Richards Layton & Finger
 

Recording Community Documents

August 15, 2016

On August 10, 2016, Governor Jack Markell signed into law Senate Bill No. 297, which provides for the waiver of certain recording fees charged by the State of Delaware for recording in the land records documents filed by a common interest community or civic association. The Act is effective only if the county in question has taken legislative action to waive county-level recording fees for such documents. To date, only New Castle County has taken legislative action to waive recording fees, at least for a common interest community's maintenance declaration, bylaws, covenants, declaration of restrictions, and documents memorializing the election of officers.

The ordinance adopted by New Castle County also purports to apply to so-called "civic associations," although there is no definition of what constitutes such an entity that is not a common interest community association covered by the Delaware Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (DUCIOA). In addition, that ordinance does not appear to apply to the filing by a common interest community of the notice of assessment liens required by DUCIOA in order for a community to have the benefit of priority over mortgages and other liens for its assessment liens. Of the other two Delaware counties, Kent County provides free access to some community documents through a dedicated internet portal, but not free recording in the land records. The Act was effective when signed.

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