Warranty deed

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A general warranty deed is a type of deed where the grantor (seller) guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to the grantee (buyer). The guarantee is not limited to the time the grantor owned the property—it extends back to the property's origins.[1] A General Warranty Deed includes six traditional forms of Covenants for Title. Those six traditional forms of covenants can be broken down into two categories: present covenants and future covenants.

  • Present Covenants
    • Covenant of Seisin: "A covenant of seisin or good right to convey." United States v. Lacy, 234 F.R.D. 140 (S.D. Tex. 2005)
    • Warranty of Title - Covenants that represent the seller's promise that he has valid title of the property being conveyed. Id.
    • Covenant Against Encumbrances - Seller promises that there are no encumbrances, other than those that have been previously disclosed. Id.
  • Future Covenants
    • Covenant of Warranty - "The covenant of warranty is an assurance or guarantee of title, or an agreement or assurance by the grantor of an estate that the grantee and his or her heirs and assigns will enjoy it without interruption by virtue of a paramount title and that they will not, by force of a paramount title, be evicted from the land or deprived of its possession. . . ." 21 C.J.S. Covenants § 21
    • Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment - Covenants that represent seller's promise to protect the buyer against anyone who comes along later and claims paramount title to the property. 21 C.J.S. Covenants § 19
    • Covenant of Further Assurances - The covenant of further assurances requires the seller to take affirmative steps to cure any defects in the grantor's title. 21 C.J.S. Covenants § 20

Note - Not all states recognize the Covenant of Further Assurances (e.g. Ohio)

Most people hire someone to perform a title search to determine if there are defects that must be resolved before they purchase real property. This is known as constructive notice of any encumbrances, easements or restrictions on the property being conveyed, and is generally considered part of a buyer's due diligence in the process of purchasing real estate. They can also purchase title insurance, which covers many types of losses that occur if problems are discovered later, but title insurance raises a number of other legal issues.

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