Utah Special Warranty Deed Form – Summary

The Utah special warranty deed form provides a limited warranty of title. With a special warranty deed, the person transferring the property guarantees that he or she has done nothing that would cause title problems, but makes no guarantees about what might have happened before he or she acquired the property. In Utah, special warranty deeds are often used:

  • To transfer property to a trust—like a living trust—that the transferor controls or benefits from;
  • To transfer property to a business—like a limited liability company—that the transferor owns;
  • For sales of commercial or multi-family residential property;
  • To transfer property to a new owner that is purchasing title insurance on the property and is not concerned with the limited warranty of title; or
  • In other circumstances where the current owner does not want to be legally responsible for problems with title that arose before the current owner owned the property.

A special warranty deed requires special language to ensure that the deed qualifies as a special warranty deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Utah counties. Get Deed

How a Utah Special Warranty Deed Form Works

What is a Utah Special Warranty Deed?

A Utah special warranty deed form transfers Utah real estate from the current owner (grantor) to a new owner (grantee) with a limited warranty of title that only covers the period when the grantor owned the property. The grantor is not responsible for title issues that arose before the grantor owned the property.

Other Names for a Utah Special Warranty Deed Form

Most states use the term special warranty deed form to refer to a deed that transfers real estate with a warranty of title that is limited to the time that the grantor owned the property. But some states use different terminology. The same document is called a grant deed in California, a covenant deed in Michigan, and a limited warranty deed in some other states. Each of these names refers to the same deed form.

Relationship of Utah Special Warranty Deed Form to Warranty of Title

Key Term: Warranty of Title. Title issues can be caused by many things, including errors in the public record, unknown liens against the property, undisclosed prior conveyances, forged deeds, missing heirs or unprobated wills, or disputes about boundary lines or surveys. Title issues often require legal action to fix and can decrease the value of real estate. If the property has no title issues, it is said to have clear title. A warranty of title is a legal guarantee from the transferor to the transferee that there are no title issues. If a deed makes a warranty of title, the transferee can sue the transferor over any title issues.

A special warranty deed form is defined by its warranty of title. In Utah, the warranty of title is defined by Utah Code § 57-1-12.5 to include the following covenants:

  • That the property is free from all “encumbrances” (mortgages, liens, etc.) made by the grantor other than those disclosed in the deed; and
  • That the grantor will defend title of the property in the grantee against any lawful claim and demand of the grantor and any person claiming by, through, or under the grantor.

Both covenants limit the grantor’s liability to the period that the grantor owned the property—encumbrances made by the grantor and claims brought under the grantor. This limitation of liability to the period when the grantor owned the property is characteristic of a special warranty deed and distinguishes it from two other popular Utah deed forms:

  1. Utah General Warranty Deed Form – Provides a warranty of title that covers all title defects, including those that arose before the grantor acquired the property.
  2. Utah Quit Claim Deed Form – Provides no warranty of title. The grantor is not responsible for any title defects and the grantee takes title “as is.”

The warranty provides by a special warranty deed form also distinguishes it from two other deed forms—a Utah TOD deed form and a Utah life estate deed—that are named after their use as an estate planning tool to avoid probate.

Common Uses of Special Warranty Deeds

Special warranty deeds are most often used in commercial transactions where the parties plan to purchase title insurance to supplement the warranty. Special warranty deeds are also used to transfer Utah real estate to a living trust or an LLC that is owned or controlled by the grantor.

How to Create a Utah Special Warranty Deed

Each state has specific requirements for deeds. These requirements differ from the requirements of other states. All Utah deeds must meet Utah’s requirements for a valid legal description, statement of consideration, and a description of the manner in which co-owners will hold title, font size and page format requirements, and signature and notarization requirements.

To qualify as a special warranty deed, a deed must also meet the requirements of Utah Code § 57-1-12.5. Although the language mentioned in that statute is not strictly required, the deed must include language that is consistent with the limited warranty of title included in a special warranty deed. This requires special care in creating the vesting and warranty language included in the deed.

It is important to create a deed that meets Utah’s requirements. Even minor differences in language—often only a single word—can invalidate the deed or create ambiguity that requires legal action to resolve. Each deed used by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Utah law and be eligible for recording in all Utah counties.