New York Deed Requirements
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Deed filing requirements in New York are primarily established at the county level and can therefore vary between counties. The formatting specifications set forth below are general requirements applied in most counties. Where a citation is made to New York state law, the requirement applies statewide or is based on recommended formats published within New York’s Real Property Code.
Formatting Standards for New York Deeds
New York formatting standards deal with the arrangement and format of each of the elements of New York deeds. New York deeds must meet the following formatting requirements.
New York deeds should be printed on white paper not smaller than 8½ x 11 inches (standard letter size) or larger than 8½ x 14 inches (legal size).
Text within a deed must be printed in black ink, using 9-point font or larger. Deeds must be sufficiently legible to allow creation of readable archives by scanning and microfilm.
New York deeds must be written in the English language or accompanied by a certified translation.1
A New York deed should include a blank space measuring at least 3 x 3-inch in the top righthand corner of the first page. Top margins of succeeding pages should be at least 1 inch.
A New York deed’s first page should include at the top of the first page a title that identifies the type of deed. New York’s statutory short-form sample deeds have titles like Deed with Full Covenants, Bargain-and-Sale Deed, and Quitclaim Deed.2
Information Requirements for New York Deeds
New York’s real estate laws provide suggested transfer language for multiple types of deeds. The suggested language—which is found within the statutory short-form deeds—works to transfer legal title to New York property.3 However, the forms do not include all information a deed must contain to be eligible for recording in New York. The information required for a recordable New York deed is listed below.
Current Owner and New Owner Names and Addresses
The names and addresses of the current owner making the transfer (the grantor) and the new owner (the grantee) must be stated within the deed.4 A deed with more than one grantor or grantee must include the identifying information for all parties and should identify joint owners’ form of co-ownership. A deed must not include sensitive personal information like driver’s license, social security, or bank or credit card numbers.
A party’s name should be written consistently throughout the deed. The grantor’s name should be the same as the prior deed or indicate a name change using formerly known as (f/k/a) or also known as (a/k/a). The parties’ addresses listed in the deed must be their residences identified by street and street number (if applicable). P.O. boxes are insufficient.
A deed must have a granting clause—which is a phrase showing that ownership of the property is changing hands. The granting clause—also called vesting clause—depends on the type of deed and the warranty of title the deed provides, if any.
A New York deed must have a statement of consideration that says that the new owner is providing value in exchange for the property.5 Deeds often state nominal consideration within the deed’s transfer language and set forth the actual consideration in the transfer tax affidavit that accompanies the deed.
Each New York deed must include a current legal description of the property being transferred.6 The property description may be written directly in the deed or included on a separate page attached to the deed as an exhibit.
A property description must include the city, town, village, or township where the property is situated.7 If a property description references a map, the map must be already recorded in the county.8 A map or plot plan on legal-size paper may be recorded as an attachment to a deed.9
Attorney Practice Note: New York has a special rule for deeds that transfer part of a property when another part has already been transferred.10 A deed must sufficiently identify and describe the already-transferred part of the property if the deed (a) reserves or excludes part of the property that the grantor has previously transferred or contracted to transfer; (b) indicates that a part of the property has been transferred already or is subject to a sale contract; or (c) says that the grantor intends to transfer only the part of the property that the grantor has not already transferred or contracted to transfer.
Tax Map Designation
The property’s tax map designation and any applicable section, block, lot, and unit number (as indicated on the property’s current tax bill) should be included on the first page of the deed.11
New York deeds typically include a derivation clause—a statement identifying the source of the current’s owner’s title—directly following the legal description. A derivation clause is not strictly required.
Deed Preparer and Return Address
New York deeds customarily include a “prepared by” statement that identifies the person who prepared the deed and a “return to” address where the recorded deed is to be mailed by the recorder after filing. Both items typically appear in the top-left corner of the deed’s first page.
Lien Law Clause
Most New York deeds should include a statutory clause prescribed by New York’s lien law. The clause is a covenant from the transferor that he or she will hold the consideration as a trust fund and apply it first to pay for improvements to the property. A deed can comply with the requirement by stating that the deed is “subject to the trust fund provisions of section thirteen of the lien law.”12
Signing Requirements for New York Deeds
All New York deeds must be dated and signed by the current owner making the transfer or by the owner’s authorized agent.13 A New York deed can have a traditional “wet signature” or an “electronic signature” that complies with the state’s electronic document law.14 The signed name must be identical to the name used elsewhere in the document and in the acknowledgement.
An entity that owns New York real estate signs a deed through a representative with power to act on the entity’s behalf. For example, a corporation signs through an authorized officer or agent with power of attorney, and a trust signs through its trustee.15
Power of Attorney
An agent acting under valid power of attorney can sign a deed on behalf of the property owner. The signed power-of-attorney form must be recorded in the same county as the deed.16
Signatures included within a deed must be acknowledged before a notary or other officer legally empowered to accept acknowledgments.17 A deed must be notarized before it is recorded or delivered to the new owner. A deed that is not notarized may be, as an alternative, signed by at least one witness who attests that the deed was signed by the owner and delivered to the new owner.18 New York has statutory model notary certificates for deeds.19
A deed becomes effective and transfers title to the new owner only after it has been delivered to the new owner.20 New York law presumes that a deed is delivered as of the date of the deed, but the presumption can be overcome by conflicting evidence.21
Recording New York Deeds
New York deeds are filed for recording with the office of the county clerk or county register—whichever the county has—of the county where the property is located.22 A recorded deed becomes part of the official public record and provides formal notice of the transfer to third parties.23
Attorney Practice Note: Individual counties in New York sometimes have their own deed recording requirements that do not necessarily apply in other counties.24 It is a good practice to verify the county’s requirements with the clerk or register before filing a deed.
New York requires payment of a filing fee before a deed can be recorded.25 Precise fee amounts vary by county. The standard fee for recording a New York deed is $45.00, plus an extra $5.00 for each page over one. There is also a filing fee for the real property transfer report (Form RP-5217, see below) that accompanies the deed. The fee amount is $125.00 for residential and farm properties or $250.00 for other properties.26 Clerks may also charge a filing fee (typically $5.00 or $10.00) for the Form TP-584 transfer tax affidavit.
New York law allows recording offices to assess a $5.00 penalty if a deed uses long-form covenants rather than statutory short form covenants.27
Because recording fees in New York vary by county, it is a good practice to confirm the required fee amount with the recording office before submitting a deed.
New York Transfer Tax
New York charges a real estate transfer tax—sometimes abbreviated as RETT—on deeds for consideration over $500.00.28 The total transfer tax due is the sum of three separate taxes—called base tax, mansion tax, and supplemental tax (in cities with populations over 1,000,000). Some deeds require payment of the base tax but not the supplemental tax or mansion tax.
The seller is primarily responsible for paying the base tax, and the buyer is primarily responsible for paying the supplemental tax and mansion tax.29 The buyer and seller can agree for the buyer to pay the base tax. If that occurs, the consideration used to calculate the mansion tax is reduced by the amount of base tax the buyer pays.30
Transfer tax is due within 15 days after a deed is delivered to the new owner. New York law assumes that a deed is delivered on the date written in the deed.31 The county clerk or register of deeds must either receive the transfer tax return and tax payment or receive the tax commission’s receipt showing payment before accepting a deed.32
New York Transfer Tax Rates
New York’s transfer tax rates are based on the deed’s consideration—which is defined as “the price actually paid or required to be paid … whether or not expressed in the deed and whether paid or required to be paid by money, property, or any other thing of value.”33 Consideration can include money, property, cancellation of debt, the amount of a mortgage, and anything else of value given for the property. The value of non-monetary consideration is equal to the property’s fair market value unless the consideration’s value is shown to be a different amount.34
The base tax rate is $2.00 per $500.00 of consideration.35 In a city with a population of one million or more residents, the rate is increased by $1.25 per $500.00 if the consideration is over $3,000,000.00 (for residential properties) or the consideration is over $2,000,000.00 (for other properties).36 The rate is $1.00 per $500.00 for a qualifying transfer to a real estate investment trust (REIT), as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.37
New York charges an additional tax—informally called the mansion tax—on sales of residential real estate for consideration of $1,000,000.00 or more.38 The mansion tax is assessed state-wide at a rate of 1.00 percent of the purchase price or the part of the purchase price attributable to residential real estate.
New York’s supplemental tax applies only to deeds that transfer residential property in cities of one million or more residents.39 The consideration must be at least $2,000,000.00 to qualify for the supplemental tax. New York assesses supplemental transfer tax at the following progressively increasing rates:
- 0.25% for consideration from $2,000,000.00 – $3,000,000.00.
- 0.5% for consideration from $3,000,000.00 – $5,000,000.00.
- 1.25% for consideration from $5,000,000.00 – $10,000,000.00.
- 2.25% for consideration from $10,000,000.00 – $15,000,000.00.
- 2.50% for consideration from $15,000,000.00 – $20,000,000.00.
- 2.75% for consideration from $20,000,000.00 – $25,000,000.00.
- 2.90% for consideration over $25,000,000.00.40
Transfer Tax Exemptions
New York exempts certain categories of deeds from the transfer tax. A deed does not require transfer tax if it is:
- For consideration under $500.00;41
- Pursuant to a devise or bequest in the deceased owner’s will or an inheritance;42
- To or from the State of New York, United States, or United Nations or any agency thereof;43
- To secure a debt;44
- To confirm, correct, modify, or supplement a prior conveyance for no additional consideration;45
- For no consideration, including as a gift;46
- A tax sale deed;47
- A deed to reflect a change of identity or ownership form;48
- A deed of partition.49
- A transfer of property in bankruptcy;50
- A contract for sale or option to purchase;51 or
- A transfer in a tax-free area to a business in the START-UP NY program.52
The person claiming an exemption must identify the exemption in Part 3 of the transfer tax affidavit (see Form TP-584 below) that accompanies the deed.53 New York law assumes that all transfers are taxable. The person liable for the tax must show otherwise to avoid payment.54
Attorney Practice Note: Deeds that transfer New York real estate between spouses or former spouses under the terms of a divorce or separation agreement are ordinarily subject to transfer tax. New York law presumes that the consideration for a deed that relinquishes a divorcing spouse’s rights and ownership interest in real estate is the fair market value of the interest the deed transfers. One or both parties to the deed can rebut the presumption through evidence of a different value.
Additional Forms Required with New York Deeds
The documents described below must be provided to the county clerk or register when presenting a deed for recording.
Each of New York’s counties publishes its own cover sheet form that must be completed and filed when recording a deed. Cover sheets provide information the recorder uses for indexing. They typically list the party names, sale price (i.e., the consideration), recording fees, and taxes. A cover sheet becomes part of the recorded deed.
Real Property Transfer Report (RP-5217)
A New York deed must be filed with a Real Property Transfer Report (Form RP-5217). Form RP-5217 documents the details of the real estate transfer. The current owner and new owner must both sign the completed form.
Form RP-5217 and instructions for completing the form can be obtained from the county recorder’s office or on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website. The form requires a $125.00 filing fee for residential and agricultural properties or $250.00 for other classes. All deeds that transfer New York real estate require the form—except that deeds that transfer property in New York City require Form RP-5217NYC.55
Transfer Tax Affidavit
A deed that transfers title to New York real estate requires a Transfer Tax Affidavit (Form TP-584) signed by at least one current owner and one new owner.56 Transfers of New York City real estate use the alternate Form TP-584-NYC. If a transfer tax affidavit is signed by an agent, a copy of the power of attorney instrument must be attached to the completed form.57
Form TP-584 calculates the amount of transfer tax due or, if the deed is exempt, identifies the claimed exemption. The county clerk must receive the completed form before the deed may be recorded and within 15 days of the deed’s delivery.58 Alternatively, the person requesting recording may provide the county clerk a receipt from the commissioner of taxation and finance if the transfer tax was paid in advance.59
The transfer tax affidavit and instructions for completing the form are available on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website. Deeds that relate to enforcement of a lien or mortgage and deeds in lieu of foreclosure require the supplemental schedule found in Form TP-584.1.
Attorney Practice Note: New York law allows Form RP-5217 and Form TP-584 to be combined into a single form for electronically filed deeds.60
Nonresident Real Property Estimated Income Tax Payment Form
A Nonresident Real Property Estimated Income Tax Payment Form (Form IT-2663) estimates a nonresident seller’s personal income tax liability for the gain realized from the sale. The completed form is required if the transferor is an individual, estate, or trust and does not live in New York.61
Nonresident sellers must submit a completed Form IT-2663 to the recording office with payment of the estimated income tax due when a deed is presented for recording. When there are multiple sellers, the sellers must submit their own forms with separate payments—except that married couples can use a single form.
Form IT-2663 is not required if:
- The transferor is a New York resident;
- The property counts as the transferor’s principal residence under IRS rules; or
- The transferor is a borrower transferring mortgaged property to a foreclosing lender or giving a deed in lieu of foreclosure with no additional consideration.62
A recording officer cannot record a deed unless the deed is accompanied by (a) a completed Form IT-2663 and payment, (b) a tax receipt showing the estimated tax was already paid, or (c) the seller’s certification that Form IT-2663 is unnecessary because no estimated income tax is owed.63 A seller certifies that no estimated income tax is owed by completing and signing the certification of exemption found in Schedule D of the transfer tax affidavit (Form TP-584 or Form TP-584-NYC in New York City).
The Department of Taxation and Finance provides instructions for Form IT-2663 on its website.
Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet New York recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the county clerk or county register.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 333(2).
- See N.Y. Real Prop. § 258 (Statutory Forms A – D).
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 258.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 333(1-a).
- See N.Y. Real Prop. § 258.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 258.
- N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 316-A(4); 333.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 333-A.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 333-B.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 291-e.
- See N.Y. Real Prop. § 333(1-f).
- See N.Y. Lien L. § 13(5).
- N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 258; 243.
- N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 290(8) and (11).
- N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 258; 309; N.Y. EPTL § 7-2.1.
- See N.Y. Real Prop. § 294.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 243; 298.
- N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 292; 304.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 309-A.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 244.
- D’Urso v. Scuotto, 111 A.D.2d 305 (N.Y. App. Div. 1985).
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 291.
- N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 290(5); 291.
- See, e.g., N.Y. Real Prop. §§ 291-a; 291-b.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 291.
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 333(3).
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 327; see also N.Y. Real Prop. § 253 (statutory short-form deed covenants).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402.
- N.Y. Tax §§ 1404(a); 1402-A(b); 1402-B(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1404(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1410(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1410(b).
- N.Y. Tax § 1401(d).
- N.Y. Tax § 1404(b).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402(b).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402-A(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402-B.
- N.Y. Tax §§ 1402-B(a)(1)-(7).
- N.Y. Tax § 1402.
- N.Y. Tax § 1401(e).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(2).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(3).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(4).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(5).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(6).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(7);
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(8).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(9) and (10).
- N.Y. Tax § 1405(b)(11).
- See N.Y. Tax § 1409.
- N.Y. Tax § 1404(b).
- See N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 11-2105.
- N.Y. Tax §§ 1409(a) and (b).
- N.Y. Tax § 1410(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 1409(a)(3).
- N.Y. Real Prop. § 333(1-e).
- See N.Y. Tax § 1423.
- N.Y. Tax § 663(a).
- N.Y. Tax § 663(c).
- N.Y. Tax § 663(d).