Updated: January 07, 2022

Removing a Name from a Joint Mortgage

Looking at removing a name from your joint mortgage? Find out the process and how much it costs to take someone off your mortgage in our in-depth guide.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: January 07, 2022

When you first buy a home, having a partner or good friend share the mortgage can feel like an obvious solution, increasing your buying power and helping you secure the finance you need. If things change though, you may find yourself wanting to get out of a joint mortgage or have it transferred solely to your name.

This guide outlines how to remove someone from a joint mortgage, the different options available and the best way to tackle any challenges along the way.

Can you remove a name from a joint mortgage?

Yes, it’s possible. The key thing is that anyone currently named on the mortgage agrees to the change. Transferring a joint mortgage to a sole name is called a transfer of equity. New ownership has to be recorded by the Land Registry and the mortgage agreement is amended by the lender.

If your existing lender won’t agree to the transfer, or if you can save money by switching to another, remortgaging with a new provider is also an option.

Why you might want to do this

The most common reason for wanting to get out of a joint mortgage is a divorce or separation. However, with increasing house prices,it has been seen that many friends instead decide to opt for shared ownership as a way to get on the property ladder.

A change in personal circumstances, such as one person wanting to set up home with a new partner, might also be a reason for needing to remove someone from a mortgage.

As with any big financial decision, getting specialist advice can be useful when you’re exploring your options, so consider speaking to a specialist mortgage broker to see if you could save money by switching providers.

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How to get out of a joint mortgage

One of the simplest ways to get out of a joint mortgage is for both parties to agree to sell the property and cut all financial ties.

In many cases though, especially if it’s a family home and you have children, one party may want to continue living in the home and be solely responsible for the mortgage repayments.

Buying someone out

‘Buying someone out’ means one property owner paying the other owner’s share of the equity. For example, if your house is worth £300,000 and you have £200,000 left on your mortgage, you would both have £50,000 of equity and one party would need to pay this amount to the other to buy them out.

In the case of divorce, the equity in a property may form part of a financial settlement, but if not, and if you don’t have the cash to buy out your ex-partner, you may need to raise extra finance to cover this. You’ll also need to take on the rest of the mortgage, which was previously paid by two people.

If this is the situation you’re currently faced with, these are the steps you’ll need to take:

Step 1. The legal process

You’ll need a solicitor to process the legal side of your mortgage transfer. Your solicitor will start by reviewing your title deeds and preparing the transfer deed documents. Any third parties involved, including your mortgage lender, are asked to provide written consent and once everything is in place you sign the transfer deed with an independent witness.

The details are then passed on to the Land Registry and the change is recorded. This step incurs an additional fee dependent on the value of the property.

Step 2. Speak to an experienced mortgage broker

A separation or divorce can be stressful at the best of times, but add in the mortgage transfer process and you may feel like it’s too much to think about alone. To avoid the worry around being turned down by your current lender or having to spend hours researching alternatives, speak to a specialist mortgage broker.

They can do all of the leg work for you and advise on the best and most affordable options for your personal circumstances, however complex they might be. If you get in touch we can arrange for an advisor we work with, who specialises in this area, to contact you directly.

How much does it cost to remove someone from a joint mortgage?

As a minimum you will need to pay legal fees, the Land Registry fee and any costs associated with arranging a new mortgage if this applies to you. You may also incur stamp duty costs in some situations, so do check this.

Eligibility requirements

Transferring a joint mortgage solely into your name follows a similar process to applying for a new mortgage. As with all mortgage applications, lenders will want to be sure that you can afford the payments, especially now there’s just one person’s income in the equation.

What checks are carried out?

Your lender will carry out the usual credit checks looking for issues including missed payments, CCJs and other financial red flags. It’s a good idea to download your credit reports in advance to make sure there’s no inaccuracies or outdated information on there.

You’ll need to provide evidence of all sources of regular income and existing financial commitments, as you would with any standard mortgage application, including bank statements and payslips. You may also need a property valuation as part of a remortgaging process.

Take a look at our mortgage application guide for all the relevant documentation you may need to provide.

Affordability

Affordability of the new mortgage commitment can be an issue when transferring a joint mortgage to one person, as the original loan will have been agreed on the basis of joint incomes.

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford the repayments alone there may be other options too, such as using a close friend or family member as a guarantor or transferring someone new onto the mortgage.

Get matched with an experienced mortgage broker

While moving from a joint to a sole name mortgage can be tricky, it’s certainly possible. The complexity of the process will depend on your personal circumstances and if you’re at all concerned about the best next step for you, then why not speak to a specialist broker?

The advisors we work with have experience in these types of circumstances, so they can guide you through the process, identify the best options for you and help avoid any pitfalls. Our broker matching service is completely free, so give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry to start the process.

FAQs

Do maintenance payments count as admissible income?

This depends on the lender. Different lenders have different policies on whether maintenance payments can be counted as admissible income when they’re looking at affordability. Your mortgage broker can help to identify the lender that’s right for you and help you avoid being turned down for a mortgage or paying over the odds.

Can I transfer a mortgage if I’m self-employed?

The short answer is yes. Although it may be more complex than if you are employed with a regular income, you can still transfer a mortgage if you’re self-employed, you’ll just need to meet the lender’s eligibility criteria and be able to show that you can afford the repayments.

What if my ex-partner doesn’t agree to the transfer?

If you are having any difficulties with your ex-partner in terms of them refusing to pay their half of the mortgage, then speak to your lender immediately. There could be an impact on you both if mortgage payments are missed, so keeping your lender informed of your situation is key.

If they refuse to agree to come off the mortgage, you’ll need to get legal advice and ultimately the house may need to be sold. This route can be very costly so it’s best avoided if at all possible. Free services like the Citizens Advice may be useful as a first port of call.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

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FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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