How to remove someone’s name from a property title

Are you confused about how to remove someone’s name from a property title? Here’s what you need to do.

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 and guarantees security of property ownership. While there are plenty of reasons why you might need to add someone to a property title, there are also situations where you need to remove someone’s name from a property title. For example, maybe your mother has passed away and you need to transfer ownership of her property, or perhaps you’re getting divorced and it’s time to remove your former spouse’s name from the document.

It’s important that you follow the correct legal procedures when removing someone’s name 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

Important information

The exact process you need to follow to remove a name from a title differs slightly in each Australian state and territory. Check out the links below for the government body that handles property title transfers in each state or territory. Make sure you contact the relevant department for detailed instructions on the process where you live. Although the process of removing someone’s name from a property title is quite similar throughout Australia, specific examples given in this guide have been taken from NSW.

You can remove someone’s name from a property title yourself, but this can be a confusing process that involves complex technical jargon. Many people prefer to engage the services of a property lawyer or a licensed conveyancer to carry out the work. These professionals have the expertise to deal with any problems that may arise while transferring property and can help ensure that the transaction is handled with a minimum of fuss.

How to remove someone’s name from a property title (general)

Follow these steps to remove someone’s name from a property title:

  1. (Optional) Hire a licensed conveyancer. If you find the prospect of handling the paperwork daunting, hire a property lawyer or licensed conveyancer to take care of the task for you. Make sure you compare a few quotes and each expert’s level of experience before deciding on the right one to handle your transaction. The remaining steps can be completed by your conveyancer or by you.
  2. Fill out a transfer of title form. This form is usually available online via the website of the relevant state or territory government department. You need to provide the Torrens Title details of the property being transferred, the names of the people involved in the transfer and the share of property being transferred. You can find detailed instructions for filling out the NSW transfer of title form, Transfer Form 01T in our guide.
  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. Pay the necessary fee to have the transfer of title form processed. Fees vary between states and territories so contact the relevant government department for more information.
  5. Wait for the form to be processed. The relevant government department will then process the form and remove the name from the property title. Processing times vary from one state or territory to the next.

Please note that there may be extra steps to follow in different circumstances. For example, if there is an outstanding mortgage on the property, you’ll need to first obtain consent from your home loan lender before you can remove someone’s name from the property title.

Another example is if you are gifting a property to one of your children. You will want to have your name removed from the title and the child’s name added. Capital gains tax (CGT) is payable in this situation and is based on the property’s market value.

Removing a name from a property title can have many far-reaching legal, financial and taxation consequences, so seek professional advice tailored to your situation.

How to remove someone’s name from a property title after divorce

Around one in three of all Australian marriages end in divorce, so learning how to get a partner’s name removed from a property title is a common problem. If your marriage is headed for divorce and you need to get your ex-partner’s name removed from a property title, the steps detailed above will still need to be followed.

However, there are a few extra issues that need to be considered. Your solicitor will be able to help you and your partner draw up a formal separation agreement as part of the divorce settlement. This agreement sets out how you will divide the assets between the two of you, including who will assume ownership of the family home, and sets out the requirements of each spouse in writing. This can also help ensure that you avoid paying stamp duty on the property transfer (see stamp duty section below for more details) and will outline what happens to an existing mortgage as part of the marriage split.

Finally, you may also undergo a name change as part of the divorce, and you’ll need to remember to have your own name changed on the property title to reflect this.

What to do with your house following a divorce

While severing all financial and legal ties to your ex in a divorce may seem like the best approach, make sure to consider all your options before choosing to do this. There are a number of different options you could consider:

  • Keep both names on the title. This may help simplify matters and will allow you to keep your existing mortgage in place. Your solicitor will help you draw up the necessary legal paperwork to set out the rules of this arrangement.
  • Keep the home for the kids’ inheritance. Some divorced couples opt to keep the family home as an investment property to provide an inheritance for their children.
  • Refinance your home loan. If one person is being removed from the property title and from the obligation to make mortgage repayments, you’ll need to speak to your lender about refinancing your home loan as part of the divorce settlement.
  • Buy out your ex-spouse. Depending on your financial situation and the advice you receive from your solicitor, the best option may be to buy your ex-spouse’s share of the family home.

There are a myriad of potential scenarios that could arise depending on your personal circumstances, so ask your solicitor for advice and guidance on the best approach.

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

It will depend what state the property is in. For example, the minimum fee payable when having someone removed from a property title in NSW is $109.50. This fee must be paid to the NSW Government Land & Property Information Department.

However, if you choose to get a property lawyer or licensed conveyancer to carry out this task, you will need to factor their fees into the equation. Speak with your chosen property law expert to get an accurate quote for their services.

What about stamp duty?

In the vast majority of cases, stamp duty is payable on a title transfer regardless of whether the transfer involved money changing hands. However, you may be able to avoid paying stamp duty if you are getting your spouse or de facto partner’s name removed from a property title following a divorce or relationship breakdown. You’ll need to meet specific conditions to qualify for this exemption.

For example, in NSW, the Chief Commissioner must be of the opinion that the marriage has broken down irretrievably or that the de facto relationship has been terminated. You will also need to lodge evidence to support your application, such as a copy of a court order or of a legally binding financial agreement made by you and your spouse.

You can access the relevant stamp duty exemption application forms from your state revenue office.

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

Can a property owner legally remove someone’s name from the title without their consent?

No, this is not possible.

In the case of divorce, if one partner wants to remove their name from the property title, can both the partners’ names remain on the mortgage?

No, only one partner’s name can remain on the mortgage.

Does removing someone’s name from a property title for the family home have CGT implications?

CGT is not payable on the principal place of residence (ie, the family home). It is only payable on an investment property.

What if my ex-spouse is not willing to co-operate and refuses to have their name removed from the title?

Your solicitor will be able to provide you with legal advice on what to do in this situation.

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

  1. Default Gravatar
    DAWN | February 7, 2017

    We’re married and I’m still living there and he thinks he can take my name off the house,is that possible if I don’t agree to it?

    • Staff
      May | February 7, 2017

      Hi Dawn,

      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.

      If you’re one of the property’s owners, no, it’s not possible to remove your name off from the property title deed/title without your consent.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    Rhonda | February 3, 2017

    My parents have a house in nsw and there are 4 names on the deed, my sibling now wants to sell her share to a complete stranger, can she do this if the other 3 people on the deed do not agree?

    • Staff
      May | February 5, 2017

      Hi Rhonda,

      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.

      No, it’s not possible to sell her share if the other 3 people on the deed do not agree. Best to speak to a lawyer regarding this case.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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