How to Transfer Property to a Spouse in Canada

By Erick Kristian

property image by Christopher Hall from

Transferring the title of a property to a spouse in Canada is easier than selling the property. Transferring also avoids fees associated with selling a house. In Canada, a spouse may also be considered a common law spouse for the purpose of transferring property.

Step 1

Locate the deed or title to the property. Draw up a transfer agreement. Property transfer agreements can be found online or created by a real estate lawyer. To avoid taxes, the property must be the primary residence of the owner and spouse. If it is not, there will be a property tax fee levied on the fair market value of the property. Fair market value is determined by a province-licensed home inspector. Ensure that no compensation is taken for the transfer. Receiving even one dollar for compensation makes the transfer a sale and the property can then be taxed.

Step 2

Consult a tax lawyer if the property is not the primary residence. A tax lawyer will know specific federal and provincial tax laws regarding property transfers. They will know how to minimize or avoid taxes. If it is an investment property the province will treat it differently and will scrutinize the transfer to make sure the owner is not evading taxes.

Register the transfer with a real estate lawyer. The lawyer will serve as a credible witness the transfer took place. Consulting a lawyer is not necessary but is recommended, as they may be entrusted to handle the estate. Register the transfer of ownership with the city. Each municipality has a real estate department designed to record all transfers of property.