Change of Name on Property Contracts

There are occasions when after a contract is executed, the buyer wishes to change the name; for example – the buyer decides they now want to purchase in the name of a company or trust instead of an individual, or the buyer wants to remove or add the name of a spouse or partner.

Reasons for this are varied and can be driven by professional advice from an accountant or solicitor, or even a requirement by the bank (which unfortunately is beyond the buyer’s control). However, generally it is due to a buyer rushing into a contract without the appropriate consultation prior.

It is extremely important that the correct (or desired) name is entered when the property is executed, to save a lot of angst as well as money.

It must be noted that generally the seller is under no obligation to agree to a change of name, and therefore a buyer could be stuck with the original buyer named in the contract.  If a seller does agree to change of name, then it will generally come at a cost.  This is because a change of name must be dealt with by a Deed of Rescission and new contract in order to avoid double stamp duty being payable. The cost of these additional documents will be covered by the buyer.

In regard to buying a property under a trust name; it must be noted that the trust itself is not a legal entity.  Therefore, the name of the trustee, be it corporate or individual, needs to be stipulated, Eg. Jones Pty Ltd as trustee for The Jones Family Trust, or John Jones as trustee for the Jones Family Trust.

Please ensure prior to signing you are 100% sure of the name that needs to go on the contract in the first instance to avoid costly legal fees etc. It is always recommended to seek professional advice prior if there is any doubt.

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