Quitclaim deeds are used as legal tools within common law systems for the purpose of transferring the owners interest for real property. When the real property owner wants to transfer interests, the transferring entity of the interest is referred to as a grantor. Upon the action of a quitclaim deed being properly documented and completed, it executes a legal transfer of any interests that the grantor has within the real property to the determined recipient. The recipient of a quitclaim deed is referred to as the grantee.
Upon execution of the quitclaim deed by the grantor, it is an act of legally terminating (“quitting”) any and all rights the owner/grantor had to the real property in mention. Therefore, the law allows the claim or right of transferring to pass on to the recipient/grantee.
While most property deeds consist of a title covenant and provides the grantee some type of warranty of the property title’s status, that is not the case with a quitclaim deed. Whereas, a quitclaim deed doesn’t contain any type of title covenant, therefore, offering no warranty to the grantee as to what the property title status is in upon executing the quitclaim deed and receiving the rights of claiming the real property. Thus, a grantee is only entitled to the interest actually in the possession of the grantor at the time of executing the quitclaim deed and completing the transfer of rights to real property.
Because of this stipulation, there is not guarantee from the grantor that he/she actually has ownership of any interest within the real property being transferred at the time of execution. Additionally, the grantor may own actual interests in the real property, but the quitclaim deed does not offer the grantee any guarantee as to the status of the interest during the time of transfer. Therefore, the transferring interest may not be free and clear.
Because of the lack of warranty with a quitclaim deed, it is possible that the grantee does not receive any actual interest, and due to not providing any warranty, offers no legal means of recovering losses. In addition, in the event the grantor acquires the property again at a later date, grantees are not entitled to taking possession, as grantees are only able to receive interests held by the grantor during the time of transfer.
Due to the lack of support behind quitclaim deeds, it is typical for other types of deeds to be utilized in real estate sales, such as warranty deeds or grant deeds, based on jurisdiction. These deeds offer warranties to give the grantee some support ensuring the title is clear and no encumbrance was placed against the title by the grantor. This is often preferred by grantee’s as it lowers their risk during the transfer of interests in real property, and gives them the legal resources of recovering losses if needed.
The Complete Guide to Quit Claim Deeds”. Deeds.com Inc. Retrieved 12 February 2018.