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Rhode Island Special Warranty Deed

In Rhode Island, title to real property can be transferred from one party to another by recording a special warranty deed. A special warranty deed conveys an interest in real property to the named grantee with limited warranties of title.

Special warranty deeds are statutory in Rhode Island under R.I.G.L. 34-11-43. When the words "special warranty" are used in the title of the deed, or the phrase "with special warranty covenants" is included in the conveyancing clause, the following covenants are implied: the grantor guarantees that he or she holds title to the property and has good right to convey it; that the property is free from encumbrances (with the exception of any noted in the deed); and that the grantor will "warrant and defend" the title against the claims of anyone "by, through, or under the grantor" (R.I.G.L. 34-11-16, 34-11-44). Unlike a general warranty deed, which conveys property with full warranties of title, a special warranty deed only protects the grantee (buyer) against claims that arose during the time the grantor held title to the property.

A lawful special warranty deed includes the grantor's full name, mailing address, and marital status; the consideration given for the transfer; and the grantee's full name, mailing address, marital status, and vesting. Vesting describes how the grantee holds title to the property. Generally, real property is owned in either sole ownership or in co-ownership. For Rhode Island residential property, the primary methods for holding title are tenancy in common, joint tenancy, and tenancy by entirety. A conveyance of real estate to two or more persons creates a tenancy in common, unless otherwise specified in the conveyance (R.I.G.L. 34-3-1).

As with any conveyance of realty, a special warranty deed requires a complete legal description of the parcel. Recite the prior deed reference to maintain a clear chain of title, and detail any restrictions associated with the property. Finally, the document must meet all state and local standards for recorded instruments. The completed deed must be signed by the grantor (and his or her spouse, if applicable) in the presence of a notary.

The grantor must indicate his or her residency status on the face of the deed. A residency affidavit, completed by the grantor, is required for sales of realty by nonresidents. Transfers by nonresidents are subject to withholding of a percentage of the total payment by the grantee/buyer. Buyers may only depend on the seller's residency status by receipt of an affidavit of residency. For more on withholding of Rhode Island tax, see R.I.G.L. 44-30-71.3.

Rhode Island levies a Real Estate Conveyance Tax based on the consideration paid (R.I.G.L. 44-25-1(a)). This tax is due upon recording. If there is no consideration paid, the deed must include a statement to the effect that "the consideration is such that no documentary stamps are required" (R.I.G.L. 44-25-1(b)). If the transfer is exempt from the Real Estate Conveyance Tax, state the reason on the face of the deed. See R.I.G.L. 44-25-2 for a list of exemptions. A completed Form CVYT-1 (Real Estate Conveyance Tax return) is required for all transfers of real property, and should be submitted to the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.

Record the original completed deed, along with any additional materials, at the city or town clerk's office in the municipality where the property is located. (Rhode Island maintains land records at the municipal level.) Contact the same office to verify accepted forms of payment.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Contact a lawyer with questions related to special warranty deeds, or for any other issues related to the transfer of real property in Rhode Island.

Deeds.com Rhode Island Special Warranty Deed Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday April 11, 2019

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What others like you are saying:


Abram A. said: Very easy to navigate around and to obtain desired forms and service.

Reply from Staff: We appreciate your business and value your feedback. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!


Teri B. said: Glad to have all of the helpful extra information, even though they don't answer all questions for all situations. So, I accessed public records and asked questions at the auditor's office. Also, on my Mac computer, filling out the actual deed form is a challenge because the screen jumps to the last page everytime I try to type a few letters or hit the return key, so I'm rollling back up to the first 2 pages after most keystrokes. A bit annoying. Overall, happy to have these form options are available! There is really no need to wait and pay for an attorney when all the information needed is available via public records. Fill in the blanks!

Reply from Staff: Thanks so much for the feedback Teri. There are known issues between Adobe and Mac, we try to work around them as much as possible. Have a wonderful day!


Neil S. said: Very impressive. The only change I would suggest is a smaller font on the title.

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Robert D. said: These forms made it so easy to update the property deed and the instructions and sample filled out form were most helpful. You might want to add some brief information on when or why to use the Acknowledgment in Individual Capacity notary form. In my case the notary was required to use it but also filled in the brief notarize section on the Affidavit as well. She said the one on the Affidavit had some value because it showed she had witnessed the my signature. But this was only after I suggested both be filled in as she initially thought to just strike through it and just use the Acknowledgment in Individual Capacity form.

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Michael G. S. said: The process was quite easy, following the instructional guide. I have yet to find out if the deed was accepted, but your site was very user friendly.

Reply from Staff: We appreciate your business and value your feedback. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!


Julie L. said: Great documents! with complete instructions and the CTC as well. I work with a lot of recordings and transfers, this is a great comprehensive set..

Reply from Staff: Thank you!


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Rhode Island Special Warranty Deed Form