees differ by state.
      2. Certificate of title. You will need the original property title or certificate from the lender.
      3. Mortgage documents. If you have a mortgage, check with your lender so they can provide any relevant documents that may be required to add your partner’s name to your property title.

      For married, de facto, and same-sex couples, stamp duty may not be applicable when adding your partner to your property title. There are a number of conditions you need to meet to qualify for this exemption, and these can change from state to state, so make sure you request a form from your state office of revenue or your state government website.

      Remember, it is always worth seeking professional legal advice before changing a property title to get specific advice regarding your situation.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Sarah

    Default Gravatar
    GregJanuary 21, 2020

    We are refinancing our Home loan which we opened before we were married, now the bank is saying “Could you please arrange an Application for Change of Name from a solicitor, conveyancer or the relevant State Title Authority and return to us ” . Can’t I just supply a married certificate as proof ?
    Cheers

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiJanuary 22, 2020

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well. As the bank requires the document called Application for Change of Name, this means you’d need to furnish this document for Refinance Home Loan. Given that you don’t have that document at hand, you must ask the financier if they will allow a marriage certificate.

      Hope this clarifies and feel free to reach back out for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

      Hope

    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?

      Avatarfinder 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

    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.

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiJune 15, 2018

      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

    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.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezNovember 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

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