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How to convey Title: Warranty, Special Warranty or Quit-Claim?

There are three different forms of deed that can be used to convey title to real estate in Florida: Warranty Deeds, Special Warranty Deeds and Quit-Claim Deeds.

Florida Statute 689.01 requires that conveyances of property be by written instrument, signed before two witnesses and a notary public. While Florida Statutes provide a specific form for a Warranty Deed (section 689.02), there is no form in the statutes for either of the other two types of deeds.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to describe the three types of deeds.

Warranty Deed

A warranty deed is just that - the seller is giving the buyer a warranty that the seller is the legal owner of the property, and has the right to possess and sell the property. If someone later claims title to that property, the seller must defend that lawsuit and his right to have sold the property. Although this is also covered by title insurance, a warranty deed is the most secure form of transfer of real property (land, houses, etc) in Florida. These types of deeds are normally used in real estate transactions in Florida.

Special Warranty Deed

A special warranty deed is a warranty deed that excludes defects in title caused by the seller. A special warranty deed is similar to a conveyance subject to certain pre-existing title issues that the seller is disclosing to the buyer - issues like property taxes, easements, and other types of liens. In this situation, the seller is still giving a warranty, unless one of the known conditions creates a situation, in which case the seller has no liability and no obligation. These types of deeds are typically used when a bank forecloses and thereafter sells property.

Quit-Claim Deed

These are often mis-identified as "quick claim deeds." A quit claim of property means that the grantee takes whatever interest the grantor had at the time of the conveyance. Therefore, if the grantor had no interest, the grantee gets no interest. For example, I could provide you a quit claim deed to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (home of the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers), however since that land is not owned by me, you would have no interest in that land after receipt of a quit claim deed from me. Additionally, quit claim deeds give no warranty of ownership like the other two forms of deed. Therefore, you would have no warranty or guarantee that I have good title to Raymond James stadium, although you could sue me for fraud. Quit claim deeds are normally used to convey property between spouses or other family members, between friends, between parent and subsidiary companies, and similar type relationships. However, because quit claim deeds provide no warranty of title, they are unable to be used as the basis for a title search to property, or as a transfer of the title insurance policy.

For more information on Real Estate Law, please subscribe to the Yesner Law Podcast, on iTunes and Stitcher. If you prefer, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options at 813-774-5737 or email me directly at shawn@yesnerlaw.com.

Shawn M. Yesner, Esq., is the founder of Yesner Law, P.L., a Tampa-based boutique real estate and consumer law firm that helps clients eliminate debt by providing options, so they can live the lifestyle of their dreams. We assist clients with asset protection, the sale and purchase of real property, Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 13 reorganization, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt settlement, landlord/tenant issues, short sales, and loan modifications in Tampa, Westchase, Odessa, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Largo, St. Petersburg, and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

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