Property Tax Law Book - Title 33

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TITLE 33
PROPERTY

CHAPTER 7
CONVEYANCE OF REAL ESTATE

SUBCHAPTER 6
MISCELLANEOUS  PROVISIONS

§454. Church pews

Pews and rights in houses of public worship are real estate. Deeds of them, and levies by execution upon them may be recorded by the clerk of the town where the houses are situated, with the same effect as if recorded in the registry of deeds.

§456. Address of buyer

All deeds and other instruments for the conveyance of real property shall contain, in addition to the name of the grantee, his address, including street and number, municipality and state.

§457. Error or omission of mailing address

Any error in or omission of mailing address of grantee or mortgagee in the deed, mortgage or other conveyance, required by any provision of this Title, shall not affect in any way the validity, effectiveness or recordability of such deed, mortgage or other conveyance of real estate.

SUBCHAPTER 7
TITLE TO ROADS AND WAYS

§460. Conveyance of land abutting a road or way

A conveyance of land which abuts a town or private way, county road, highway or proposed, unaccepted way laid out on a subdivision plan recorded in the registry of deeds shall be deemed to convey all of the grantor's interest in the portion of the road or way which abuts the land, except:

1.  Proposed, unaccepted ways. With respect to a proposed, unaccepted way laid out on a subdivision plan recorded in the registry of deeds, those rights provided to owners of other lots in the subdivision by Title 23, section 3031; and

2.  All roads and ways. With respect to a town or private way, county road or highway, an easement of access necessary to provide ingress and egress to property adjoining the town or private way, county road or highway which shall be preserved, unless the grantor expressly reserves his title to the road or way by a specific reference to the road or way contained in the conveyance.

§461. Prior conveyances

Any conveyance made prior to October 3, 1973 which conveyed land abutting upon a town or private way, county road or highway shall be deemed to have conveyed all of the grantor's interest in the portion of such road or way, which abutted said land unless the grantor shall have expressly reserved his title to such road or way by a specific reference thereto contained in said conveyance. This section shall not apply to any conveyance of a lot or lots by reference to a recorded plan.

§465. Abutters own the centerline of road or way

Any person owning land in this State abutting a town or private way, county road or highway, whose predecessors in title have not reserved any title in such road or way as provided in sections 460 and 461, or filed the notice provided in section 462 within the time specified therein, shall be deemed to own to the centerline of such road or way except as provided in sections 466 to 469.

§466. State and municipal owned roads

This subchapter shall not apply to any road or way, title to which is owned by the State or any municipality or other governmental body.

§467. – Public easement acquired over opposite sides of road or way in unequal proportion

Where a town or private way, county road or highway shall be, or shall have been, laid out, widened or altered in such a manner that the public easement is located over land taken from the land on opposite sides of such road or way in unequal proportions, then the persons owning the land abutting the road or way on opposite sides thereof, shall each be deemed to own that portion of such road or way which shall have been acquired from their respective sides of such road or way. If it cannot be determined from which side of the road or way the land was so acquired, the owners of the abutting land on opposite sides of such road or way shall each be deemed to own to the centerline thereof.

SUBCHAPTER 8-A
CONSERVATION EASEMENTS

§476. Definitions

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1.  Conservation easement. "Conservation easement" means a nonpossessory interest of a holder in real property imposing limitations or affirmative obligations the purposes of which include retaining or protecting natural, scenic or open space values of real property; assuring its availability for agricultural, forest, recreational or open space use; protecting natural resources; or maintaining or enhancing air or water quality of real property.

2. Holder. "Holder" means:

A. A governmental body empowered to hold an interest in real property under the laws of this State or the United States; or

B. A nonprofit corporation or charitable trust, the purposes or powers of which include retaining or protecting the natural, scenic or open space values of real property; assuring the availability of real property for agricultural, forest, recreational or open space use; protecting natural resources; or maintaining or enhancing air or water quality or preserving the historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural aspects of real property.

3. Real property. "Real property" includes without limitation surface waters.

4.  Third-party right of enforcement. "Third-party right of enforcement" means a right provided in a conservation easement to enforce any of its terms granted to a governmental body, nonprofit corporation or charitable trust, which, although eligible to be a holder, is not a holder.

§477. Creation, conveyance, acceptance and duration

1Conservation easement.  Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, a conservation easement may be created, conveyed, recorded, assigned or partially released in the same manner as other easements created by written instrument. A conservation easement may be terminated or amended by the parties only as provided in section 477-A, subsection 2.

2Right or duty.  No right or duty in favor of or against a holder arises under a conservation easement unless it is accepted by the holder and no right in favor of a person having a 3rd-party right of enforcement arises under a conservation easement unless it is accepted by any person having a 3rd-party right of enforcement.                                                                                                                           
3Limitation.  Except as provided in this subchapter, a conservation easement is unlimited in duration unless:

A. The instrument creating it otherwise provides; or

B. Change of circumstances renders the easement no longer in the public interest as determined by the court as provided in section 477-A, subsection 2, paragraph B in an action under section 478.

4Interest.  An interest in real property in existence at the time a conservation easement is created shall not be impaired by it unless the owner of the interest is a party to the conservation easement or consents to it.

5Entitled to enter land.  The instrument creating a conservation easement must provide in what manner and at what times representatives of the holder of a conservation easement or of any person having a 3rd-party right of enforcement shall be entitled to enter the land to assure compliance.

 

CHAPTER 10
UNIT OWNERSHIP

§561. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words shall have the following meanings. 

1.  Association of unit owners. "Association of unit owners" means all of the unit owners acting as a group in accordance with the bylaws and declaration.

2.  Building. "Building" means a building or buildings containing one or more units and comprising a part of the property, and designated with a name.

3.  Common areas and facilities. "Common areas and facilities", unless otherwise provided in the declaration, means and includes:

A.  The land on which the building is located; 

B.  The foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, main walls, roofs, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairs, stairways, fire escapes, and entrances and exits of the building;

C.  The basements, yards, gardens, parking areas and storage spaces;

D.  The premises for the lodging of janitors or persons in charge of the property;

E.  Installations of central services such as power, light, gas, hot and cold water, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning and incinerating; 

F.  The elevators, tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and, in general, all apparatus and installations existing for common use;

G.  Such community and commercial facilities as may be provided for in the declaration; and

H.  All other parts of the property necessary or convenient to its existence, maintenance and safety, or normally in common use.

4.  Common expenses. "Common expenses" means and includes:

A.  Expenses of administration, maintenance, repair or replacement of the common areas and facilities;

B.  Expenses declared common expenses by provisions of this chapter, or by the declaration or the bylaws;

C.  Expenses agreed upon as common expenses by the association of unit owners and lawfully assessed against the unit owners in accordance with the bylaws. 

5.  Common profits. "Common profits" means the balance of all income, rents, profits and revenues from the common areas and facilities remaining after the deduction of the common expenses.

6.  Declaration. "Declaration" means the instrument by which the property is recorded, in the manner provided for the recording of deeds.

7.  Limited common areas and facilities. "Limited common areas and facilities" means and includes those common areas and facilities designated in the declaration as reserved for use of a certain unit or certain units to the exclusion of the other units.

8.  Majority or majority of unit owners. "Majority or majority of unit owners" means the owners of more than 50% in the aggregate in interest of the undivided ownership of the common areas and facilities as specified in the declaration. Any specified percentage of unit owners means such percentage in the aggregate of such undivided ownership, and for all voting purposes, as provided, each unit owner shall have a vote equal to such percentage.

9.  Person. "Person" means individual, corporation, partnership, association, trustee or other legal entity.

10.  Property. "Property" means and includes the land, the building, all improvements and structures thereon, all owned in fee simple absolute, or leased as provided in section 579 and all easements, rights and appurtenances belonging thereto, which have been or are intended to be submitted to the provisions of this chapter.

11.  Unit. "Unit" means a part of the property including one or more rooms or enclosed spaces located on one or more floors or a part or parts thereof in a building, intended for any type of independent use, and with a direct exit to a public street or highway or to a common area leading to such street or highway.

12.  Unit number. "Unit number" means the number, letter, or combination thereof, designating the unit in the declaration.

13.  Unit owner. "Unit owner" means the person or persons owning a unit in fee simple absolute, or leasing a unit as provided, and an undivided interest in the fee simple, or leased estate, of the common areas and facilities in the percentage specified and established in the declaration.

§563. Status of units

Each unit, together with its undivided interest in the common areas and facilities, shall for all purposes constitute real property.

§579. Separate taxation

Taxes, assessments, including special assessments, and other charges of this State or of any political subdivision, or of any special improvement district, or any other taxing or assessing authority shall be assessed against and collected on each individual unit, each of which shall be carried on the tax books as a separate and distinct entity for that purpose and not on the building or property as a whole. Neither the building, the property nor any of the common areas and facilities shall be deemed to be a parcel, but each unit shall be deemed to have an undivided interest therein and assessments against any such unit shall include such proportionate undivided interest. In the event the land or the building, including common areas and facilities, is separately owned, and leased to the unit owner for a period of not less than 50 years, and such lease, duly recorded, provides that the lessee shall pay all such taxes, such unit and its percentages of undivided interest in the common areas and facilities shall be deemed to be a parcel and shall be separately assessed and taxed as aforesaid.

§580. Lien for common changes

1.  Liens. Subsequent to recording the declaration as provided in this chapter, and while the property remains subject to this chapter, liens or encumbrances shall arise or be created only against each unit and the percentage of undivided interest in the common areas and facilities appurtenant to such unit, in the same manner and under the same conditions in every respect as liens or encumbrances may arise or be created upon or against any other separate parcel of real property subject to individual ownership, provided no labor performed or materials furnished with the consent or at the request of a unit owner or his agent shall be the basis for the filing of a mechanics lien against the unit or any other property of any other unit owner not expressly consenting to or requesting the same, except that such express consent shall be deemed to be given by the owner of any unit in the case of emergency repairs thereto. Labor performed or materials furnished for the common areas and facilities, if authorized by the association of unit owners, the manager or board of directors, the declaration or bylaws, shall be deemed to be performed or furnished with the express consent of each unit owner and shall be the basis for the filing of a mechanics lien against each of the units and shall be subject to subsection 2.

2.  Individual payments. If a lien against 2 or more units becomes effective, the owner of any such unit may remove his unit and his percentage of undivided interest in the common areas and facilities appurtenant to his unit from the lien by payment of the fractional or proportional amount attributable to his unit. Such individual payment shall be computed by reference to the percentages appearing in the declaration. Subsequent to any such payment, discharge or other satisfaction, such unit and the percentage of undivided interest in the common areas and facilities appurtenant thereto shall thereafter be free and clear of the lien so paid, satisfied or discharged. Such payment, satisfaction or discharge shall not prevent the lienor from proceeding to enforce his rights against any unit and the percentage of undivided interest in the common areas and facilities appurtenant thereto not so paid, satisfied or discharged.

CHAPTER 10-A
TIME SHARES

§591. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.

1.  Manager. "Manager" means any person, other than all time-share owners or the association, designated in or employed pursuant to the time-share instrument or project instrument to manage the time-share units.

2.  Managing entity. "Managing entity" means the manager or, if there is no manager, the association of unit owners.

3.  Project. "Project" means real property subject to a project instrument containing more than one unit. A project may include units that are not time-share units.                                                                      
4.  Project instrument. "Project instrument" means one or more recordable documents by whatever name denominated, applying to the whole of a project and containing restrictions or covenants regulating the use, occupancy or disposition of units in a project, including any amendments to the document, but excluding any law, ordinance or governmental regulation.

5.  Purchaser. "Purchaser" means any person, other than a developer, who by means of a voluntary transfer acquires a legal or equitable interest in a time share other than as security for an obligation.

6.  Time share. "Time share" means a time-share estate or a time-share license.

7.  Time-share estate. "Time-share estate" means any interest in a unit or any of several units under which the exclusive right of use, possession or occupancy of the unit circulates among the various time-share owners in the unit in accordance with a fixed time schedule on a periodically recurring basis for periods of time established by the schedule coupled with a freehold estate or an estate for years in a time-share property or a specified portion thereof.

8.  Time-share instrument. "Time-share instrument" means one or more documents, by whatever name denominated, creating or regulating time shares.

9.  Time-share license. "Time-share license" means a right to occupy a unit or any of several units during 3 or more separated time periods over a period of at least 3 years, including renewal options, not coupled with a freehold estate or an estate for years.

10.  Time-share owner. "Time-share owner" means a person who is an owner or co-owner of a time share other than as security for an obligation.

11. Time-share property. "Time-share property" means one or more time-share units subject to the same time-share instrument, together with any other real estate or rights appurtenant to those units.

12.  Time-share unit. "Time-share unit" means a unit in which time shares exist.

13.  Unit. "Unit" means real property or a portion thereof designated for separate use.

§593.  Taxation of time- share estates

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 579 and 580, taxation of time-share estates shall be determined according to this section.

1. Creation of estates.  Notwithstanding any contrary rule of common law, a grant of an estate in a unit conferring the right of possession during a potentially infinite number of separated time periods, creates an estate in fee simple having the character and incidents of such an estate at common law, and a grant of an estate in a unit conferring the right of possession during 3 or more separated time periods over a finite number of years equal to 3 or more including renewal options, creates an estate for years having the character and incidents of such an estate at common law.

2.  Time-share estates as separate estates.  Each time-share estate constitutes for all purposes a separate estate in real property.  Each time-share estate must be separately assessed and taxed.  In addition to other factors relevant to the valuation of a time-share estate considered by the assessor, the assessor may consider the real property value of the time-share estate declared in the declaration of value, if any, submitted under Title 36, section 4641-D.  The filing and discharge of tax liens on more than one time-share estate owned by the same person are governed by Title 36 , section 942-A.

3. Recordation.  A document transferring or encumbering a time-share estate may not be rejected for recordation because of the nature or duration of that estate.                                                                        
4.  Collection and receipt of money for taxes; tax bills.  The managing entity may collect and receive money from time-share estate owners for the purpose of paying taxes assessed on time-share estates.

If required by an ordinance enacted by the municipal officers, the managing entity shall collect and receive money from time-share estate owners for the purpose of paying taxes assessed on time-share estates.  The ordinance must also require that the municipality send the managing entity a tax bill and information necessary to identify the assessed value of each time-share unit. Nothing in this subsection prevents a municipality from sending separate tax bills to each time-share owner.  Any managing entity that collects taxes shall maintain an escrow account and pay the taxes as provided in subsection 5.

5.  Escrow account.  If the managing entity collects money for taxes, it shall maintain an escrow account with a financial institution licensed by the State, and deposit any money collected or received for taxes in the escrow account within 10 days after collection or receipt.  The escrow account must be established in the names of both the managing entity and the municipality in which the time-share estates are located.  No withdrawal may be made from the escrow account without the written agreement of the municipality.

Prior to the delinquency date established by the municipality in which the time-share estates are located, the managing entity shall pay to the municipal tax collector all money deposited in the escrow account for the purpose of tax payment.  If the amount paid from the escrow account is not sufficient to discharge all taxes and tax related costs, due and owing, the managing entity shall place a lien on those time-share estates whose owners have not contributed to the escrow account as provided in section 594, and, pay the outstanding amount no later than 30 days after the date it has collected the taxes and costs from the delinquent owner or has foreclosed the lien and sold the time-share estate to a new owner or 10 months from the date of commitment, whichever is earlier.  If requested by the municipality, the managing entity shall provide a list identifying those owners and their interests, including the periods of ownership, to the municipal tax collector who may then proceed to collect the taxes on those interests as allowed by law.

If the tax collector and treasurer use the lien procedure described in Title 36, sections 942, 942-A and 943 to collect delinquent taxes on time-share estates, whenever a notice called for by Title 36, section 942, 942-A or 943 is sent to a time-share estate owner, the tax collector and treasurer shall give to the managing entity or leave at the managing entity's last and usual place of abode or send to the managing entity by certified mail, return receipt requested, either a copy of the notice sent to the time-share estate owner or a notice that lists all time-share estate owners to whom notices have been delivered.  For sending the notice or notices to the managing entity, the tax collector or treasurer is entitled to receive $5 plus all certified mail, return receipt requested fees, plus the cost of any photocopying.

6.   Unorganized territory.  Time-share estates in the unorganized territory must be taxed according to the provisions of this section, and the State Tax Assessor has all the rights and obligations applicable to a municipality or municipal officers.

7.  Effect of foreclosure. A governmental entity that acquires ownership of a time-share estate for reasons of tax delinquency, including, but not limited to, the automatic foreclosure of a tax lien, may not be required to pay for the share of common expenses attributable to the time-share estate during the period the governmental entity owns the time-share estate if the governmental entity does not use the time-share estate. Use by a governmental entity includes, without limitation, leasing or renting the time-share estate. Any unpaid common expenses attributable to the time-share estate accruing during the period of ownership of the time-share estate by the governmental entity may be charged by the owners' association or managing entity to the purchaser of a foreclosed time-share estate when the purchaser acquires title to the unit from the governmental entity. The governmental entity shall disclose in writing to a prospective purchaser of the time-share estate that the purchaser may be charged for the common expenses attributable to the time-share estate accruing during the period of the governmental entity's ownership.

CHAPTER 11
REGISTER OF DEEDS

SUBCHAPTER 2
RECORDS AND RECORDING

§653. Time of recording; verification

A register shall, at the time of receiving a deed or instrument for record, certify on the deed or instrument the day and the hour and minute when it was received and the book number and page number where the document is located. If the deed or instrument does not have sufficient room on the page or pages for the location of the recording information so that the register is required to add an additional page for the placement of the recording information, the register may charge in addition to any other fees allowed by law a fee of $2 for each page the register is required to add. An instrument is considered recorded at the time when it was received and that time must be entered on the record. The register shall enter that time, the names of the grantor and grantee and the name of the town or unincorporated place as shown by the instrument in which the property affected is located in a record kept for that purpose and open to inspection in business hours. The register may not permit a deed or instrument for the conveyance of real estate to be altered, amended or withdrawn until it is fully recorded and examined. The record must be verified as a true record of the original document by comparing the indexing record and the copy kept for public inspection, as described in section 651, to the original document before the original document is allowed to leave the registry office.

§662. Plans showing allotment of lands in cities and towns

The municipal officers of a city or town may, and upon the written request of 3 or more taxpayers of the city or town shall, cause any plans in the possession of the city or town or otherwise available, showing the allotment of lands in the city or town, to be recorded in the registry of deeds in the county or registry district in which any such city or town is situated. The plans must be recorded and kept in accordance with the provisions of section 652.

§663. Copies of transfers of lands in unorganized territory sent to State Tax Assessor

In each county containing lands in unorganized territory, so called, the register of deeds shall transmit to the State Tax Assessor certified copies of the record of all transfers of lands in unorganized territory made after the 20th day of March, 1907, within 10 days after such record is made. Such copies shall be placed on file and retained for future reference by the State Tax Assessor.

SUBCHAPTER 4
FEES

§751. Schedule

Except as provided in any other provision of law, registers of deeds shall receive the following fees for:

1.  Instruments generally.  Receiving, recording and indexing any instrument that may be recorded and for which a specific fee is not set forth in this section or in any other section, the sum of $19 for the first record page and $2 for each additional record page or portion of an additional record page.  In addition, if more than 4 names are to be indexed, a fee of $1 must be paid for each additional name, counting all grantors and grantees;

9.  Plans.  Recording, indexing and preserving plans, the sum of $15.

13-A. Previously recorded instrument. An instrument satisfying, releasing, discharging, assigning, subordinating, continuing, amending or extending an instrument previously recorded in the county in which recording is requested, must make reference to only one previously recorded instrument, or a fee of $13 for each additional previously recorded instrument referred to must be paid.

14-B.  Paper copies.  Making paper copies of records at the office of the register of deeds as follows:
A. Five dollars per page for paper copies of plans; and

B. One dollar per page for other paper copies;

14-D.  Downloads of 1,000 or more consecutive electronic images or electronic abstracts from a county registry of deeds.   Acquiring downloads of 1,000 or more consecutive electronic images or electronic abstracts from a county registry of deeds equipped to provide downloads of images or electronic abstracts, 5¢ per image or electronic abstract;

14-E. Electronic images, printed images or electronic abstracts from a county registry of deeds website.   Acquiring electronic images, printed images or electronic abstracts from a county registry of deeds website as follows:

A. No charge for the first 500 images or electronic abstracts, or a combination of the first 500 images and electronic abstracts, acquired by a person in a calendar year; and

B. Fifty cents per image or electronic abstract for each subsequent image or electronic abstract after 500 acquired in the same calendar year

15.  When payable.  Fees provided by this section shall be paid when the instrument is offered for record, except that fees payable by the State shall be paid monthly by the department or agencies requesting the recording, upon rendition of bills by the register of deeds. Said bills shall be paid within 10 days of receipt of same by the department or agencies.