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Can I Sell My House to My Son for £1? Is It Even Legal?

Property Saviour » Estate Planning » Can I Sell My House to My Son for £1? Is It Even Legal?

Selling your house for £1 to your son or daughter may seem dodgy, but it is perfectly legal. 

Getting on the property ladder is becoming harder, and many first-time buyers are turning to the Bank of Mum and Dad for financial assistance with deposits.  Selling your house to your child for just £1 will give them a huge head start in property and help you avoid selling fees in theory.

Selling a house to your child for £1 is effectively called gifting your property, and it requires careful research.  There are legal and financial implications that we will cover in this guide.

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Can I sell my house to my son for a £1?

Yes, you can; however, the taxman may perceive it as shady.  No UK law prevents you from selling your home at any price you like. 

With minimum deposits rising, more homeowners wish to help their children get their foot on the property ladder.

Can I legally legally my house to a family member?
There are only two certainties in life and those are death and taxes unless you are a politician or a billionaire then you might avoid taxes.

What are the costs for selling my house to a family member?

Here are some important costs that you can expect:

Capital Gains Tax

CGT tax is payable if your home was bought more than ten years ago and has since increased in value.  The amount of CGT you will pay isdepends on the house’s market valueather than the resale price. 

The rate of Capital Gains Tax is also linked to your income tax level, so as a basic rate taxpayer, you will be hit with 18% tax, whereas a higher rate taxpayers can expect to pay a whopping 28%.  It is important to remember this tax liability as you’ll need spare funds to pay the taxman after the sale.

Stamp Duty & Inheritance Tax

There is no need to worry about Stamp Duty if you sell the property for £1 without a mortgage.  If you have a mortgage, you must sell your property for at least the mortgage amount plus £1, and you could be liable to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).  Always check HMRC’s website for the current rate of stamp duty applicable.

7-year rule

If you are gifting the property to your child or a family member and then die within seven years, then the recipient will have to pay inheritance tax if your probate estate exceeds the value of £425,000.  This is called the 7-year rule.

Income Tax

If your child or family member starts to earn income by letting the property, then this could shift him/her into a higher tax bracket, meaning a higher rate of income tax will be payable.  This will be the case even if the property is rented back to you – which can’t be done as it is a ‘Sale and Rent back arrangement’ regulated by the FCA.

Mortgage Costs

Note: If your property is mortgage-free, then these costs won’t apply.

If your property has an outstanding mortgage, the sale price must exceed this amount and factor in other costs such as taxes and solicitors fees.  There are other costs to consider, such as early exit fees.

Legal Fees

You’ll need two sets of solicitors to give you and your child or family member independent legal advice.  The solicitors will handle the legal transfer on the Land Registry and conduct searches and enquiries.

Should I gift my house to my children?
Gifting your home to your children means that you could be hit with a huge tax liabilty as HMRC are actively looking to close down any loopholes.

Should I gift my house to my children?

There are several benefits of gifting your property to your loved ones including:

Asset Disposal

Transferring property assets to your family members could potentially reduce your tax liability.  As always, it is important to consult with a specialist tax advisor.

Rental Income

Gifting your surplus property to your children means they can have financial income by renting the property.  Just be careful of landlord tax and increased regulation, as not everyone is fit to be a landlord.

Helping your children get a foot on the property ladder

Naturally, parents want their children to become financially independent therefore, getting them onto the property ladder will provide them with security to enable them to build a savings pot in future.

House gifting selling house to son for £1
Gifting a property to your child may have unexpected tax and relationship breakdown consequences.

What are the risks of selling my house to my children?

There are several risks with any house sale.  These include complications with property chains not achieving the anticipated price after discovering structural issues with the property

The primary risk of selling a house to a family member is related to family disputes.  These can include:

Eviction

Once you have gifted a property to your child and you continue to live there, you no longer own the house and, therefore, can be at risk of eviction following an argument or a disagreement.  The legal ownership of property now belongs to your family member, meaning that eviction is a real possibility.  Your family member may decide to sell the property for its full market value and ask you to leave.

Tax

The tax implications of gifting a house to a family member can be substantial, and unless there’s an agreement and a plan in place, it could lead to arguments.

Divorce or relationship breakdowns

If your child is married, the house becomes part of divorce proceedings, and the courts could force the sale of the house.  The sale proceeds will be divided between your child and their ex-spouse.  This means that your child will be 50% worse off.

Divorce or breakdown of relationship
The intendent consequences of gifting a house to your children is that their spouse or partner will get half of their wealth in a divorce settlement.

How can I sell my house fast?

Gifting or selling your house to your child for £1 is a good idea, provided that you are comfortable with all the legal, financial and emotional risks that come with your decision.

If you are thinking of a straightforward sale, we are here to help.  We are one of the very few genuine cash buyers ready, willing, and able to buy any property within the completion in as little as 7 days – or at your timescales.  We will pay £1,500 towards your legal fees, too.  Because you will be dealing directly with us, there are no estate agent fees to pay either. 

You can give your children their inheritance while you are still alive, thus creating special memories.  You can also protect your family’s wealth by educating your children on pre-nuptial agreements.

The price we offer is the price that you will receive.  Why not make an enquiry today to see how we can help?

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