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How To Buy Someone Out Of A House: Steps & Tips

By Samantha Partington
Published 4 April 2022

How do you buy someone out of a property? Read our guide to learn the steps to buying someone out of a property.

In this guide

Unless you’re the sole owner of your home, you might find yourself facing the prospect of buying someone out of your property.

Divorce is a common trigger of mortgage buyouts. The ONS reported that 113,505 divorces were granted in 2021, a 10% increase on the year before. When a marriage or relationship breaks down one person usually keeps the house. To give them their share of the equity in the property and remove them from the mortgage you’ll need to buy them out.

Friends or family who have bought together and decide to part ways some years down the line will go through the same buyout process. 

Before we explain how to buy someone out of a house, first a note of caution. Everyone who is named on the mortgage is jointly and separately liable for the payments. 

The formal term is jointly and severally, which means the same thing. If one person doesn’t pay their share, you’re both liable for the whole payment and will be chased by the lender and the credit score of all parties will be affected. That’s why it’s important to stay organised and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities.

How to work out the equity share

If you’re joint owners and there’s no specific divorce settlement that dictates how equity is split, chances are it will be 50/50. 

Being registered as joint owners means you both wholly own the property. If you’re registered as tenants in common, you each own a separate specified share. Up to four people can be registered as owners this way. For example, two owners could have a 40% share each and the remaining two could have a 10% share each.

To work out the equity, first get the property valued by a surveyor. An estate agent’s valuation is not accurate and could over inflate the property’s worth.

Next, subtract the mortgage balance from the value to get your equity. Then divide this by the number of property owners to get their share – unless there is a specific agreement that lays out how the equity should be split.

Take a couple, for example, who have a property valued at £300,000 and a mortgage of £175,000. That gives them £125,000 of equity which means the owner being bought out is entitled to £62,500.

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How to buy someone out of a house

To buy someone out of a house, you take over their share of the mortgage and the property in exchange for the equity you’ve agreed. 

The legal process is called a transfer of equity. Once the transfer of equity is complete their name is removed from the title deeds to the property. 

But first the mortgage lender must agree. If you’re staying with the same lender, you’ll need a letter of consent from them saying that they agree to the buyout. The lender will run a credit check on you and calculate if your sole salary is enough to support the mortgage payments. 

Once you’ve proved you can afford the mortgage by yourself, they’ll agree to the transfer of equity.

How To Buy Your Ex Out

If you’re not changing any other terms of your mortgage, for example the balance or term, you’re unlikely to pay an early repayment charge to carry out a transfer of equity mid-way through your mortgage deal.

You can also choose to remortgage away from your old lender to a new one as a single borrower. If you want to go down this route, we can help. Our award-winning team are experts when it comes to helping buyers and home movers discover their max borrowing power. To find out more, create a free Tembo plan today, or have a go on our Mortgage Calculator to see what you could afford.

If the new lender is satisfied you can afford the mortgage by yourself, you’ll receive a mortgage offer which lays out the details of your new loan. 

When your remortgage completes, your new lender will transfer enough money to your previous lender to repay your old mortgage. This releases your former partner from the debt. The solicitor can then take them off the property title deeds. 


Top Tip

If you cannot afford a mortgage on your own, talk to a specialist mortgage broker. They will be able to help you discover ways to increase how much you can borrow that you might not have thought of, including family support options and specialist lending schemes.

How long does it take to buy someone out of a house?

If the equity split is amicable, the whole process can take between four and six weeks. But if there are disagreements between how the equity is split, or you are struggling to find a mortgage lender who will lend to you by yourself, this can make the process take longer.

If you are struggling to find a way to afford the mortgage by yourself, talk to Tembo. We're experts at helping home buyers and movers increase how much they can borrow through a range of specialist schemes.

How to raise the cash to buy your partner out

Unless you have thousands of pounds in savings lying around, you’ll have to borrow the money to buy out your ex. 

There’s a few ways to go about this. You can apply for a higher mortgage with your existing lender if your mortgage deal has expired. If you’re tied into a mortgage deal, ask your lender for a further advance. This is a top up mortgage allowing you to avoid early repayment charges.

For both these options, you must prove you can afford the higher loan amount by yourself. If you are unable to afford this higher loan amount by yourself, you could consider an Income Boost. This is a way to increase the amount you could borrow, by adding a family member or friend’s income onto the mortgage application (and they won’t be on the deeds to the property).

What Is An Income Boost & How Does It Work?

If you are turned down, you may be eligible for a second charge mortgage, also known as a secured loan. These are specialist loans so ask a mortgage broker for help.

Alternatively, a family member may want to gift you the money. They can use their own savings to give to you in a lump sum, or place them in a special savings account to be used as security by the lender. This is called a springboard mortgage, or Family Guarantor mortgage, which normally works by your loved one placing 10% of the property price in a savings account. After a certain amount of time, they will get their money back plus interest, as long as you keep up with the mortgage repayments each month.

Another way for a loved one to help is to release equity from their own home using later life mortgage option. For example, a Deposit Boost is a way for a family member to unlock some money from their property using a remortgage. This can then be gifted to the person trying to buy their partner out of the property.

What Is A Deposit Boost & How Does It Work?

If you don't have any friends or family who can support, don't lose heart. There are options out there for those with no family support. One option is to use a private equity loan to get a second charge mortgage against the home. The lender will provide you with the additional capital you need to afford the home on your own by increasing your down payment, in return for a share of the property.

If you need help working out the best option for you, we can help. Our smart technology will work out the best option for you based on your individual affordability. To start, simply create a free Tembo plan. After that, our expert mortgage broker team can walk you through the options and next steps on a call.

Read next: Shared Ownership vs Equity Loan: What's right for you?

What fees will I pay?

You’ll need to pay legal fees of between £250 to £500 for the transfer of equity. You must pay a fee to the Land Registry to process the deed of transfer which starts from around £50. A valuation, mortgage broker and lender fee may also be payable. 

Taking over the mortgage after a divorce

Taking over sole responsibility for the mortgage after a divorce can be daunting. It’s no wonder so many homeowners use the internet search phrase ‘mortgage after divorce uk’ looking for help.

If you’re not able to pass a lender’s affordability assessment on your own, there are ways you can boost how much you can borrow through a range of family guarantor mortgages or specialist lending schemes.

To find the most suitable mortgage solution for your needs, it’s best to enlist the help of a mortgage professional. Our award-winning team of mortgage experts are specialists when it comes to helping people to boost their borrowing power. All you have to do is create a plan here to get started on your application.

We've helped thousands of first time buyers and movers discover their max borrowing potential

Working with over 100 mortgage lenders, we specialist in helping people boost their mortgage affordability through a range of specialist schemes. If you need help working out how you can afford your home on your own after a divorce or separation, you're in the right place. To get started, create a free plan.

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