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Selling a Property That Was Gifted to Me UK: Essential Tips & Tax Implications

Selling a property that was gifted to me UK can be complex. From legal steps to tax implications, this blog post covers everything you need to know, including valuation and potential costs like Capital Gains Tax.


  • Gifted properties can help limit inheritance tax but need careful legal consideration and documentation, often necessitating professional advice.
  • Before selling a gifted property, get a proper valuation, review any deed of gift restrictions, and seek insights from estate agents to set a solid foundation.
  • Selling a gifted property involves understanding various tax implications like Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, and Stamp Duty Land Tax, which requires strategic financial planning.
gift bow

Understanding Gifted Property

A gift property is one where ownership is transferred without any monetary exchange, often done through a deed of gift. This method of transferring property ownership is popular in the UK for its potential to limit inheritance tax and provide financial assistance to loved ones. For the deed of gift to be valid, the gifted property must not have any outstanding debts secured against it, and the owner must be listed in the Land Registry’s proprietorship register. It’s vital to verify these conditions before proceeding with the gift.

To transfer ownership of a property through a deed of gift, professional advice is highly recommended. This includes filling out necessary forms and involving experienced solicitors to ensure the process is correctly handled. Once the deed of gift is executed, the donor relinquishes all rights to the property and cannot revoke it unless a specific clause allows it. This irrevocability highlights the need for careful consideration and legal guidance in the gifting process.

Gifting property is often driven by the desire to limit inheritance tax upon the donor’s death and to provide financial support to family members. This act allows property owners to see their loved ones benefit from the gift during their lifetime while potentially reducing the taxable value of their estate. Concerns around inheritance tax have indeed made gifting property a popular choice in the UK. The emotional satisfaction of helping family members and the financial benefits make gifting properties an attractive option.

Initial Steps to Selling a Gifted Property

Before you proceed with selling a gifted property, it’s necessary to obtain a valuation. This step helps you understand the current market value of the property and establish a realistic asking price. Additionally, it’s imperative to review the deed of gift for any restrictions or conditions that might affect the sale. These restrictions can sometimes include clauses that limit your ability to sell the property within a certain timeframe.

Consulting with estate agents is another important step. Professional advice from estate agents can provide valuable insights into the selling process, market trends, and pricing strategies. They can guide you through the necessary steps and help you navigate any potential challenges, ensuring you make informed decisions throughout the selling process. Taking these initial steps sets a solid foundation for a successful property sale.

Tax Implications of Selling Gifted Property

Selling a gifted property in the UK comes with several tax implications. These include Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Inheritance Tax (IHT), and potentially Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Gaining a clear understanding of these tax liabilities is paramount to preclude unexpected costs and ensure compliance with UK tax laws.

The following subsections will delve into each of these taxes in detail, starting with how to pay tax, specifically how to pay capital gains tax on your capital gains.

gift wrapped house

Capital Gains Tax on Gifted Property

When an asset is sold at a profit, the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is imposed on the increase in value from the time it was purchased. This tax is applicable to such gains. For gifted properties, the donor is typically responsible for paying CGT, treating the transfer as if the property was sold at its market value at the time of gifting. For individuals paying the basic rate of tax, CGT is charged at 18%, but the rate is higher for those earning over £50,270 per annum. Comprehending these rates is vital for effective financial planning.

There are, however, exemptions and reliefs available. For instance, the annual capital gains tax allowance for CGT is £12,300, which can be combined if the property is shared with another individual, raising the threshold to £24,600 for combined taxable profits. Furthermore, Principal Private Residence (PPR) relief can exempt gains from CGT if the property was the donor’s main home. Specific circumstances, such as gifting to a civil partner or spouse, can also qualify for exemptions, making it essential to understand the available reliefs.

Private Residence Relief can significantly reduce or eliminate CGT liability if the recipient uses the residential property as their main residence. Additionally, if a property is gifted immediately after purchase and there is no increase in value, there should be no CGT to tax. These nuances underline the necessity of comprehending CGT liabilities and strategising accordingly to minimize tax impact.

Inheritance Tax Considerations

Inheritance Tax (IHT) may apply to a gifted property if the donor does not survive seven years after making the gift, and the beneficiaries may need to pay inheritance tax. This tax is typically charged at 40% on the value of the estate exceeding £325,000. The seven-year rule plays a crucial role here; if the donor survives for at least seven years, the gifted property is exempt from IHT. However, if the donor dies within this period, the property may still be subject to IHT, known as a ‘failed PET’.

Tapered IHT rates apply if the donor survives at least three years but less than seven years after the gift. Additionally, a ‘gift with reservation of benefit’ occurs if the donor retains an interest in the property, keeping it in their estate for IHT purposes. These considerations underscore the need to strategize gift planning carefully and comprehend the potential tax implications.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is another potential tax implication when dealing with gifted properties. Typically, SDLT is paid when the gifted property has a mortgage that surpasses the SDLT threshold for the property type. If the mortgage value is below the threshold, SDLT is not usually payable. This means that if there is no mortgage or the mortgage amount is below the threshold, SDLT may not apply.

Understanding these conditions aids in strategising the financial aspects of property gifting and selling.

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Legal Requirements and Documentation

Before selling a gifted property, it’s crucial to ensure that the home has been legally transferred into your name via a Deed of Gift or Transfer by Way of Gift. A Deed of Gift is a critical legal document that declares the donor’s intention to gift the property. For the transfer to be valid, the deed must be executed by the transferor(s) signing it in the presence of an independent witness, who must also sign the form. The new ownership must be accurately registered with the Land Registry to ensure the transfer is legally recognized.

For registered properties, completing and submitting forms AP1 and TR1 to the Land Registry is necessary, while unregistered properties require form FR1. Form TR1 is used to transfer the whole of a property in one or more registered titles or for property being registered for the first time. It’s essential to check the property’s registration status and review any entries in the register, such as restrictions or notices, before completing form TR1. Providing all names and addresses accurately in the forms is necessary for a smooth transfer process.

It is highly advisable to have a solicitor prepare and witness the Deed of Gift to ensure all legal procedures are followed. Solicitors can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of property transfer and ensuring all legal requirements are met. In most cases, the responsibility for filing a change of ownership form with the Land Registry falls on the buyer or their solicitor, but there are exceptions, such as when transferring property between family members or after death. Comprehending these responsibilities is essential to circumvent legal complications.

In some situations, managing the legal requirements and documentation can be daunting, especially for those unfamiliar with property law. Seeking professional advice from solicitors and other experts can help ensure that the process is handled correctly and efficiently. This professional guidance is particularly important when dealing with additional gifts, complex family dynamics, or potential tax liabilities.

Timing Your Sale

Timing the sale of a gifted property strategically can significantly impact the tax liabilities and financial benefits. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Sell the property at a time when your income is lower to reduce the capital gains tax liability, as the gain will be taxed at a potentially lower rate.
  2. Utilize the annual exempt amount, which is a tax-free allowance on gains, to help minimize the capital gains tax impact.
  3. Plan the sale to coincide with these allowances to provide substantial financial benefits.

Additionally, strategically timing the sale to benefit from Private Residence Relief (PRR) can significantly reduce capital gains tax, especially if the property was your main residence. Transferring an inherited asset within two years of the original owner’s death can help avoid capital gains tax, as the gain can be adjusted based on the market value at the date of inheritance. These strategies underscore the need for meticulous planning and timing in the sale of a gifted property.

Renting Out the Gifted Property

Renting out a gifted property can be a viable alternative to selling, but it comes with its own set of tax implications. Here are some important things to consider:

  • Rental income must be declared to HMRC, and income tax must be paid on this income.
  • If the total income falls within the basic rate tax band, the rental income tax rate is 20%.
  • It’s vital to comprehend these tax obligations and strategize accordingly to evade any legal issues.

If rental income is given directly to a child, the parent still needs to pay income tax on that income. However, income from rental property transferred to a child may fall under the child’s personal tax-free allowance, reducing the overall tax liability. Seeking professional advice from a property lettings expert and a Chartered Tax Adviser regarding the income tax implications of renting out a gifted property is strongly recommended. This ensures that all tax liabilities are correctly managed and compliance with HMRC regulations is maintained.

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Practical Considerations Before Selling

Before selling a gifted property, consider its condition and maintenance needs. If the property is in poor condition, contacting a fast home buying company for a quick sale might be a good option. Maintaining the property properly can help avoid the hassle and potential value-draining effects of neglect. Ensuring the property is in good condition can make it more attractive to potential buyers and help achieve a better sale price.

Another important consideration is the donor’s living situation. If the donor continues to live in the property, their security of occupation could be affected by the recipient’s life events, such as divorce or bankruptcy. Managing an additional property can also present challenges like dealing with tenants, coordinating repairs, and handling paperwork. These practical considerations underscore the necessity of meticulous planning and seeking professional advice prior to selling a gifted property.

Alternatives to Selling

If selling the gifted property isn’t the right choice for you, there are several alternatives worth considering. Transferring ownership through a deed of gift can be an effective way to pass on the property without selling it. This method allows family members to meet mortgage borrowing criteria through joint ownership, thereby helping them get on the property ladder. Creating joint ownership bestows equal rights and responsibilities to the family member receiving the property.

Some alternatives to gifting a property include:

  • Gifting a deposit to help loved ones secure a mortgage
  • Concessionary purchases, which allow the owner to sell the property at a discount to a family member, providing financial assistance without a full sale
  • Co-signing a mortgage
  • Helping with mortgage payments

Consulting with a financial advisor can help you explore these alternatives and choose the best option for your circumstances.

talking over coffee

Using a quick house sale company

For those looking to sell a gifted property quickly, using a quick house sale company can be a practical solution. These companies can help sell a house fast for cash within days, weeks, or months, depending on your needs. They are considered trusted house buying companies and can handle the sale regardless of the property’s condition or location. The benefits of using a quick house sale company include:

  • Quick sale process
  • Cash payment
  • No need for repairs or renovations
  • No need to deal with real estate agents
  • Flexible closing dates

The cash can be transferred to the seller’s bank account in as quickly as 5 working days.

One of the main benefits of using a quick house sale company is:

  • The speed and convenience of the process
  • They provide a free property valuation
  • They assign an experienced member of their team to handle the sale and address any inquiries
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This can be particularly helpful if you need to sell the property quickly due to financial or personal reasons. However, it’s vital to ascertain that you are getting a fair price for your property, as these companies often offer below market value.

In Summary:

Selling a gifted property involves several steps and considerations, from understanding the legal requirements and tax implications to timing the sale strategically and exploring alternatives. By following the expert tips provided in this guide, you can navigate the complexities of selling a gifted property with confidence. Whether you decide to sell, rent out, or transfer ownership, careful planning and professional advice are key to making informed decisions. Remember, the goal is to maximize the benefits while minimizing tax liabilities and legal complications.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the initial steps to selling a gifted property?

The initial steps to selling a gifted property are to get it valued, review the deed for any restrictions, and seek advice from estate agents for the best approach. Good luck!

What taxes are involved in selling a gifted property?

When selling a gifted property, you may be subject to Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, and possibly Stamp Duty Land Tax. It’s essential to consider these taxes before selling the property.

Can I continue living in the property if I gift it to a family member?

Yes, you can continue living in the property if you gift it to a family member, but you must pay market rent to avoid potential tax implications.

Are there alternatives to selling a gifted property?

Yes, you can explore options such as transferring ownership through a deed of gift, joint ownership, trusts, or gifting a deposit. These alternatives can help you avoid selling the gifted property altogether.

How can I sell a gifted property quickly?

You can sell the gifted property quickly by using a quick house sale company that offers cash, regardless of its condition or location. It’s a convenient option to explore.

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Speak to a member of our team and find out how we can help you sell your house quickly.

About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.