Deed of Title: Types, Requirements and Restrictions

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A deed of title is a formal document, which serves as evidence of property ownership. It is used for transferring property ownership interests and rights.  There are various types of deeds used depending on the type of transfer.

Types of Deeds

The following are various types of deeds:

Covenant Deed

Legal document which reflects the obligation of one individual to pay a specified sum to another for a specified number of years.  In some countries, such as England, this type of deed is used to make charity contributions.

Fiduciary Deed

A Fiduciary Deed is used when there is a guardianship or conservatorship and property is transferred or sold. The trustee or executor of the estate has authority to sell property that belongs to the estate.  The fiduciary must be acting in the best interests of the principals in order for a Fiduciary Deed to be granted by the court.

Reconveyance Deed

The lender records a reconveyance deed removing the original lien that the lender placed on the property when the mortgage is paid in full.

Deed of Lease

The deed of lease sets forth the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant according to the lease agreement. It is  used in a rent to buy situation. The landlord still owns the property, but the landlord’s right to access and enter to the property are limited.

Mortgage Deed

The borrower conveys their ownership rights in the property to the lender as security for the loan.

Tax Deed

A tax deed conveys property title to a buyer who purchases the property for the amount of back taxes owed. It is issued by the county where the property is located, who acquired a right in the property as a result of the previous owner defaulting on the payment of their property taxes.

Warranty Deed

A warranty deed is similar to a grant deed, and contains three guarantees listed below:

  • The property has not been sold to anyone else.
  • There are no encumbrances other than those that the seller has informed the buyer about.
  • The grantor will warrant and defend the title against claims of any persons; meaning that the title is free and clear of any defects.

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed conveys the grantor’s interest in the property to another party. Generally it is used to transfer property interest and title to a spouse.  Quitclaim deeds are used frequently in divorce settlements.  The grantor makes no guarantees about the Grantor’s interest in the property. Quitclaim deeds are also used to clear up any clouds on the title by transferring any remaining interest in the property to an heir or heirs.

Deed Requirements

In order for a deed to be valid, it must contain the following requirements:

  • Grantor – the seller
  • Grantee – the buyer
  • Legal Description of property
  • Encumbrances  - anything that burdens the property such as a lien
  • Guarantees

A deed is a written document that generally contains a clause that transfers title referred to as the granting clause. The names of the grantor and the grantee must be included in the deed, the legal description of the property, and the deed must be executed by a competent grantor. A minor or someone who has been declared incompetent may not sign a deed. In some deeds, the grantor guarantees that the property has not been sold to anyone else and the title is free and clear. The deed must be conveyed to the buyer while the seller is living, and the buyer must accept the deed.   Deeds are generally recorded with the county recorder’s office where the property is located.

Deed Restrictions

The following are typical deed restrictions:

  • Covenant Condition Restriction.  Applies to a development of a group of homes. The restrictions are placed by the original developer to give the subdivision a standard appearance and control the activities that take place.
  • Parking.  Parking restrictions may include the number of parking spaces, the type of vehicles that are allowed on the premises, etc.
  • Common area.  There may restrictions as to the use of the common area and who is responsible for the maintenance.
  • Land use. This is important because zoning restrictions may prohibit you from using the land for a specific purpose.
  • Easement. An easement can be granted for a right of way or access. Many times an adjacent property owner will grant an easement to the other owner for a shared driveway or access to a road. An easement can benefit one property owner. Easements are also given to utility companies for access to the land to lay cables, telephone poles, etc.  Easements may be granted for drainage and water rights.  Before you buy property, you should review any easement agreements because the easement may prohibit certain activities or use of the land. You cannot build over an easement area.

Deeds fall under Real Estate law. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in property law. Deeds fall under Real Estate law. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in property law.

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