California Quit Claim Deed (Form QD)
The California Quit Claim Deed is a form that is designed to make transferring interest in a property as easy as possible. While the form does not provide any guarantee to the Grantee (the party receiving the interest) about the fact that the Grantor (the party transferring the interest) is the only one with an interest in the property, it is ideal to use in situations where this does not matter. For instance, if a father wishes to transfer his property to his daughter to which he is the sole owner, the daughter does not require legal assurance that there are no other parties who can lawfully claim an interest in the property.
Laws – (§ 1092, § 1104 to § 1107, § 1113): California Civil Code, Division 2: “Property,” Part 4: “Acquisition of Property,” Title 4: “Transfer,” Chapter 2: “Transfer of Real Property”
N.B. Several mandatory requirements must be met in order for the Deed to be duly recorded. These laws are found in California Code, Title 3: “Government of Counties,” Division 2: “Officers,” Part 3: “Other Officers,” Chapter 6: “Recorder”
Assessor Parcel Number (APN): It is necessary to have an Assessor Parcel Number (APN) stated in the description of the property. An APN can be found on a property tax bill, or it can be obtained from the City/County Assessor.
Name and address of taxpayer (§ 27321.5(a)): In order for future tax statements to be mailed, the name as well as the address of the relevant party must be stated.
Names of parties with an interest (§ 27288.1): The name of each party with an interest in the property named in the Deed must be noted within. The order in which the names appear must be “as they appear on the latest secured assessment roll.”
Previously recorded form/s (§ 27361.6): If the Deed in some way “modifies, releases, or cancels the provisions of a previously recorded document,” the recorder identification number or book and page of the document number being changed in such ways must be evident on the form.
Title on the form (§ 27324): It is a requirement for the form to have a clear title that is at the top of the first (1st) page that indicates that it is indeed a Quit Claim Deed.
The Appearance of the form (§ 27361.6): State law mandates that any form that must be recorded, as this form does, must adhere to particular standards of appearance. That is, specific margin dimensions, quality of paper, and text size must be used.
Signing requirements (§ 27280.5) – The names of both the Grantor and Grantee must be either typed, printed, or signed on the form. Their names, as well as the witnesses who witness the document, must appear beside or below the parties’ respective signatures. It is also a requirement of county clerk/recorder’s offices in the state for the form to be notarized. A Notary can be found on the website of the American Society of Notaries.
How to File a Quit Claim Deed in California (§ 1169): A California Quit Claim Deed Form form must be filed at the County Recorder’s Office in the same county that the property is situated. It must be filed with the mandatory additional forms noted below, and any filing fees must be duly paid.
It is essential that the task of recording the Deed is prioritized. Californian state law, specifically § 1214, establishes California as a state with a “race-notice statute.” That is, the first bona fide purchaser for value without notice who files a Quit Claim Deed will be lawfully able to claim the property. In other words, if two (2) or more parties have a lawful claim to the property, the party who files the Deed first will be seen in the eyes of the law as the rightful claimant, so long as they did not have notice of the other party’s claim.
Additional mandatory forms: It is compulsory to file the following forms in order for the Quit Claim Deed to be properly processed:
- Preliminary Change of Ownership (Form BOE-502-A)
- Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR)
- Documentary of Transfer Tax or a Notice of Exempt Transaction
The latter two (2) forms must be obtained from the relevant county office where the property is situated.