When people buy and sell property (land and buildings) from each other, it is important to know who has legal rights to the property. Problems can occur when multiple people claim to have rights to the same piece of property.
In order to help avoid property rights disputes, local governments have set up property recording systems. These recording systems are managed by the local county recorder's office.
What is the county recorder's office?
The county recorder's office is responsible for keeping records of all property within their county. These records include a history of all sales, mortgages, and other transactions related to a piece of property. Any person can go to the county recorder's office to see who has legal rights to the property.
What documents are be filed with the county recorder's office?
The most important document to file with the county recorder's office is the deed to your property. This lets others know that you are the legal owner of the property.
When you are buying property, it is important that you or your real estate agent search the county recorder's office records to determine if anyone else has a legal claim to the property. This claim could be based on a deed, mortgage, lease, or other right to the property. You want to make sure you are aware of any competing property rights so that you know what you are getting with your purchase.
Several other types of documents are commonly filed with the county recorder's office, including:
What are the costs of filing?
The county recorder's office charges you for filing documents with them. The filing costs are different depending on the type of document and the county the property is in. However all counties must charge a minimum filing fee of $21.
On or before January 1, 2019, counties are also required to implement predictable fee schedules for filings with the county recorder's office. The purpose of these fee schedules is to avoid surcharges that differ based on the information contained in the document.