A property description of a common interest community unit included in a deed or other conveyance is sufficient if it sets forth: (a) the name of the common interest community, (b) the recorded volume and page of the declaration, (c) the town in which the common interest community is located, and (d) the identifying number of the unit.
Notwithstanding errors or omissions regarding any of the elements set forth herein, or requirements under 27 V.S.A. Chap. 15, Condominium Ownership Act (“COA”), a title examiner may rely on a description of a unit so long as there is enough information provided for the title examiner to establish, with reasonable certainty, the unit intended to be conveyed.
Comment 1. The four elements of the description of a unit are provided under Title 27A, Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (“VCIOA”), 27A V.S.A. §2-104 Description of units.
Comment 2. Unit description requirements under COA, 27 V.S.A. §1312 Contents of deeds of apartments or sites are as follows: (1) description of the land as provided in section 1311 of this title, or the post office address of the property, including in either case the book, page and date of recording of the declaration; (2) apartment number of the apartment or site in the declaration and any other data necessary for its proper identification; (3) statement of the use for which the apartment or site is intended and restrictions on its use; (4) the percentage of undivided interest appertaining to the apartment or site in the common areas and facilities; (5) any further details which the grantor and grantee may consider desirable to set forth consistent with the declaration and this chapter; and (6) reference to recorded floor plan or site plan, and recorded lot plan.
27 V.S.A. §1313(b) provides that failure to file or record floor plans shall not create a marketable title defect if a declaration created under COA has been of record for 15 or more years.
Comment 3. When a condominium or common interest community declaration is recorded contemporaneous with a unit deed, absence of the volume and page of the declaration does not create a defect; however subsequent conveyances of that unit should be revised to incorporate reference to the recorded declaration.
Comment 4. Absence of a recitation to the percentage of allocated interest within the deed for a unit also does not impair marketability so long as the declaration cited in the deed provides the unit’s allocated interest or undivided interest.
September 2022: Standard and comments were added.