How to remove someone’s name from a property title

What you need to do to remove someone’s name from a property titleHow to remove someone's name from a property title

A property title is a land titling document that lists the names of the registered owners of a property. It’s an important legal document that you’re likely to come across when you’re buying or selling a house.

Sometimes in life, it will become necessary to have someone’s name removed from a property title. For example, your marriage may be ending in divorce and you need to remove your spouse’s name from the document, or perhaps the original property owner has passed away.

Whatever the case may be, read on to find out the process you need to follow to get a name removed from a property title. Austousa4Reading this from the US? Read our guide to removing names from a property deed on finder.com Guide to changing property ownership

How to remove someone’s name from a property title

The exact process you will need to follow to have someone’s name removed from a property title will vary between states and territories. You can perform these tasks yourself, but most people seek the services of a conveyancer or lawyer. You’ll generally have to complete the following steps:

  • Fill out a transfer of title form. You can find this form online at the relevant state government department’s website. You’ll need to provide proof of identification for each party involved in the transfer.
  • Submit the form. Submit the signed transfer form and any other evidence that may be required to your state’s land department.
  • Pay the fee. Although circumstances can vary depending on where you live and your reasons for changing the title, you’ll typically have to pay a fee to have your form processed.
  • Lodge the form. Once the fee has been paid, you can lodge your form and wait for it to be processed.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to follow extra steps to ensure the process runs smoothly. For example, if you have a mortgage on the property, you’ll need your lender’s consent to have someone’s name removed from the property title. This may also involve getting new mortgage documents drawn up. It may also be necessary to have a formal separation agreement prepared by your solicitors if you're getting divorced. If you’re gifting a property to your children, which would involve having your name removed from the title and your child’s name added, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) for doing so. This tax is based on the property's market value, not the price you charge your children.

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How is tax treated when removing a name from a property title?

Tax when removing a name from a property title (1)It’s possible to take care of this process entirely on your own, but land title laws and the tax treatment of property transfers can be confusing, so it’s often in your best interest to enlist the services of a conveyancer or solicitor. This is the best way to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is done correctly and you don’t end up with any nasty surprises – such as fines – down the line.

Stamp duty

Typically, transferring ownership of a home from one person to another requires you to pay stamp duty. However, in cases where you are having someone removed from a property title due to divorce, the best thing to do is draw up a formal separation agreement with the help of your lawyers. This legal document details the obligations of both parties and how you‘ll split your assets, which may help you avoid stamp duty and save you thousands of dollars. If you need a name removed from your property title for reasons other than a marriage breakdown, you’ll be slugged with a stamp duty charge.

Capital gains tax (CGT)

As a personal asset, your home is exempt from CGT. However, if you sell an investment property or gift it to someone else, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) defines this as a CGT event and you will need to pay CGT. If you’re unsure about a tax matter relating to property, get professional advice before selling or gifting it. Although it can be a confusing issue to deal with, removing someone’s name from a property title is simple to take care of once you know the correct policies and procedures to follow. Whether you’re gifting a property to someone else or you’re splitting up assets after a marriage breakdown, seeking help from a conveyancer or solicitor is often the best way to go. This will ensure that the entire process is managed efficiently and effectively.

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 How does a title transfer differ from a name change?

A title transfer normally involves adding or removal a name from the title deed which can be completed by filling out a transfer of title form. However, a name change (which may become necessary as a result of marriage, divorce or death), involves submitting the appropriate record of name change with your state government department.

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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 finder.com.au. Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

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126 Responses to How to remove someone’s name from a property title

  1. Default Gravatar
    Sheree | December 2, 2016

    My husband never put my name on our property deed and recently i found out that he took his name off deed and put his sons name on it. We are still paying mortgage payments. Can this be legal? The mortgage is still in my husband name

    • Staff
      Anndy | December 2, 2016

      Hi Sheree,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, a person may legally change the names on the property deed even if it is still under mortgage but this requires the lender’s consent. This may also involve getting new mortgage documents drawn up and paying of capital gains tax (CGT) if the purpose is to give it as a gift.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    Amanda | November 17, 2016

    Hi
    I am undergoing a property settlement , I have paid the mortgage for the last 3 years, now my x husband wants to sell the house. I would like to keep the house as I am paying the mortgage . If I do get to keep the house in property settlement how will bank be able to refinance me as I only work part time and I have been told by the back they can’t lend me this amount of money ? What happens in this circumstance ? Can the bank say no if it is ordered that I keep the house and put title in my name ?

    • Staff
      May | November 18, 2016

      Hi Amanda,

      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.

      Once you have already the order and if hypothetically it says that you can keep the house and put your name in the property title, your chances of approval for a refinance would actually depend on the bank/lender’s assessment of your overall financial circumstance and ability to repay the mortgage, including but not limited to your income, assets, other debts and liabilities and even credit rating. So, if you wish to know if you get a refinance by how much and if you really qualify for the loan, it’s best to get in touch with a bank/lender to verify.

      Meantime, you can compare your refinancing home loan on this page. Alternatively, you can reach out to a mortgage broker who will take all your circumstances into account and offer you a range of lending options.

      Hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    ricky | September 1, 2016

    Hi

    I have a property with my father purchased about 7 years ago. About 2 years after, my parent’s relationship has crumbled and he decided to leave Australia. Since that day I have never seen him or know how to contact him. He doesn’t have siblings and my grandparents passed away many years ago.
    I was left to solely take on the mortgage for the last 5 years and without him here, I cant sell or re-finance.
    Is there any way I can remove his name from the property title?

    • Staff
      May | September 1, 2016

      Hi Ricky,

      Thank you 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.

      The process of removing your father’s name from the property title depends on which state or territory your property is located. But generally, 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 if states in the blue box above).

      You’d also be best to utilise the services of a conveyancer so you’ll be guided properly with the process.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    sue | August 24, 2016

    Hi..
    my mum living overseas ,she has house in NSW form long time ago and she gave power of attorney to her brother as she trust him ,
    two month ago her brother passed away and she discovered that he transferred her house to his name from 2005.
    is there any action she can take?

    Thanks
    sue

    • Staff
      May | August 24, 2016

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your inquiry. You’ve come through to finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service – we are not mortgage specialists so can only offer general advice.

      Basically, to start the process, your mother has to fill out the relevant transfer form which can be obtained from your local state government website (please see above links in the blue box). She may also need to provide a notice of death.

      Your mother may also seek a professional advice from a conveyancer or solicitor to be guided with the correct process.

      Cheers,
      May

  5. Default Gravatar
    Michelle | August 17, 2016

    Hi,

    I’m trying to get my sisters name off my property title. Her name went on the title so I could secure a home loan for the property. She has never contributed to the repayments, rates or any way financially, and is only too happy to have her name removed. I have since remarried and we are concerned that on paper she has half the share of the house. Is this possible to do without having to pay stamp duty?

    Thanks, Michelle

    • Staff
      May | August 19, 2016

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, stamp duty is required to be paid when you need to remove someone’s name from the property title. You can only be exempted from paying this tax if your reason to remove the name is due to divorce.

      I suggest that you seek professional advice on how to go about the process from your relevant state government department. Filling out the correct transfer form is also part of the process.

      Regards,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    Mimi | June 22, 2016

    I live in Texas and my daughter and I have a mortgage together;however, she doesn’t pay any mortgage or live in the home. I am a disabled veteran, 100%, and don’t have to pay any property taxes for my half but my daughter does. Do i have to remove her from the deed or title for tax purposes.

    • Staff
      Marc | June 22, 2016

      Hi Mimi,
      thanks for the question.

      Unfortunately we cannot provide personal advice regarding what you should do in this matter. I would recommend contacting an accountant for information about how these options may affect tax.

      Sorry I couldn’t help,
      Marc.

  7. Default Gravatar
    Darren | June 7, 2016

    My wife died year and a half ago
    How do I get her name off the real estate? House is paid off

    • Staff
      Marc | June 7, 2016

      Hi Darren,
      thanks for the comment, and my condolences.

      The exact process will depend on the tenancy agreement of the property and the state the property is in. For joint tenants in NSW for example, a notice of death form must be completed, and then a notice of transfer of land form. After this the original certificate of title must be lodged and the new certificate of title will be sent to you.

      For more information please contact the land department for your state (we’ve listed links to each site in the blue box on this page).

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  8. Default Gravatar
    Rick | May 12, 2016

    I filed bankruptcy and it was discharged 8 yrs ago but a property was never taken out of my name. I was defrauded, the guy went to jail, the house was torn down, but I still get a ticket from time to time. What can I do to get the land out of my name ? Thank you.

    • Staff
      Marc | May 12, 2016

      Hi Rick,
      thanks for the question.

      I would recommend contacting the relevant state department for property title, which we’ve listed on this page, to find out how you should next proceed.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  9. Default Gravatar
    Steve | April 26, 2016

    My friend was in a relationship and they broke up, but they were never married. While together they had put both their names on a home and were buying it before they split up. After the break up my friend refinanced the current mortgage with just her name. The problem is he is still on the title. How can she remove his name off the title. She pays the mortgage, property taxes and all the maintenance of the property. He no longer has any interests to the property and has moved on. The state she resides in is AZ, and the form to fill out is a Quit Deed. This site doesn’t mention anything about a Quit Deed.

    • Staff
      Marc | April 26, 2016

      Hi Steve,
      thanks for the question.

      This guide is for Australian readers, for our US guide and information about Quit Deeds, please read this.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  10. Default Gravatar
    steve | April 20, 2016

    my mom died, left her paid for mobile home to my younger brother the executor….he gave it to me and my wife 5 months ago, mom died 6 months ago…My wife and I are separating mow apparently after 25 years…
    The title is in hers and my name, can I or my brother reverse this title and remove my wife from this home?

    • Staff
      Belinda | April 20, 2016

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for reaching out. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

      To remove your wife’s name from the property title, you’ll need to access and submit a transfer of title form which you can locate from your state government department website.

      For instance, if the property is located in NSW, you can find the form on the Land and Property Information website or if the property is located in VIC, you can access the form on the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning website.

      Before you change the property title, you need to request consent from your lender to have her name removed. This will involve getting new mortgage documents written up.

      You may also want to speak to a conveyancer or solicitor to assist you with this process.

      All the best,
      Belinda

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