Types of Florida Deeds

A deed is a real estate document used to transfer the title and ownership of property to a new owner. A deed can be used for the sale of a home or when transferring property ownership without a sale. There are three basic deeds used in Florida: the Statutory Warranty Deed, the Special Warranty Deed, and the Quit Claim Deed.

It is important to note that all of the deeds discussed in this article are “fee simple” title deeds except for the Quit Claim Deed. “Fee simple” means complete ownership of property that can be inherited by heirs, a will, or a trust; this type of ownership does not end following the owner’s death, it gets passed on. Although each of these deeds have similar aspects, there are some particularly important differences among them.

The Statutory Warranty Deed

The Statutory Warranty Deed is the most legally binding deed, and therefore, the most commonly used deed in real estate transactions and contracts. The Statutory Warranty Deed provides complete warranty for the title of the property in the transaction; it is “fee simple” title and includes the current owner and all previous owners since the property was established. This deed includes five covenants of title written to protect the buyer that can be enforced in court. The covenants are as follows:

  1. The Covenant of Seisin states that the seller is the sole owner of the property.
  2. The Covenant of the Right to Convey states that the seller has the right to transfer the property.
  3. The Covenant Against Encumbrances states that there are no undisclosed encumbrances on the property.
  4. The Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment states that the buyer’s enjoyment of the property will not be affected because of an issue with the title of the property.
  5. The Covenant of General Warranty states that the seller will defend the buyer from any problems that arise with the title or any claims from other third-parties for the title of the property.

The Special Warranty Deed

The Special Warranty Deed is similar to the Statutory Warranty Deed. It has the same five covenants of title in addition to “fee simple” title. However, unlike the Statutory Warranty Deed, the Special Warranty Deed only includes the time period that the seller had the property. As a result, if the buyer discovers a problem with one of the five covenants that occurred before their seller purchased the property, the seller is not responsible for resolving any of those problems. A Special Warranty Deed is generally only used in the transaction of commercial properties, subdivisions, or condominiums.

The Quit Claim Deed

Unlike the previous deeds discussed, the Quit Claim Deed does not convey “fee simple” title or covenants of title. Therefore, there is no guarantee from the seller that they legally own the property being sold or transferred. The Quit Claim Deed is used as a way to release or transfer property, with or without compensation, by someone who may or may not have ownership in the property. Essentially, a person who signs a Quit Claim Deed is saying that they cannot guarantee any sort of ownership in the property, but if they do have any ownership of a property, they are transferring it to the other party of interest. The Quit Claim Deed is commonly used to express interest in a property or to transfer the property between family members or heirs.

At Waugh Grant PLLC, we have board certified real estate attorneys who are experts in Florida Deeds. We can answer all of your questions about deeds and help you understand which deed would be best for you. In addition, we can write any deed that you may need. Please email info@waughgrant.com for more information.

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Christian’s practice includes litigation, appeals, real estate, government and municipal law, and a full range of business law matters. He is Board Certified in Real Estate Law.
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Gerrard’s practice includes corporate and business law, tax and tax controversies, wills, trust, and estates, and outside general counsel services. He is Board Certified in Tax Law.
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