Getting in touch with a real estate lawyer from Farah Law Firm is the first step in giving you the asset protection you need. Don’t discover the value of such services after the fact.
The following is a brief explanation of deeds in Texas. To determine which will work best for your desired application, contact one of our real estate attorneys.
A deed is a written document that establishes legal and equitable title to real property. Although the deed is only one of the documents used in a majority of real property transactions, it is arguably the most important document to the buyer (Grantee) because it represents the title conveyed and the obligations owed to the buy by the seller (Grantor).
Texas statutes and case law establish five requirements for a deed to be valid. The deed must:
There are three basic kinds of commonly used real estate deeds in Texas:
As mentioned above, conveyances and agreements concerning real property must be in writing to be enforceable between the parties to a transaction. However, to be enforceable as to third persons, these instruments must be filed in the public record.
The Texas Recording Act is found in Section 13.001 of the Texas Property Code. This statute requires a conveyance of real property or an interest in real property or mortgage or deed of trust to be acknowledged, sworn to, or proved and filed as required by law in order to be valid as to a creditor or to a subsequent Bona Fide Purchaser. However, the unrecorded instrument is binding on all parties to the instrument, those parties’ heirs, and on a subsequent purchaser who DOES NOT pay valuable consideration or who HAS notice of the instrument.
As you may have noticed, the Texas Recording Act only covers a “conveyance” of real property or “an interest in a mortgage or deed of trust.” The Bona Fide Purchaser Doctrine, created by common law or case law, steps in and provides that certain conveyances or interests of real property are not enforceable against a subsequent purchaser for value unless that subsequent purchaser had actual or constructive notice of the prior conveyance.
To clarify, the Bona Fide Purchaser Doctrine allows a subsequent purchaser to prevail over a prior competing interest in real property where the subsequent purchaser (1) acquired the conveyance or interest (2) for value (3) in good faith and (4) without notice of the prior claim.
There are different forms of notice that may exist. The first and strongest form of notice is “Actual Notice.” Actual Notice exists when the subsequent purchaser knows for a fact that the prior competing interest exists—he has seen the instrument.
The second form of notice is “Constructive Notice.” This form of notice comes from the Act—as soon as an instrument is properly recorded, the world has Constructive Notice of your interest.
The third, and rarely mentioned, form of notice is “Inquiry Notice.” This type of notice exists if the appearance of the real property is such that the subsequent purchaser should have asked more questions (or inquired) about the title to the property. For example, if Landowner A attempts to sell Buyer B a vacant lot, but there is a home constructed on the lot, B will be charged with Inquiry Notice, even if B had never seen the lot or the home built upon it.
*Please note: Due to the costs involved and the favorability of land in Texas per contract and common law, we currently are not accepting residential tenant defense cases.