Texas Quit Claim Deed Form

A Texas Quit Claim Deed is one of four (4) main types of Deeds available for use in the state. Unlike the other types of Deeds, it does not protect the person receiving interest in real property (the “Grantee”) with any guarantees or warranties that the person offering it (the “Grantor”) indeed possesses it. As these are fundamental features of this type of Deed, legal experts generally advise that so long as the Grantee undertakes risk reduction strategies to protect themselves, this contract is safe to use.

In Texas, however, Quit Claim Deeds are generally cautioned against. The reason being that in addition to the usual risks involved, § 13.001(b) of the Texas Property Code establishes that if a Grantee receives a title for no consideration (as is typically the case for this type of Deed), any previous conveyances including unrecorded conveyances will be binding.

In short, due to the fact that Texas state law upholds recorded and unrecorded conveyances, it is impossible to know what interest the Grantor actually holds. This means that there is basically no way for the Grantee to be sure whether the Grantor is offering a good title or not. This leaves their title vulnerable to being challenged by another party who executed a conveyance prior to theirs but failed to record it. The safest option in Texas is therefore to opt for a type of Deed that offers the Grantee greater protections, such as a Warranty Deed.

Laws (Section 5.022): Texas Property Code, Title 2: “Conveyances,” Chapter 5: “Conveyances”

N.B. Texas State does not provide a statutory form for a Texas Quit Claim Deed. However, Section 5.022 does provide a statutory form that “conveys a fee simple estate in real property with a covenant of general warranty.”To be clear, the form provided in this section is the form a Warranty Deed may take, as exemplified by the language, “grant, sell, and covey.” The reason this section is noteworthy is that it also clarifies that, “A covenant of warranty is not required in a conveyance.” As Quit Claim Deeds do not have a covenant of warranty, this provision therein establishes the legality of Quit Claim Deeds in the state.

English language (Section 11.002): If the document is written in a language other than English, the requirements listed here for non-English language conveyances must be followed.

Grantee’s address (Section 11.003): The Grantee’s mailing address must be stated in the form or in a separate document attached to it that bears the signature of either the Grantor or Grantee. If the address is not provided, a penalty filing fee twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or twice the statutory recording fee (whichever is greater) must be paid.

Signing requirements (Section 13.001 and Section 121.001): State law requires all Texas Quit Claim Deeds to be acknowledged by a clerk of a district court, a judge or clerk of a county court, or a Notary Public.

How to file a Quit Claim Deed in Texas (Section 11.001): It is best practice to record a Texas Quit Claim Deed at the Recorder’s Office in the County Clerk’s Office where the property is situated. The filer will be responsible for settling any fees that are charged for this service.

Texas abides by a “race-notice recording statute,” as outlined by Section 13.001 and Section 13.002. In short, recording the Quit Claim Deed:

  1. Provides notice to all persons of its existence, and
  2. Allows the public to inspect it freely.

That being said, as noted in the introduction to this guide, unrecorded conveyances are recognized in the state. This begs the question: Is it worth recording a conveyance in Texas?

While technically it does not need to be recorded in order to be binding between the Grantor and Grantee, it will make matters easier if a dispute occurs later with the title. As the Real Estate Center’s resource on Deeds and recording statutes points out, “Bona fide purchasers enjoy preferred status under Texas law, and the courts go to great lengths to protect their ownership.” (A bona fide purchaser is the name given to a party who pays for a conveyance without notice of another conflicting claim).

In summary, it is strongly advised that the Quit Claim Deed is recorded in Texas despite its unique laws on the matter of unrecorded deeds as making the recording gives the Grantor and Grantee the best chance of their claim to the property being upheld against subsequent purchasers.

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