Transferring a house title

Adding your partner’s name to your house title

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 25th, 2016

Adding a partner to your property is common and the process is quite straightforward. It’s just the consequences of the process that you should be cautious about.

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.

This is because your property is one of the most expensive assets you commit to. If done incorrectly, adding someone to your property title can cost you financially in the long run. It's crucial to remember when you include your partner on your title they will have a share of property and will be involved in your mortgage.

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


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.

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.

Click through to your state government website for more information

    • 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.

Prefer to speak to an expert about adding someone's title to your property?

Rates last updated October 25th, 2016
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Marc Terrano

A passionate publisher who loves to tell a story. Learning and teaching personal finance is his main lot at Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

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142 Responses to Adding your partner’s name to your house title

  1. Default Gravatar
    Don | April 2, 2016

    My son and his partner have been together for over 10years and now we have a lovely grandson!(18months).They have just purchased at auction their first house.The largest part of the deposit by far is being provided by my son’s partners parents, as my son is the minor bread-winner in their relationship,and will not be contributing financially as much as his partner until he graduates.
    My question is what sort of title arrangement and in what proportions should they be on the contracts and title deed?

    • Staff
      Belinda | April 4, 2016

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      As is an online comparison service, we are not licensed to give you personal advice regarding the type of ownership structure that your son and his partner should arrange for their property.

      However, on this page we discuss the different types of ownership structure, including joint ownership which is where both partners have an equal share in the property and “tenants in common” where owners can have a different size share in the property.

      Your best course of action would be to speak to a conveyancer regarding the implications of different types of ownership structures.

      Kind regards,

  2. Default Gravatar
    Karen | March 2, 2016

    My daughter has become a single mother and I’d like to put her name with mine as owner of my home in South Australia. How do I do this and what charges would there be.

    • Staff
      Belinda | March 3, 2016

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you’d like to add your daughter’s name to your property title, you will need to complete a transfer of title form which you can access from the South Australian Land Services website. You may also need to locate your duplicate certificate of title (which is likely to be held by your current lender if the property is mortgaged). You’ll then need to lodge the required documents with Land Services and Land Titles Office.

      It’s advised that you get a conveyancer to assist you with this process.

      You can read our guide about the process and costs of changing property ownership, but generally you’ll need to pay stamp duty (which is calculated at 3-5.5% of land value), capital gains tax (which is normally around 25% of the capital gain) as well as legal and valuation fees.

      However, you might be interested to learn more about how you can minimise fees when transferring property within the family.


  3. Default Gravatar
    Deborah | February 28, 2016

    I would like to add my wife to a property, what forms and where can I find it?

    • Staff
      Belinda | February 29, 2016

      Hi Deborah,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you’d like to add your wife’s name to the property title, you’ll need to access and complete a transfer of title form which can be accessed from your state government website. For instance, in NSW, you can access it from the Land and Property Information (LPI) website whereas in VIC, you can access it from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DTPLI) website.

      You will also need to access your certificate of title and mortgage documents which will be held by your existing lender. Your lender will provide you with any other relevant documentation that needs to be submitted.

      All the best,

  4. Default Gravatar
    Mary | February 22, 2016

    Hi, My partner of twenty years still won’t put my name on our house. It is debt free, ie no mortgage. I have always been a much lower income earner but have contributed all I earn to the family.

    We have opened this house for 14 years. The deposit paid for by the sale of his previous house. Our home is worth exactly 5 times the value of that house.

    He claims the reason is to avoid CGT. Is that correct?

    • Staff
      Marc | February 23, 2016

      Hi Mary,
      thanks for the question.

      Unfortunately as we’re not tax experts we’re unable to comment on or give advice regarding tax minimisation strategies. You may wish to consult an accountant about this to see what benefit this strategy has for your situation.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help,

  5. Default Gravatar
    Ana | February 21, 2016

    I was approved by my bank to add my spouse in my warranty deed. He also added in the note. I just received the liability approval. I need to record the deed with Dallas county, but don’t know what form I need to fill out or if I need to go to the title company to get help.

    Or do I need now to download the warranty deed form, fill it out and the go and notarized, then go to Dallas county clerk for recording?

    • Staff
      Belinda | February 24, 2016

      Hi Ana,

      I’ve sent you an email to follow up with this enquiry.


  6. Default Gravatar
    patrick | January 19, 2016

    My wife and I are looking at putting our daughter on to our property title we still have a mortgage on this property what is involved or the best way to facilitate this

    • Staff
      Belinda | January 20, 2016

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      To add someone’s name to the property title, you generally need to fill out and submit a transfer of title form which can be accessed from your state office of revenue.

      We have a guide about how to change property ownership here, but it’s a good idea to speak to your state office of revenue and your lender regarding the paperwork required for this transfer.

      On this page you can learn about how to minimise fees when transferring property ownership within the family, and you can fill out the form to speak with a property tax specialist.

      All the best,

  7. Default Gravatar
    Veronica | January 15, 2016

    I would like to add my name to my husband’s home title the house is free hold and we are retired pensioners could you tell me the cost and where i can get the forms thank you.

    • Staff
      Marc | January 18, 2016

      Hi Veronica,
      thanks for the question.

      The forms and cost will depend on what state the transfer is occurring in. This page has a list of the state government departments for property title, so I recommend clicking through to your relevant state government.

      I hope this helps,

  8. Default Gravatar
    macaw36 | January 10, 2016

    Hi can you help me how much is it to put a name on the title deeds there is no mortgage or anything it was payed in full cash payment thank you

    • Staff
      Belinda | January 12, 2016

      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you’d like to add your name to the title deed, your best course of action will be to contact your state office of revenue to get an accurate quote for the transfer.

      We also have a guide about how to lower costs when transferring property within the family which you might find useful.

      Depending on the type of transfer and the value of the property, you may need to pay capital gains tax (CGT), stamp duty as well as legal and conveyancing charges.


  9. Default Gravatar
    Chris | December 21, 2015

    Under a will, a property (strata unit) was left to two beneficiaries who could not decide what to do with the property. As a result, the solicitor handling the will transferred the property into the name of the Executor who was also one of the beneficiaries.

    After 5 years, they now wish to transfer the property into the names of both beneficiaries (preferably ‘joint tenants’).
    What actions are required, and are there any charges involved (Stamp Duty, CGT etc)?

    Thank you,

    • Staff
      Marc | December 22, 2015

      Hi Chris,
      thanks for the question.

      The process to transfer the property will depend on the state, but will generally involve you contacting the relevant government department which handles this (in NSW it’s Land & Property Information, but you can find the list of departments here), and filling out the relevant form. In terms of CGT, in some cases it can be disregarded depending on the situation. If it’s not disregarded, the beneficiary is usually taken to have acquired the property when the person died.

      It’s highly recommended that for these types of issues legal and tax specialists are consulted.

      I hope this helps,

  10. Default Gravatar
    Naz | November 27, 2015

    I own the apartment that my daughter and I live in. I want to transfer the apartment to my daughter but want to know what fees will be involved. I’m a senior citizen but am still working casual part time.

    Thank you

    • Staff
      Belinda | November 27, 2015

      Hi Naz,

      Thanks for your enquiry.

      On this page you can read our guide about how to minimise fees when transferring or gifting property within the family.

      As you can see, there are a number of fees involved when changing the ownership of property such as capital gains tax (CGT), stamp duty and any valuation or legal charges required to complete the process. However, as you are transferring the ownership to your daughter, you may be exempt from paying CGT if the property is classified as your main place of residence.

      Your best course of action would be to contact your state government department to see if you’re eligible for any exemptions from CGT and stamp duty.

      Any valuation or legal charges will depend on the fee structure of the provider and the value of the property.


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