April 4, 2017
One of Ohio Governor John Kasich’s first official actions in 2017 was to sign into law a bill amending and updating Ohio law concerning the validity of recorded instruments which convey an interest in real property. Senate Bill 257 amends Ohio Revised Code Section 5301.07 (Ohio’s Curative Statute) in several ways.
First, the bill reduces the time period for curing specific defects – lack of a proper attestation, a defective or omitted certificate of acknowledgement, and the failure to include the name of a person with an interest in the property in the instrument’s granting clause if that person signed the instrument – from 21 years to 4 years. This change will bring Ohio’s cure period in line with those of other states, as the current average cure period for all 50 states is 3.87 years.
Second, the bill states there is a rebuttable presumption that an instrument that has been properly recorded with a county recorder’s office is valid and enforceable in all aspects and that the instrument conveys or otherwise affects the interest of the person who signed the instrument.
Finally, the amended statute also states that an instrument that has been properly recorded with the county recorder’s office provides constructive notice of the conveyance or encumbrance contained in the instrument to all third parties, even during the curative period.
These changes, which will take effect on April 6, 2017, improve the efficiency of real estate transactions and commercial activity in Ohio by providing a more-immediate remedy for technical defects in recorded documents. The changes also reduce the likelihood of litigation over title to property, and speed up title reviews. Please contact one of RCOLaw’s Real Estate and Development attorneys for more information on how these changes may affect your transaction.