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Transfer of Title: The Complete Guide for Victorians

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Transfer of property

What does it mean to transfer property titles? You could be turning over the ownership of your family home to a friend, family member, or spouse, but you want to seek professional advice from a conveyancer when doing so. Where do you begin? Our conveyancers can tell you everything you need to know.

Why would you want to consider changing the property ownership?

  • Family problems. If the home has been owned by a grandparent who is now ill, they may be wanting to hand their assets down to another family member.
  • Divorce or separation. If you and your partner are no longer together, you may want to seek other arrangements with your jointly owned home.
  • Finances. This is a big issue and can contribute to not being able to afford a mortgage.​

Property title

In Victoria, a property title is known as a Certificate of Title which is issued by the Registrar of Titles at the Land Registry Office.

The property title is incredibly important, as this denotes the registered owner/s and the shares applicable to each proprietor. The property title provides details pertaining to the Land including Lot and Plan numbers applicable and any other important encumbrances that may be registered on title.

If you’d like to understand the specifics of these documents, please speak to one of our qualified legal conveyancers who can help you comprehend the fine print.

Transfer of land

What is a transfer of land in Victoria? If you’ve owned a piece of land for many years, there may come a time when you’d like to Transfer your share to another individual.

​Under the Transfer of Land Act (1958), your rights to transfer your share of land ownership forms part of a Transfer of Land which is signed by the Transferor (person transferring their share) and Transferee (person acquiring the Transferors share).

Transfer of land fees

When transferring ownership over your property title, you must pay land registration fees. These fees are applicable at the time of registration of the Transfer of Land. Fees are dependent on the type of transaction being undertaken, for example if you purchased a property and entered into a Contract, the land registration fees will be calculated based on the consideration (purchase price).

Costs of transferring title ownership can include:

Stamp duty. As for most homes, paying stamp duty is non-negotiable. The original market value of the property will determine this cost.

If you’d like to get an estimated amount of how you may need to pay, you can contact Complete Conveyancing Solutions and they will be able to guide you to the correct online calculators such as  Land Transfer (Stamp) Duty Calculator from the State Revenue Office of Victoria, or Land Titles Office. This calculation should only be used as a reference.

Transfer of land form

The transfer of Land Form is used to transfer property to a spouse or family member. What else is needed for this process?

  • Certificate of Title. There may be a mortgage registered against the property and in most cases, the mortgagee on title must provide consent to enable the Transfer of Land to be registered on title.  A fee is usually incurred for the bank to provide such consent.
  • Verification of Identity. In this case, in order for a Transfer of Land to be registered on title the conveyancer in charge will need to verify your identity  and obtain the necessary written authority to electronically sign the Transfer of Land and any other associated documents.
  • Notice of Acquisition. This form needs to be signed and lodged at the same time as the Transfer of Land being registered on title.


Transferring house title to the spouse

Whether there’s a change in property plans or a spouse needs to keep their assets protected, there are a multitude of reasons why the transfer of ownership may be necessary.

How do you transfer property titles to your spouse?

  • Gifting. This process may not involve money exchanging hands and is merely a gift which has a consideration of ‘Love and Affection’. . It is equivalent to gifting a birthday present to a friend.
  • Purchasing Property. This is documented with the Contract of Sale, and stamp duty maybe required, this is all dependent on the type of property being transferred. 
  • Changing ownership share. In Victoria, a conveyancer can effectively lodge documents to the Land Titles office.

When transferring commercial or investment property titles, tax obligations must be discussed. We recommended seeking tax implication and/or financial advice from your accountant before transferring property.

How to transfer property title between family members/family property transfer

Ownership shared between family members happens for a lot of reasons, such as helping a family member break into the property market, inheritance reasons, asset protection, and tax considerations.

Before considering all of this, you need to think about tax benefits, tax liabilities, asset protection, estate planning, and retirement plans. All this comes into play.

How do you transfer property titles to family members? It is the same process as transferring your title over to your spouse or domestic partner.

  • Gifting. 
  • Selling the property. This is documented with the Contract of Sale.
  • Changing ownership share. In Victoria, a conveyancer can effectively lodge documents to the Land Titles office


Changing the name on the title of a house

When transferring property, you should consider the manner of holding (shares to be registered on title) as these can vary, depending on your circumstances. Here are the different options to ownership structures:

  • Sole Proprietor. You are the rightful owner of the property and are registered on title solely. 
  • Joint tenants. Two people equally own the property. If one proprietor  passes away, the deceased share will automatically pass onto the surviving proprietor. 
  • Tenants in common. This is a unique way of owning a property. It’s an ownership split between 2 or more individuals, and each tenant has an equal or unequal share. On the passing of a proprietor, the share registered on title will be administered in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

 

Adding a name to a property title

Have you begun a new relationship or marriage and are wanting to add a name to your property title? Or maybe you’d like to add the name of a family member to the property title. You can add your spouse or de facto partner, however, you’ll need to consider restructuring your home loan and making the necessary enquiries with your bank to enable the Transfer of Land to be registered on title. This will need to be done prior to the Transfer of Land taking effect.
 

How much does it cost to add a person to a house title

When adding a person to a house title, you may be concerned about the overall fees involved between both parties, but don’t stress.

All in all, seek advice with careful consideration. If you’re contemplating transferring property title/s, speak to our property conveyancers at Complete Conveyancing Solutions. We can give you the best move forward and guide you throughout the process.

Maria Tomlinson holds an unrestricted conveyancing licence together with Professional Indemnity Insurance against civil liability. Maria Tomlinson commenced her career in Conveyancing in 2001. She furthered her studying by completing her Diploma in Conveyancing in 2017 which has led her to hold an unrestricted Conveyancing License and successfully open her conveyancing firm, Complete Conveyancing Solutions.

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