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

Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a content marketer manager 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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142 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    CynthiaSeptember 7, 2017

    My in laws had a trailer title jointly. She signed her name to the back and it was notarized. He was to go get the title in his name only. He got ill and didn’t get the title done. He passed away. His daughter took the title and went and put it in her name. Is this legal?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 7, 2017

      Hello Cynthia,

      Thank you for your question.

      At the outset, it is important to determine how the deceased owner held title to the property. This requires a close examination of the deed that transferred the property to the deceased owner. This is critical to understand so that you would know how names on property deeds are being updated.

      1. “Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship” which is in simple definition means that if one of the owners outlive the other, as long they have a written agreement of such, automatically the vested interest of the deceased owner is transferred to surviving joint owner.

      2. There is also what we call “tenancy in common” where in case one of the tenants/owners die, his interests will go to the probate. In this case, surviving spouse or heirs will go through the probate court to have it updated.

      3. “Community Property and Community Property with Right of Survivorship” is when n the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse will continue to own—not to inherit, but continue to own—his or her one-half interest. The remaining half will be governed by the deceased owner’s will or Texas intestacy law.

      Usually, in states like Texas and California is where Community Property and Community Property with Right of Survivorship are being used. If the deed included survivorship rights, and if the other owners named ihn the deed survived the deceased owner, you can usually use an Affidavit of Survivorship to remove the deceased owner. In this case, it is legal and should not involve a court proceeding. Now, if the property deals with Probate and Alternatives to Probate, it is recommended to have an attorney in handling it.

      It is worth mentioning that information provided is for general purposes only and is not offered as legal advice upon which anyone may rely. Legal counsel relating to your individual needs and circumstances is advisable before taking any action that has legal or tax consequences.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    JulieAugust 25, 2017

    8 years ago we agreed to allow our parents to move in with us. For their security we added them to the deeds. They are now getting older and we feel it is time to remove them from the deeds. What cost is involved in this? They are in total agreement. If something happened to one of them what happens to their share. Thank you

    • Staff
      ArnoldAugust 25, 2017Staff

      Hi Julie,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Fees vary between states and territories so contact the relevant government department for more information.

      Whether it’s due to death, divorce or a change in personal circumstances, it may become necessary for a name to be removed from a property deed. If it’s your name that should be removed from a property deed, you’ll typically complete a deed of conveyance.
      Eliminating the ownership rights of those listed on a property deed typically involves removing the names from the deed and from the title. Because some types of property are better suited to specific deeds of conveyance, this process requires knowing more about the type of property you’re discussing.
      A deed of conveyance — such as a quitclaim or warranty deed — is the most common way to remove a name from the property deed. A deed of conveyance is usually completed by the property owner leaving the deed and title to the remaining owners of the property, who intend to remain on the title. Removing a name from the property deed requires five steps.

      1. Discuss property ownership interests.
      2. Access a copy of your title deed.
      3. Complete, review and sign the quitclaim or warranty form.
      4. Submit the quitclaim or warranty form.
      5. Request a certified copy of your quitclaim or warranty deed.

      If the process is too complicated, simply get an expert opinion, use LegalMatch to consult with a lawyer today for free. LegalMatch quickly matches you with the right real estate lawyer to help you go through the process step by step.
      Simple Reply to Removing name on Deed
      To remove a name from the property deed, you may follow the steps we have listed above in regards to lodging a Quitclaim.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  3. Default Gravatar
    gordonJuly 8, 2017

    Hello, my mother died over four years ago. The day after my mother died, I went to the funeral company to get things done. When I went to my mothers bank to get all her papers, only to find out my sister had already been there. I also found out that my sister and also her husband had been stealing thousands of dollars from my mothers account over two years and this is still before the solicitors, because of the luck of work and funds that I have been able to make. Can I have a new deed of the mother’s house made without their permission? I am the sole occupant of my mother’s house now.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 11, 2017

      Hi Gordon!

      Thanks for your inquiry! :)

      Removing someone from deed without their consent can be a bit more complicated, especially if this concerns a family member. This would typically require a real estate attorney help to sort things out.

      Alternatively, you can also seek assistance from your local property office on this matter.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    JbJune 24, 2017

    If my ex partner takes his name of the deeds of the property we jointly own would I be liable to pay tax on it?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 24, 2017

      Hi JB!

      Did you have divorce? If you do, you may not be required to pay stamp duty following the removal of your ex-partner’s name on the title, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria.

      Check with your solicitor or local state revenue office to know how this works on your situation.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    LenaJune 7, 2017

    Hi there,
    My cousin bought a property and it’s still settling,he wants to sell the house to me.
    He applied to transfer it in my name and the vendor has refused.
    Can the vendor refuse?

    • Staff
      MayJune 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Lena,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Basically, when removing someone’s name from a property and transferring it to another, all the parties involved in the property should all come to an agreement. If the property is still on a mortgage/or still settling, your cousin should get a consent from his lender or vendor. If they would not allow, then the transfer to your name should be after the property has been fully paid. I would suggest that you seek a professional/legal advice from a conveyancer who can assist you with the process and possible fees associated with the transfer.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    AdrienneJune 2, 2017

    The above about stamp duty is confusing?
    My brother, me and my partner may go on the mortgage together….. does my brother have to pay any fees besides the fee to remove name from the title down the track??

    • Staff
      LiezlJune 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for your question.

      Kindly note that someone’s name cannot be legally removed from the property title unless the other party consented it. For instance, if your brother wishes to remove your name from the title and you’ve agreed to it, with or without monetary consideration, this is considered as a transfer of property – a dutiable transaction. Hence, he may have to pay stamp duty or transfer duty on top of the name removal fee, unless an exemption or concession is applicable. For an in-depth discussion about stamp duty, you may refer to our guide on this page.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  7. Default Gravatar
    DAWNFebruary 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
      MayFebruary 7, 2017Staff

      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

  8. Default Gravatar
    RhondaFebruary 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
      MayFebruary 5, 2017Staff

      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

  9. Default Gravatar
    ShereeDecember 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
      AnndyDecember 2, 2016Staff

      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

  10. Default Gravatar
    AmandaNovember 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
      MayNovember 18, 2016Staff

      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

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