Changing who is recorded as legal owner on the title deeds of a property

| 4 min read

There can be a variety of circumstances in which you might want to change who is registered as legal owner of a property.

Most commonly, changes of name, particularly the removal of a name, happens on divorce or death:

  • When a couple divorces or separates, one of them may want to stay in the property and buy the share of the other.

  • When someone dies, removing his or her name from the property deed may be necessary in order to complete probate and distribute his or her estate. The name of the deceased person might be replaced with those of the beneficiaries, or in the case of sale of the property, with a new owner.

The process of removing a name from the title deeds

An application must be made to change the register. Form AP1 should be completed (see below).

If the entire property is to be transferred to new owners, Form TR1 should also be completed and filed with the land Registry.

Where the property is owned by two owners as joint tenants and one dies, the surviving joint owner becomes the sole legal owner of the property. In order to remove the name of the deceased, Form DJP must be completed and filed.

If there are no surviving owners, the transfer will happen as part of the probate process. The beneficiaries may have the property transferred into their names, or into the names of representatives using form AP1 and AS1.

If the owners bought the property using a mortgage, the permission of the mortgage lender will usually be necessary to be obtained in order to remove the name of one of the owners. The mortgage provider will usually assess the financial ability of the remaining owner to make repayments.

How to complete form TR1

Form TR1 is used in the majority of conveyancing transactions to create a transfer deed between a buyer and a seller of the property, or previous owners and new owners (if no money is being transferred).

It should be used to:

  • transfer the whole of the property in one or more registered titles
  • to register the property for the first time

If only part of the registered title is being transferred, Form TP1 should be used instead.

Before transfer, you should check whether the property has been previously registered using the Land Registry’s Find A Property service.

If it has, you should obtain an up-to-date official copy of the Register and check it for any issues that might make transfer more difficult. Restrictions such as restrictive covenants may limit how the property can be used or amended. Leasehold clauses may require the consent of the landlord. If there is a mortgage on the property, consent of the lender may be required. The Land Registry gives further guidance.

Completing Form TR1

The form is straightforward to complete provided that you have all the information to hand.

You need to know the title number the property if it has been registered before, and provide a brief description including the postcode of the property has one.

The date of completion should be completed once the transfer has been executed.

There is a requirement to state the amount paid for property, or that the transfer is a gift or that there is some other form of consideration that is non-monetary.

Panel 10 records the intentions of joint owners and establishing a declaration of trust. Alternatively, Form JO can be used.

With Form TR1, you should send the Land Registry the Stamp Duty Land Tax certificate if relevant, and Form AP1 for already registered property or Form FR1 for new property.

If you are a non-professional conveyancer (i.e. not a solicitor), you should also send certification of your personal identity. 

Although it’s possible to change the names on title deeds yourself, we recommend that you seek professional help from a solicitor. The value of property is sufficiently high to make it worthwhile getting the transfer right. The price of conveyancing for a transfer of names is usually only a couple of hundred pounds – much cheaper than for when property is being sold. You may wish to read about why conveyancing solicitors can be important in property transaction.

Please note that the information provided on this page:

  • Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
  • Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
  • Does not create a contractual relationship;
  • Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
Contact us about this article

We would love to hear what you think about this article and how we could improve it. Please do let us know. However, we shan't be able to reply to your specific questions. If you have a question about a document, please contact us.

Leave feedback about this page