When you’re setting up a small business in New York, knowing your options for acquiring real estate is essential. One way that many are familiar with is the general warranty deed. This document serves as evidence of title for the grantor, and it grants the grantee certain protections from title defects stemming from past owners. Below are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) small business owners should consider about using general warranty deeds operating in New York State.

What is a general warranty deed?

A general warranty deed is a type of conveyance deed that provides the grantee with certain rights when purchasing a piece of real estate. It is a covenant that acknowledges the grantor’s ability to transfer title to the property in a legal and valid manner. A general warranty deed provides the grantee with not just assurance of title but also the assurance that the property is free of any defect, liens or encumbrances. In essence, the grantor is “guaranteeing” that title is clean and all the encumbrances have been addressed.

Why are general warranty deeds important in New York?

In the state of New York, as in most states, a general warranty deed carries a presumption of title and is important for both parties involved in a real estate transaction. The grantor is assured satisfaction that the title they are transferring is valid and the grantee is assured of certain legal protections from any title defects stemming from previous owners.

How does the general warranty deed in New York differ from other states?

The general warranty deed in New York is also known as a covenant of warrant and is structured differently from general warranty deeds used in other states. Generally, New York's general warranty deed does not have the same implied warranties as the ones used in other states. In addition, New York requires longer written conveyance documents than those used in many other states.

What are the legal requirements for using a general warranty deed in New York?

In New York, the ability to transfer real estate must be made clear in the deed. The deed must include a description of the material elements of the property, the grantor’s name and the name of the grantee. Additionally, the deed must be signed by both parties for it to be considered legally binding.

Does a New York general warranty deed cover all types of property?

No. The general warranty deed only applies to real property, such as land and buildings, and does not cover personal property. Additionally, certain types of property will need to be conveyed with a special warranty deed.

What rights does the grantee receive by using a general warranty deed in New York?

The grantee is given certain protections from any title defects stemming from past owners. The grantee of a general warranty deed also has the right to have the title conveyed free of all encumbrances, liens or claims of ownership. This protection from title defects is what makes the general warranty deed such an important conveyance document.

What happens if the grantee discovers a title defect linked to the property he/she purchased?

The grantor of the general warranty deed is responsible for any defects in the title when it is transferred to the grantee. Therefore, if a title defect is discovered, the grantor is liable to repair the defect. In the case of a title defect, the grantee has the right to have the title conveyed free and clear or to receive monetary compensation from the grantor.

What recourse do I have if I think that my title has been wrongfully transferred?

If you feel that your title has been wrongfully transferred, you can file a lawsuit against the grantor of the general warranty deed. In order to succeed in your lawsuit, you will need to provide evidence that the title was in fact wrongfully transferred.

What remedies do I have if the grantor of the general warranty deed does not fulfill the covenant contained in the deed?

If a grantor does not fulfill the covenant contained in the deed, the grantee may choose to pursue one of two remedies: specific performance or recision. If a grantee chooses specific performance, the court will require the grantor to fulfill the covenant. If a grantee chooses the remedy of recision, the court will relieve both parties from the obligation of performing the agreement.


New York General Warranty Deed,

Title Defects,

Covenant of Warranty