A Virginia special warranty deed documents the transfer of property ownership and warrants a clear title for the period in which the grantor held title, except for any encumbrances disclosed in the deed. The instrument states that the grantor has the legal right to convey their interest and that title issues that occurred before their ownership are the grantee’s responsibility to resolve. Under a special warranty deed, the grantor will only be liable for defending the title against claims made under them.
Special warranty deeds are typically used for foreclosed or commercial real estate (e.g., offices, stores, warehouses, etc.), or in cases where the title may have encumbrances that might prevent them from being conveyed under a “general warranty” deed.
- Statutes: § 55.1-355
- Formatting: § 17.1-223, § 55.1-300, § 55.1-604. Individual circuit court clerks may have county-specific formatting requirements (see Fairfax County).
- Signing Requirements (§ 55.1-600 & § 55.1-612): Notary Public/Clerk of Court or Two (2) Witnesses
- Where to Record (§ 55.1-407(A)): County Circuit Court Clerk
- Recording Fees (§ 17.1-275(2)):
- $18 for documents of ten (10) or less pages, $32 for documents of eleven (11) to thirty (30) pages, $52 for documents of thirty-one pages or more.
- Virginia Deed Fees and Taxes Calculator
- Cover Sheet (§ 17.1-227.1): To be included with instruments presented for filing in certain counties.
- Building Code or Zoning Ordinance Violations Disclosure (§ 55.1-706): Discloses if the property has ongoing building code or zoning ordinance violations.
- Methamphetamine Disclosure (§ 55.1-708): Discloses if a dwelling previously used for methamphetamine production has been cleaned as per the standards set by the Department of Environmental Quality (§ 32.1-11.7).
- Military Air Installation Disclosure (§ 55.1-704): Discloses if a property in the vicinity of a military air installation is inside a noise/accident potential zone.
- New Dwelling Disclosure (§ 55.1-702(B)): Discloses if a newly constructed dwelling has building code violations or if mining operations have taken place on the premises.
- Privately Owned Stormwater Facility Disclosure (§ 55.1-708.1): Discloses if a dwelling has a private stormwater management facility.
- Residential Property Disclosure Statement (§ 55.1-703(A)): Provided by a property owner to notify a purchaser of required property disclosures.
- Septic System Disclosure (§ 32.1-164.1:1): Discloses if the property’s onsite sewage system is subject to maintenance.