A special warranty deed can be used to convey title to real property in Washington, D.C. The real estate deed must meet the requirements of the D.C. Code of Laws.
A covenant by a grantor in a deed that he will "warrant specially the property hereby conveyed" or the use of the words "special warranty" will have the same effect as if the grantor had covenanted that he, his heirs, and personal representatives will forever warrant and defend the said real property unto the grantee, his heirs, personal representatives, and assigns against the claims and demands of the grantor and all persons claiming or to claim by, through, or under the grantor ( 42-605). A special warranty deed will also contain a covenant against encumbrances.
In order to be considered recordable, a special warranty deed has to be properly executed or acknowledged ( 42-407). The grantor must sign and acknowledge a special warranty deed before presenting it to the recorder of deeds. A notarial act is defined as taking an acknowledgment, administering an oath or affirmation, taking verification upon oath or administration witnessing or attesting a signature, or any other similar act authorized by law ( 42-141). A notarial act can be performed within the District of Columbia by the following persons: a notary public of the District; a judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of any court of the District; or any other person authorized to perform a notarial act ( 42-143). Special warranty deeds can also be acknowledged outside of the District by any person authorized to do so ( 42-144). A notarial act is evidenced by a certificate that has been signed and dated by the notarial officer performing the act ( 42-147).
A special warranty deed in D.C. that is signed, acknowledged, and certified as provided, and delivered to the person in whose favor the instrument is executed will take effect from the date of delivery. However, as to creditors and subsequent bona fide purchasers and mortgagees without notice of the deed, and others interested in said property, the deed will only take effect from the time of its delivery to the Recorder of Deeds for recordation ( 42-401). When two or more deeds pertaining to the same property are made to bona fide purchasers for value without notice, the deed or deeds that are first recorded according to law will have priority ( 42-406).
Deeds.com District Of Columbia Special Warranty Deed Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Tuesday December 5, 2017