If you own a home and automobile, you know how important it is to have paperwork proving these items are yours. A land affidavit will typically be part of the closing process, but if you’re transferring property without the help of a real estate agent, you’ll need this paperwork in order to secure your mortgage and make the transfer official. You can create an affidavit of land ownership on your own or use one of the many templates available online.
Drawing Up Affidavit of Ownership
There are two ways to transfer a home to someone else without going through the official sales process: a quitclaim deed and an affidavit of ownership. Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to create an official document and make sure it’s legal. The good news is, there are plenty of templates and examples available to get you started.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you need to pay hefty fees to an attorney to create a legal ownership affidavit. Documents like ownership and landlord affidavits must be signed to be legal. To prove both parties signed it, you’ll need to find a notary public and present identification before signing on the dotted line.
Affidavit of Ownership Template
The easiest way to create an affidavit of ownership is to find a template online, download it and customize it to meet your needs. A simple Google search for affidavit of land ownership template will bring up a wide range of options. If you can find one that you can download to your computer as a Word document, you’ll have an easier time customizing it than if you download it as a PDF and only fields for items like names are fillable.
Before you choose a template, pay attention to the basic elements every ownership of land affidavit should include. You’ll likely notice some common themes, and you may find a paragraph or two in one document that you want to move over to another template you like. The overall goal of an affidavit of ownership is to make sure the person accepting the property is not held legally liable for any issues that arise, and most templates are designed to cover all the issues related to that.
DIY Affidavit of Ownership
Although the finer details of the requirements for a land affidavit can vary from one state to the next, generally speaking, they should contain all of the following:
- Seller’s name and contact information
- Assurances that the seller of the property is its rightful owner and therefore has the right to sell it, as well as assurances that the property isn’t being sold to anyone else
- Assurances that no liens or assessments are outstanding
- A statement verifying that the seller is not engaged in bankruptcy proceedings
In addition to these basics, an affidavit of ownership can address what will happen with the mortgage on the property or mention easements and encroachments. Since these issues will vary from one situation to the next, only you know which ones apply, but if in doubt, include it.
Landlord Proof of Residence Letter
Another document property owners may find themselves providing is a landlord affidavit. This document is used by those who have renters, but it isn’t issued automatically. Typically, if a landlord is asked to sign one of these documents, it’s because a renter has requested it.
A landlord affidavit is officially called a proof of residence letter. Although in many cases, a renter can simply show a utility bill or driver’s license to show residency, there are some processes that may require further proof. Your tenant should put the request in writing, asking you to verify the dates of tenancy, rent amount paid each month, all ages and the number of residents in that unit, the responsible party on the lease and which household members are listed on the lease. Then you’ll merely have to sign it and return it to the tenant.
Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a ghostwriter for a credit card processing service and has ghostwritten about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, Ecommerce Insiders, GoBankingRates, and ThriveBy30.