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Transfers of Condominium Units in Arizona

The Arizona Condominium Act is codified at ARS 33-1201, et seq.

A condominium is a piece of real estate, portions (units) of which are reserved for separate ownership, with the remainder designated for common ownership, solely by owners of the separate units (33-1202(10)). The condominium must first be created by a declaration, which designates the individual units, and is recorded in the same manner as a deed (33-1211).

The conveyance of a condominium unit typically includes the unit and common elements appurtenant to the unit. "Common elements" are the portions of a condominium other than the units, such as entryways, hallways, walls, and gardens (33-1212(7)). Unit boundaries are defined at 33-1212. Conveyances of condominium units follow the same guidelines for conveyances of real property under Title 33 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

As with any other transfer of real property, a conveyance of a unit requires the execution of a deed. For a unit deed, the instrument of transfer requires a sufficient legal description that designates the unit by number and includes the name of the condominium, the recording information for the declaration (recording date and location), the county or counties in which the condominium is located, and a description of the common elements, rights, obligations, and interests appurtenant to the unit (33-1214).

Arizona recognizes three statutory forms for the conveyance of real property: quitclaim deeds, grant deeds, and warranty deeds. All transfers are deemed to pass a fee simple interest pursuant to 33-432.

A quitclaim deed under ARS 33-402(1) transfers the grantor's interest, if any, in the described property, with no warranties of title. Quitclaim deeds are often reserved for clearing title defects or for familial transfers (to sever an heir's interest in a property, a transfer pursuant to divorce) because they do not guarantee the grantor has a valid interest in the property, and therefore carry the highest risk [1].

A grant deed under ARS 33-402(2), when containing the word "grant" or "convey," transfers title with the implied covenants that "previous to the time of execution of the conveyance the grantor has not conveyed the same estate or any right, title or interest therein, to any person other than the grantee" and that the estate is free from encumbrances at the time of the conveyance (ARS 33-435). A grant deed typically does not contain a promise by the grantor to defend the title.

A warranty deed under ARS 33-402(3) is similar to a grant deed, except that, in addition to the covenants of a grant deed, the grantor "warrant[s] the title against all persons whomsoever." This covenant to defend the title must be explicit in the language of the deed. General warranty deeds carry the highest level of surety for a buyer because the warranty covers the entire chain of ownership of a property.

In addition to the unit-specific legal description, a valid conveyance of a unit in Arizona requires the name, marital status, and address of each grantor and grantee, as well as the grantee's vesting information in the conveyancing clause. A statement of consideration reflects the amount of money and the monetary value of the entire compensation paid for the transfer of title, including the amount of any liens assumed (11-1131(2)). Include a reference to the source of the current grantor's title and note any restrictions on the property.

All conveyances are subscribed and delivered by the grantor and acknowledged in the presence of an authorized officer (33-401). Property owned by a married person requires the spouse's joining signature because of potential marital rights, regardless of whether the spouse holds a direct interest in the property (33-453). In addition to these formal requirements for conveyances, instruments must comply with the formatting requirements set forth at 11-480, and any other county-specific requirements for form and content.

Arizona requires an affidavit of real value, alternately referred to as an affidavit of property value, completed by both parties to the instrument, to accompany all instruments transferring an interest in real property pursuant to 11-1133. When documents are exempt, a statement that the transfer is exempt and a citation of the relevant exemption should appear below the legal description on the face of the deed.

Submit the deed and any supplemental materials for recording to the county clerk's office of the county where the subject property is situated. Contact the office to verify recording fees and accepted forms of payment.

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address specific situations or replace legal advice. Consult a lawyer with questions about transferring condominium units, or with any other issues regarding real property in Arizona, as each situation is unique.

[1] https://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/law_trends_news_practice_area_e_newsletter_home/2011_summer/real_property_interests_deeds.html

Related Topics: | Arizona | Condominium |

April 13, 2018, Deeds.com - Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed, you should always confirm this information with the proper agency prior to acting. The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date.