Apr 24

The Marketable Record Title Act (MARTA)–Preserving HOA’s covenants, conditions and restrictions to promote and preserve the symmetry, beauty and general good of all interested in the scheme of planned developments. (From Floridabar.org, Pelican Island POA v Murphy, 554 So. 2nd 1179, 1181 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1989.) Please click to read more.


Uniform Marketable Title Act

Many of you may have wondered why your Board went to the trouble at the annual Board meeting of “extending” the life of our community for another 30 years.

The Uniform Marketable Title Act (the “Act”) attacks the curse of the “hidden ancient interests in land.” In American property law, interests in land can be diverse and multiple. Some interests appear on the land records. Others don’t. As time passes, the opportunity for multiple interests of various kinds to arise with respect to any piece of identified geography increases. When title to any interest in land, the question always arises, how far back should the title search go to identify any possible interests that may exist in the land. The problem is not current interests. Those are detectable and usually apparent. The problem is ancient interests that nobody has asserted for a very long time and so go unnoticed. The prospect of ancient interests is a current cloud on title, an expense to those engaged in current transactions, and a drag on marketability of any real estate.

The Act takes care of this problem, expeditiously and efficiently by extinguishing “ancient interests” that nobody asserts and limiting the need to search title back to the earliest roots to assure title. The result? Every piece of real estate currently held has root of title that extends back no more than 30 years. Whatever the records show to be the unbroken chain of title to a maximum of 30 years back—that is all that the current holder of the real estate or anybody who contemplates a transfer of real estate from the current holder has to worry about. Any interest that is not on the record as of that date 30 years back are automatically extinguished, with some limited exceptions. The hidden ancient interest is no more.

The Act offers those with legitimate interests the opportunity to take affirmative action to maintain them by recording it within the 30-year period that constitutes any marketable record title. It is preserved, effectively, for 30 years after the date of recording. Further recordation would preserve it for the succeeding 30 years, and so on..

The problem for home owners associations such as Bear Island Homeowners Association, Inc., is that the covenants and restrictions set forth in the Declaration as amended from time to time will be extinguished by the Act in 2017. Your Board decided to act now instead of postponing action until closer to 2017, when the problem might be forgotten.

Stephen L. Seftenberg, Secretary