Can My Ex-Partner Remove My Name from the Mortgage Without My Permission?

Answered on 5 March 2024 by

My ex-partner and I have separated. We have a joint mortgage on the property we lived in together, but I’ve moved out and they still live there. Can they remove my name from the mortgage without my permission and am I entitled to any equity in the property?

Nicholas Mendes

Even if you have an amicable separation, it’s always best to know what your rights and mortgage options are following a divorce regarding any shared property or joint mortgage.

One of the most important things to be aware of is that your ex can’t simply take your name off the joint mortgage or the title deeds without your knowledge or permission. We explain how they could go about removing your name from the mortgage or title deeds and the circumstances in which you may be entitled to equity in the property below. 

Removing a Name from a Joint Mortgage Without Permission

Before we run through how your ex-partner can go about taking your name off the mortgage - with or without your permission - we should explain some things first.

Your Ex-Partner Will Need to Remove You from the Property Deeds

As you cannot be named on the title deeds without also being on the mortgage, your ex-partner will need to have you removed from the title deeds first or at least at the same time that they have you removed from the mortgage.

Some lenders will allow you to stay on a mortgage but not on the title deeds. This may be suitable in certain situations.

Your Ex-Partner Will Need Your Consent to Remove You from the Title Deeds and Mortgage

Your ex-partner will almost certainly require your consent to remove you from the title deeds and/or mortgage.

Usually after divorce or separation, one party applies for a transfer of equity to have the other removed from the title deeds, simultaneously enabling the lender to remove them from the mortgage. Your ex-partner will require your consent to apply for a transfer of equity and your lender will likely require your signature to take your name off the mortgage.

Even if you’re happy for your ex-partner to remove you from the mortgage, the lender won’t allow it unless your ex-partner meets their affordability criteria – i.e. they show they can support the whole mortgage either by themselves or with whomever they may be replacing your name with on the mortgage.

What About a Court Order to Remove an Ex from Title Deeds?

The only time your ex-partner could have you removed from the mortgage without your consent would be if they applied for and were granted a court order to have you removed from the title deeds and therefore the mortgage – but these are only granted in certain extreme circumstances. We recommend you consult your solicitor if you think your ex-partner may take legal action to have you removed from the title deeds/mortgage.

For more information, see our guide: How Does Divorce or Separation Impact Your Mortgage.

What Are My Rights to Equity in the Property if I'm on the Mortgage and Title Deeds?

You may be entitled to some equity in the property if you’re on the title deeds and any of the following apply:

  • You contributed to the monthly payments
  • You contributed to the deposit
  • You funded or helped fund improvements to the property

If you’re entitled to equity, you may be able to negotiate a lump sum pay out should your partner refinance or sell the property.

Speak to your solicitor immediately to find out whether you’re entitled to any equity and how much you could receive.

Summary of Key Points to Consider When Removing a Name from a Mortgage

  1. Joint mortgage - if you and your ex-partner are both listed on the mortgage as joint borrowers, removing a name usually requires the agreement of both parties. The lender would need to assess the financial stability and capability of the remaining borrower before making any changes
  2. Refinancing - one common way to remove a name from a mortgage is through a process called refinancing. This involves the remaining borrower applying for a new mortgage in their name only, effectively paying off the existing joint mortgage. This process is subject to the lender's approval and the creditworthiness of the remaining borrower
  3. Legal agreements - in some cases, couples may have legal agreements, such as a separation agreement or court order, that addresses property and mortgage issues. If such an agreement is in place, it can provide guidance on how the mortgage should be handled
  4. Consent from the Lender - even if both parties agree to the removal of a name, the lender must be willing to release one party from the mortgage obligation. Lenders will assess the financial situation of the remaining borrower to ensure they can meet the mortgage obligations on their own
  5. Communication - it's essential to communicate openly with your ex-partner about any changes to the mortgage. If there is a disagreement, seeking legal advice may be necessary to understand your rights and options

Speak with a mortgage broker and get legal advice to ensure you are aware of your options and where you stand legally.

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Ask The Mortgage Experts answers are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them. We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.