The deed of registering deeds: Are you liable?

By Hensil, Elizabeth | March 5, 2009 | 2 min. read

A new breed of ordinance has descended upon municipalities in Pennsylvania. The legislature passed the Uniform Municipal Deed Registration Act (Act 110) in 2008 which requires the property owner (or an agent on behalf of the owner) to register the deed with the municipality within two days of recording the deed with the county.

At first blush, the new law disallows municipalities from holding up transfers with tedious inspections, which is a plus. Municipalities throughout the Commonwealth are notorious for requiring these types of inspections. The Uniform Municipal Deed Registration Act makes all ordinances inconsistent with Act 110 null and void. REALTORS® and Title Agents scored big on this one. Case closed, right? Not a chance.

In response to Act 110, municipalities came up with the idea to pass an ordinance in accordance with the law, but with one little caveat: failure to register the deed within two days of recording with the county will lead to a hefty fine. I’ve seen ordinances that set the fine at $600! But what do you care? You’re just the REALTOR®, right? The municipalities don’t see it that way! The law says the owner or an agent on behalf of the owner must register the deed. Who is this agent they speak of? It could be you! This vague language could make a lot of people that are involved in the transaction liable for registering deeds (even those that don’t typically handle it). Are REALTORS® a part of this group? According to some municipalities, the answer is “YES”!

What’s your take?

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