Transfer and Conveyance Standards
In compliance with Chapter 315 et seq. and 319 et seq. of Revised Code of the State of Ohio we the undersigned, the duly appointed Fiscal Officer and Engineer of the County of Cuyahoga, State of Ohio, hereby adopt these Standards for the Approval of Plats and Legal Descriptions used in Real Property Conveyances.
AS ADOPTED UNDER
Ohio Revised Code Section 319.203
Michael Chambers, CPA
Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer
First Adopted: September 10, 1998
Revised: March 8, 2023
Effective: March 18, 2023
David Ray, P.E., P.S.
Cuyahoga County Engineer
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 319.203, the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer and the Cuyahoga County Engineer have adopted standards governing conveyances of real property in the County.
The following information has been provided by Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer. You are cautioned not to rely upon the following information without having your attorney review your instrument of conveyance and contact Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer to determine the current standards.
It is the purpose of these standards to provide Public or Private agencies as well as individuals with a comprehensive set of guidelines for the purpose of preparing and recording conveyances of real property in Cuyahoga County.
Furthermore this document will provide a guide to the rules and regulations for the preparation and approval of survey plats and legal descriptions. Said rules and regulations are adopted, in part, from Ohio Revised Codes; 315.251, 317.22, and 319.203, 711.101, 2113.61, 5301.252, 5302.17, 5311.10 also Ohio Administrative Code 4733-37.
Said applicable codes as referred to from time to time herein, represent the current versions as of the date of this publication. Any subsequent revisions, changes or updates to said codes or any new codes that may be established, from time to time, may automatically be made part of this document.
Section 1 - Application of Transfer and Conveyance Rules
These rules apply to any transfer and conveyance of an interest in real property made by conveyance, partition, devise, vacation, decent, appropriation, court order, certificate of transfer, affidavit, or any other document, that would cause any of the following:
(A) Change in the Name of Owner(s) of Land
Any document that creates, transfers, or terminates any interest in land or mineral rights that would cause the County Auditor to change the name of the owner or any one of the owners, must be presented to the County Auditor under O.R.C. 319.20;
(B) Changes in Description
Any document that changes, corrects, or amends the description of any parcel of land must be presented to the County Auditor under O.R.C. 5713.02;
(C) Transfer of Interest that may affect True Value
Any document that creates, transfers, or terminates any interest in land that may affect the true value of a parcel for real property tax purposes shall be presented to the County Fiscal Officer under O.R.C. 5713.03.
Section 2 - Special Transfers
The following are subject to special transfers;
(A) Affidavits of Real Estate Inherited
A transfer under the law of descent and distribution shall be made pursuant to affidavit under O.R.C. 317.22 or by a Certificate of Transfer issued by a probate court.
(B) Transfer of Survivorship Interest
A transfer of a survivorship interest shall be made pursuant to O.R.C. 5302.17, through an affidavit accompanied by a certified copy of a death certificate of the deceased joint tenant.
(C) Transfer by Affidavit of Facts Relating to Title under O.R.C. 5301.252
A transfer of the name of the owner or any one of the owners may be made by affidavit pursuant to O.R.C. 5301.252 (B)(1). The correction of a legal description may be made by affidavit pursuant to O.R.C. 5301.252 (B)(4) and (B)(5). However, except in the case of the termination of a life estate, survivorship estate or transfer of condominium common area to established associations, no transfer shall be made by affidavit pursuant to O.R.C. 5301.252 (B)(2) and (B)(3).
(D) – Deeds In Lieu of Foreclosure
Exemptions under Letter ‘B’ on the DTE Form 100Ex shall include a notice of acceptance in the form of an affidavit from the bank or primary lender in addition to the mandatory affidavit of facts from the lender releasing the mortgagor from the debt.
(E) – Parcels Exempt from Permissive Conveyance Fee as assessed by ORC 322.02(A)
When transferring multiple parcels, any parcel exempt from the permissive fee defined in ORC 322.02(A) shall be conveyed on a separate instrument of transfer and DTE Form 100.
Section 3 - Specific Requirements for all Documents of Transfer
All documents transferring an interest in real property that are subject to O.R.C. 319.20, including all court orders and certificates of transfer, shall contain the Following;
(A) Conveyance/Exempt Forms
No instruments will be transferred unless accompanied by a properly completed DTE 100 Form (& Sales Verification Questionnaire) or DTE 100-EX Form (& Exemption Verification Questionnaire) conveyance form. All numbered items on the DTE conveyance form shall be completed accurately. The Fiscal Officer reserves the right to inspect any and all documents in connection with the submission of a conveyance to determine whether the transfer is entitled to exemption from conveyance fees and to verify sales information.
Specifically: Affidavits; trust documents; purchase agreements; settlement statements; HUD-1 statements; court orders; resolutions from corporate boards of directors; articles of incorporation; operating agreements; IRS exemption certificates (501 (c)(3); estoppel affidavits; and or any form deemed necessary by the Fiscal Officer that sufficiently substantiates the claim of exemption or sufficiently verifies the sales information. An itemized breakdown of the amount listed in item 6 (e), as to the portion of total consideration paid for items other than real property, shall be submitted along with the Conveyance Fee Statement.
(B) Residential Rental Disclosure
If question number Ten (10) on DTE Form 100 or question number Eight (8) on DTE Form 100Ex is checked “NO” on conveyances of Residential Property, a rental disclosure form, or rental registration exception form shall accompany the conveyance.
(C) Reference to Prior Instrument of Record
A reference to the volume and page or AFN of the record of the next proceeding recorded instrument by or through which the grantor claims title as required by O.R.C. 5301.011;
(D) Tax Mailing Address of Grantee
A statement of the complete tax mailing address of the grantee or any one of the grantees, as required by O.R.C. 319.20;
(E) Identification of Interest Conveyed
The grantor shall inform the County Fiscal Officer in writing whether the grantor is conveying less than the grantor's total current interest in the land by listing the percentage or fraction thereof of the grantor’s interest in the real property being conveyed.
(F) Instrument to Conform to Law
All deeds and other instruments transferring an interest in Real Property shall conform to the laws of Ohio or to the law of the place where the instruments were executed regarding grantor's signatures.
(G) Document of Transfer Shall Include Parcel Number and Address
The document of transfer shall include the County Fiscal Officer’s parcel number(s) of the land and the current site address of the property, if any. If no parcel number exists, a parcel number will be assigned prior to recording.
(H) Grantor and Grantee Names
All transfer documents shall contain the complete Grantor(s) and Grantee(s) names, and in the case of Corporate or Trust Names, the complete name(s) and a statement as to partnership designation and/or legal title of said Corporation or Trust.
(I) - Legal Description
All documents of transfer shall contain a legal description formatted to and sufficient in form and detail to comply with the requirements mandated by 4733-37-06 and spelled out in Section 5 of this document. The reuse of legal descriptions form prior instruments are subject to the approval of the County Surveyor and may be designated for an updated survey and legal description upon the next conveyance.
(J) – Document Preparer Name
All documents of transfer shall contain the line “Prepared by” and shall include the complete name of the preparer and in the case of Corporate or Trust Names, the complete name of an individual preparer and a statement as to designation and/or legal title of same. As the preparation of deeds has been determined to be the practice of law by the Ohio Supreme Court; the preparer should either be a licensed attorney or the grantor acting as their own attorney. In the case of legal descriptions, plats, consolidations or splits, the complete name and license number of the Ohio Licensed Professional Surveyor.
(K) – Transfers of Land with Delinquent Real Property Taxes
Any document that creates, transfers, or terminates an interest in land or mineral rights that have been certified by the County Treasurer as delinquent for failure to pay Real Property Taxes as required by ORC 323.12, must have either their DTE 100 or DTE 100EX stamped by the County Treasurer or a settlement statement is submitted reflecting that said delinquent amount has been held in escrow prior to transfer being processed.
(L) – Transfers to a Business Entity
Any transfer to or from a Business Entity, may be asked to supply the Organizational Documents of each Business Entity privy to the transfer.
“Business Entity” for the purpose of these Conveyance & Transfer Standards, as well as the DTE 100, DTE 100EX, and any of their attachments and or schedules, means:
(1) A for profit corporation existing under the laws of this state or any other state;
(2) Any of the following organizations existing under the laws of this state, the United States, or any other state:
(a) A business trust or association.
(b) A real estate investment trust.
(c) A common law trust.
(d) An unincorporated business or for-profit organization, including a general or limited partnership.
(e) A limited liability company.
(f) A nonprofit corporation.
“Organizational Documents” for the purpose of these Conveyance & Transfer Standards, as well as the DTE 100, DTE 100EX, and any of their attachments and or schedules, means:
(1) For a general partnership or foreign general partnership, its partnership agreement.
(2) For a limited partnership or foreign limited partnership, its certificate of limited partnership and partnership agreement.
(3) For a limited liability limited partnership or foreign limited liability limited partnership, its certificate of limited partnership and partnership agreement.
(4) For a limited liability company or foreign limited liability company, its articles of organization and operating agreement, or comparable records as provided in its governing statute.
(5) For a business or statutory trust or foreign business or statutory trust, its trust instrument, or comparable records as provided in its governing statute.
(6) For a for-profit corporation or foreign for-profit corporation, its articles of incorporation, regulations, and other agreements among its shareholders that are authorized by its governing statute, or comparable records as provided in its governing statute.
(7) For a nonprofit corporation or foreign nonprofit corporation, its articles of incorporation, regulations, and other agreements that are authorized by its governing statute or comparable records as provided in its governing statute.
(8) For a professional association, its articles of incorporation, regulations, and other agreements among its shareholders that are authorized by its governing statute, or comparable records as provided in its governing statute.
(9) For any other entity, the basic records that create the entity, determine its internal governance, and determine the relations among the persons that own it, are members of it, or govern it.
Section 4 - Quality of Document
All documents transferring an interest in real property that are subject to O.R.C. 319.20, including all court orders and certificates of transfer, shall contain the Following:
(A) Original Required
The document of transfer shall have the original signature of the grantor or affiant, or an electronic signature as prescribed by statute. In most cases, a copy of a court order will be accepted, but the copy shall bear the signature of a judge and show on its face that it has been filed with the clerk of court or be a certified copy from the clerk of courts. In certain circumstances, wherein a court order is being submitted for recording by a county agency, a regular copy can be accepted for recording. Further exceptions are any transfers submitted electronically which are acceptable per ORC 1306.06; ORC 147.591; ORC 147.60 thru 147.66. For further instruction see the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
(B) Document Size
The maximum size for any instrument conveying title shall be 8.5 by 14 inches. The minimum size shall be 8.5 by 11 inches. All plat map should be printed on one of the following sizes (18” x 24” & 24” x 36”) on paper or mylar unless submitted to the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Portal.
(C) Text Size
No text on a document of transfer shall be less than a standard font 10 Arial Font or any other font equivalent in size, excluding preprinted wording on the standard document forms. Except for pre-printed text on the document that is considered standard and does not change.
(D) Text Quality
No document of conveyance will be accepted for transfer that is written by hand excluding the signatures of the grantor(s); affiant(s) or Notary. All documents should be prepared using computer generated text, meeting the font standard in Section 4(D). Electronic filings text quality is defined by the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
(E) Cut and Paste Documents
No document of transfer shall have cut and pasted text attached to said document.
(F) Corrections to Document Text
Erasures of any kind on a document of transfer are not recommended. Rather, corrections should be made by lining through the incorrect passage and writing the correct passage above said text or noting the correction with an asterisk indicating the correction at the bottom of the page. Documents submitted for re-recording shall contain a note stating why the document is being re-recorded and should have any alterations clearly marked and initialed by the grantor or authorized party. No document of transfer will be accepted that was prepared on a previously altered or reproduced document.
(G) Document Medium
All documents of transfer shall be on bonded 75g/square meter standard white paper or standard preprinted form paper of similar weight and size. No fax paper, onion skin or transparent mediums will be accepted.
(H) Previous Recorded Exhibit Documents
Any document exhibit that is a reproduction of a previously recorded document shall be clearly legible, having large enough text to comply with item (C) and (D) above. A negative reproduction of said document would not be accepted. A previously recorded document will not be accepted as an exhibit for the sole purpose of describing the property being transferred. All legal descriptions shall be typewritten by the preparer and made a part of or exhibit of the body of the document being submitted.
All signatures on a document of transfer shall be original, in black or (preferred) blue ink. No red ink will be permitted, as this color may not reproduce clearly. In the cases where electronic signatures are used and then printed, it is recommended that the electronic signature watermark be a different color than the body text. Electronic Signatures are acceptable per ORC 1306.06; ORC 147.591; ORC 147.60 thru 147.66. Further instructions for electronic submissions can be found in the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
(J) Witnesses and Notary
The number and nature of witness signatures shall comply with minimum standards for such documents and the requirements of the state in which the instrument was executed. Notary seals shall be in permanent black ink or of the raised embossed crimped type. Electronic Notarial acts shall follow Ohio Administrative Code 111:6-1 and Ohio Revised Code sections: 1306.06; ORC 147.591 & ORC 147.60 thru 147.66. For technical direction, see the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
(K) Pre-approval Policy
It is recommended that if a document is long, complicated, or the submitter is not sure if it will be accepted that they submit the document well in advance of recording for pre-approval through the Fiscal Office Inquiry Portal.
Section 5 - Sufficiency of Description
The Description of land shall be sufficient to allow the County Fiscal Officer and County Engineer to identify the land that is being transferred. Typographical errors that do not affect the County Fiscal Officer or Engineer's ability to identify the property will be disregarded, but typographical errors that cannot be resolved will cause the rejection of the transfer.
(B) Description of Tax Parcels
All documents that transfer an ownership interest in a tax parcel shall contain one of the following types of descriptions:
(1) Platted Lot
A platted lot as defined by O.R.C. 711.01 shall be described by its lot number (or other alphanumeric designation), name of the subdivision and Volume and Page (or AFN), and area of parcel as plated and recorded.
(2) Condominium Unit
A condominium unit shall be described by its unit number or other designation and the name of the condominium project and volume and page as recorded as set forth in the declaration as required by O.R.C. 5311.10.
(3) Metes and Bounds Descriptions
Each new tract of land that is not a platted lot or condominium unit shall be described by a metes and bounds description prepared in accordance with O.A.C. 4733-37-06 minimum standards and the requirements set forth herein.
(C) Exceptions in Descriptions
No transfer will be approved where the description contains more than three (3) exception pieces to any metes and bounds general description. An exception describes land that is included in the general description, but that is not being transferred and is excepted out and identified by a separate description of its own.
Section 6 - Boundary Surveys
(A) The requirements for a boundary survey as defined in O.A.C. 4733-37 must be established in accordance with O.R.C. Section 315.251 as amended by Senate Bill 262.
(B) The survey plat and description shall satisfy the minimum standards for boundary surveys promulgated by the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors pursuant to chapter 4733-37 of the Ohio Administrative Code and the standards established in Section 11 enclosed herein.
(C) If, in the opinion of the County Engineer, the survey plat and description satisfy those standards, the County Fiscal Officer will accept the deed for transfer and a copy of the survey plat shall be filed with the Cuyahoga County Tax Map Department as a T.M. file.
(D) Appropriated Lands
In the case of appropriated lands, the fully executed plans signed by the appropriate municipal officials, county commissioners or O.D.O.T. officials shall constitute the minimum requirements for boundary surveys when said appropriation is taken in fee title. Said plans will be on file with the Tax Map Department as a T.M. file or with the County Engineer's Record Room as "Official Road Records".
(E) Rejection of previously recorded legal descriptions
A previously recorded description will not be accepted if:
1. It contains obvious errors such as missing courses or an improper point of commencement (POC). Proper POC’s for descriptions are:
a. Original Lot, Tract or Township Corners.
b. Corners in recorded allotments (subdivision corners).
c. Any combinations of intersection of the following types of lines:
i. Centerline of public rights of way.
ii. Public Street right of way lines.
iii. Original Lot Line.
2. The legal description, by the opinion of the Tax Map Department, does not match current records.
3. The previously recorded document contains a legal description that has a "Survey Required" stamp on it.
4. No handwritten descriptions are permitted.
Section 7 - Breaks in the Chain of Title
Because the County Auditor needs to determine the ownership of each tract, lot, or parcel of real property and because the County Auditor maintains ownership history of each tax parcel, the following rules will apply:
(A) Grantor Is Not Prior Grantee
No transfer will be approved where a grantor is not a prior grantee, unless the document itself or an affidavit that satisfies the requirements of O.R.C. 5301.252 is provided to the County Auditor that explains to the County Auditor's satisfaction why there is a break in the chain of title. The County Auditor may also require additional evidence when necessary to establish the correct ownership of the property.
(B) Quit Claim deeds
Occasionally quitclaim deeds are presented where the grantor is not the current owner of record. Deeds of this nature are transferred; the grantee s name is added but the owner of records name is not removed from the duplicate and a special notation is added referencing said transfer as a "Quit Claim."
(C) Minor Differences in Names
Differences in the name of the grantor and a prior grantee based upon the inclusion or omission of middle names or initials, or different versions of first names (i.e. Charles, Charley), or due to change in name, and similar differences of a minor nature, shall be explained in the document itself or an affidavit as required by O.R.C. 5301.252(B)(1).
Section 8 - Governmental Approval of Parcel Splits and Associated Plats
(A) Subdivision of Existing Parcel
Any transfer or conveyance that causes a tax parcel to be split into a new parcel of five acres or less, or leaves an existing parcel with five or less acres, or otherwise is required to be approved by the appropriate planning commission, must be so approved before it will be accepted by the County Auditor and County Engineer.
(B) Approval Signatures on Plat
Approval signatures must be by the current approved elected or appointed authority, in permanent ink on the appropriate line provided on the plat. Each line on the plat designated for this purpose shall have the signers name printed under the line for clarity. Any signature line on the plat that is left empty will be cause for rejection of the plat. The signing authorities vary per regulating body. It is incumbent on the submitting party to verify these requirements before submitting a plat for review.
(C) No Ownership Transfer by Plat
The County Auditor will not transfer (change the name of any owner of) any real property pursuant to a plat, except for in the case of Vacation Plats specific to roadways, alleys and public lands designated as transportation corridors. Vacation Plats address specific reversionary rights back to the adjoining owners and failure to record said plats would cause a required survey of said lands unless the plat is recorded.
(D) No Consolidation or Assembly by Deed
Consolidation or assembly of parcels of land can only be performed by a Plat prepared by a licensed Land Surveyor in the State of Ohio. It is not possible to assemble land by deed or conveyance. All parcels must be contiguous to each other. A closable perimeter with complete course bearings, distances and curve data, if applicable, on all sides clearly shown on the plat is mandatory. A Consolidation or Assembly Plat must be based on a field survey unless the parcels are adjoining, unaltered sublots in a previously recorded subdivision, in this case, the Surveyor must state on the plat that the consolidation is based on record information.
Perimeters that do not close will require a survey of said lands and a new legal to be written for the perimeter of said consolidated lands.
Section 9 - Transfers of Property in the Name of a Trust
(A) Upon the death, resignation, removal or other event terminating the appointment of a trustee of a trust, which trustee holds title to real property, the successor trustee or co-trustee shall present an affidavit to the County Auditor and file an affidavit with the County Recorder, in accordance with ORC 5302.171. The affidavit must include the following:
1. The name of the trustee who has ceased serving as trustee;
2. The name and address of any other trustee:
3. A reference to the deed or other instrument vesting title in the trustee;
4. A legal description of the real property in the trust;
(B) The need of an affidavit is not required if the original trust instrument names the trustees and successors and contains relevant facts pertaining to the succession of trustees, or if a memorandum of trust in compliance with Section 5301.255 of the O.R.C. that contains relevant facts pertaining to the succession of trustees, is recorded in the Office of the County Recorder.
Section 10 - Land That Is Split By Taxing District Boundaries
(A) When a tract of land is described by a single metes and bounds description is located in more than one county, The Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer shall consult with the County Auditor or Fiscal Officer of the other County to determine the treatment of the land for real property tax purposes.
(B) Any Parcel that is determined to lie within two or more taxing districts shall have a unique parcel ID assigned to represent each portion lying in each tax district. The assignment of multiple tax parcels identification numbers does not legally split the parcel as it is still legally described as one parcel. The various parcel identification numbers of a parcel assigned multiple numbers for tax district purposes can't be transferred independently, even for sheriff sales.
Section 11 - Requirements of Conveyance by the County Engineer
All new metes and bounds descriptions, and all plats of survey that support those descriptions, must incorporate the principles and minimum standards of good surveying, engineering and draftsmanship. They must also meet the "Minimum Standards for Boundary Surveys in the State of Ohio", as defined by Section 4733-37 of the Ohio Administrative Code.
(A) Requirements for All Legal Descriptions for Recorded Lot(s) of Record
(1) All instruments using an abbreviated legal of a platted lot, sometimes known as a "Sublot Description" or conveying a recorded lot or other designation in a municipality or recorded subdivided area must comply with item 1 of section 5(B) of this document.
(2) Any area being conveyed in what is commonly known as an "Unrecorded Plat "or" Unrecorded Subdivision, must have an accurate metes and bounds description. Said unrecorded document must have sufficient survey control calls to monumentation allowing an accurate analysis and closure verification, otherwise a survey must be performed.
(B) Requirements for Existing Metes and Bounds Descriptions of Record
(1) All existing metes and bounds descriptions of record will be checked by the County Engineer to verify and identify to the County Auditor the tax parcel(s) to be conveyed.
(2) All existing metes and bounds descriptions of record must be described verbatim as witnessed by the instrument of previous record and transfer VERIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE TO PREVIOUS CONVEYANCE MAY TAKE UP TO THREE (3) BUSINESS DAYS and recording parties should take this requirement into consideration when preparing documents.
(3) Any existing metes and bounds description which, since the previous conveyance, has been incorporated into a municipality or other political subdivision by means of annexation must be changed to reflect its new corporate location within the situate of the subject instrument of conveyance. There is no requirement for survey in this situation.
(4) All instruments of conveyance attempting to convey the remainder or balance of an existing tax parcel(s) from which outlets or exceptions exist must incorporate the following requirements:
(a) Each out lot or exception of the original tract(s) must be described verbatim as witnessed by the previous conveyance of record.
(b) Each documented exception must refer to its recorded source if any, by which it can be verified.
(c) All instruments of conveyance using exceptions, as established in section 5(C) enclosed herein, to convey the balance or remainder of a tax parcel(s) must incorporate a statement identifying the tax parcel(s) and district to be conveyed, and the current taxable area as set forth on the County Auditor's tax list for the subject conveyance. (i.e., it is the intent of this instrument to convey all of Tax Parcel(s) number and district, containing acreage or footage, as shown by the County Auditor's records)
(5) The County Engineer will make the necessary marginal notations on the instrument of conveyance, at the point of entry into the tax maps, to verify the tax parcel(s) to be conveyed.
(6) Legal descriptions may be submitted for pre-approval prior to the Creation of the final instrument of transfer
(C) Requirements for New Metes and Bounds Descriptions for Conveyance
(1) All new metes and bounds descriptions, not previously recorded must be prepared by an Ohio Registered Professional Surveyor and must be in compliance with Ohio Administrative Code, Chapter 4733-37-06.
(2) In addition, the following items shall be required:
(a) The situate must denote the state, county and municipality or township, Original Lot, Section and/or Tract.
(b) The situate must denote the recorded title and deed reference as to the tract(s) of origination.
(c) All descriptions must be referenced to an established point of beginning such as centerline intersections of streets or roads or record section and or quarter section corners or lines, of recorded subdivision perimeter corners. Said point of beginning must be further established as a well-known, industry standard, permanent monument, such as an iron pin, pipe, railroad spike, or monument box of a design and style accepted by current County, State or municipal standards, whichever is applicable.
(d) Each course of a new metes and bounds description should be a separate paragraph, and all courses should be stated in a clockwise direction from the point of beginning to the point of termination for the subject description.
(e) Each course of a new metes and bounds description shall contain a bearing expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds and a distance recited in feet and the decimal parts thereof, from point of origination to a point of termination of each course.
(f) Each course shall contain the names of current adjoining owners together with the recorded Deed Book and Page or AFN of Official Record for each. When a course being described adjoins a recorded platted subdivision, a call for the Plat Book and page or AFN will suffice. When the adjoining land is a Gore Strip or previously unnumbered parcel, a full explanation and notation on the plat is required.
(g) Each course must show all other common lines such as centerline of roads, rivers, streams, quarter or half section lines, or any other pertinent common line or record or interest as witnessed by the survey for the conveyance.
(h) Any course of a new metes and bounds description which is a curve must contain the direction of the curve, (right or left), the radius (in feet and decimal parts thereof), the long chord bearing and distance, the central angle and the arc length.
(i) All references to roads, rivers, streams, railroads, etc. must use current or existing names of record. Old or original names, enclosed in brackets, may also be shown if pertinent and related to research for the survey or as a deed call on a description.
(j) All new metes and bounds descriptions must give the area contained within its perimeter in acres and calculated to a minimum of four decimal places, as required by the County Auditor. If the parcel is less than one acre, then the total calculated square footage is also required.
(k) Whenever a new metes and bounds description encompasses two or more taxing districts, or two or more tax parcels, a breakdown of total area must be recited for each tax district or parcel.
(l) All new metes and bounds descriptions will be subject to Computer verification as to the accuracy of the traverse closure. A minimum allowable traverse closure error of 1:10,000 over the area as described, with a maximum of 0.02 feet allowable in latitude and departure overall as spelled out in O.A.C. 4733-37-04-B.
(D) Compliance with Items (A), (B) and (C) above shall be verified by submittal of the instrument to the County Fiscal Office Tax Map Department for the appropriate review and approval.
(E) Varying degrees of complexity in instruments submitted may require a more extensive review. Normally, the submitter should allow three, (3), business days for a standard instrument to be reviewed for the required compliance. Extremely large tracts of land or complex closures may require a more extensive review and the submitter is advised to submit these types of instruments as early as possible as to avoid delays at recording time.
(F) Upon submittal of a new legal description to the Tax Map Department, a Review and Approval form will be attached to it (see Exhibit - 3). The instrument is first checked for appropriate format and parcel numbers. Secondly the instrument is reviewed for compliance to the standards established herein by a qualified technician trained in surveying related issues. A closure verification sheet may be prepared and attached to the final review.
(G) Upon completion of the appropriate reviews, and all comments addressed and accounted for, the original of the instrument will be stamped.
"Legal Description complies with Cuyahoga County Conveyance Standards and is approved for Transfer".
Agent ________ Date_____________________
(H) No document of conveyance with a metes and bounds legal description will be processed by the County Fiscal Officer without the appropriate stamp, listed above, affixed to said instrument and the appropriate reviewing agent’s signature thereon.
(I) The Basis of Bearing statement on all deed descriptions to be made of record within the Cuyahoga County offices should preferably be stated with reference to a deed of record, an official record, a plat of record or a road improvement plan of record along with the bearing used. The State Plane Coordinate System, the Cuyahoga Regional Geodetic System, (C.R.G.S.), NAD 27 or NAD 83, may also be used as a Basis of Bearing only if the control monuments used along with the bearing between them are denoted in the statement. Assumed bearings may be used provided there are no bearings shown of record. Examples of acceptable Basis of Bearing statements are available at the Office of the County Engineer.
Section 12 - Requirements for Survey Plats by the County Engineer
(A) All new plats of survey must incorporate the principles and minimum standards of good surveying, engineering and draftsmanship, and must meet the '"Minimum Standards for Boundary Surveys in the State of Ohio" as defined by Section 4733-37 of the Ohio Administrative Code.
(B) Any parcel, out lot or portion of a recorded lot or other designation shown on a plat, must have an accurate, fully dimensioned image drawn to scale on the plat to enable the County Engineer and County Auditor to determine the accurate area of said parcel. If a balance or residue parcel is given a designation on a plat such as; "Parcel A" or "Sublot 2" etc., then that parcel will be considered as part of the survey and will require all the compliance items of O.A.C. 4733-37.
(C) All new parcels shown on a plat shall be referenced to an established point of beginning such as centerline intersections of streets or roads or record section and or quarter section corners or lines, of a recorded subdivision perimeter corners. Said point of beginning shall be further established as a well-known, industry standard, permanent monument, such as an iron pin, pipe, railroad spike, or monument box of a design and style accepted by current County, State or municipal standards, whichever is applicable.
(D) Each course of a new parcel shown on a plat shall contain a bearing expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds and a distance recited in feet and the decimal parts thereof, from point of origination to a point of termination of each course.
(E) All new parcels shown on the plat shall show the names of the current owners of the subject parcels together with the recorded Deed Book and Page or AFN of the Official Record and the Permanent Parcel Number for each.
(F) All adjoining parcels shall show the current Auditor's Permanent Parcel Number, together with the recorded Deed Book and Page or AFN. If the adjoining parcel is a recorded platted lot then a call for the recorded plat Volume and Page or AFN will suffice. If the parcel number and owner information has changed due to the length of time between the research and field survey being performed and the time of submittal for review, the parcel numbers at the time of the survey will suffice.
(G) Each course shall show all other common lines such as centerline of roads, rivers, streams, quarter or half section lines, or any other pertinent common line or record interest as witnessed by the survey and used for establishment of the boundaries therein.
(H) Any course of a new parcel or a course tied to a new parcel which is a curve shall contain the direction of the curve, (right or left), the radius (in feet and decimal parts thereof), the long chord bearing and distance, the central angle and the arc length.
(I) All references to roads, rivers, streams, railroads, etc. shall use current or existing names of record. Old or original names, enclosed in brackets, may also be shown if pertinent and related to research for the survey or as a deed call on a description.
(J) All new surveyed parcels shown on the plat shall give the area contained within its perimeter in acres and calculated to a minimum of four decimal places, as required by the County Auditor. If the parcel is less than one acre, then the total calculated square footage is also required.
(K) Whenever a new parcel on a plat encompasses two or more taxing districts, or two or more tax parcels, a breakdown of total area shall be recited for each tax district or parcel.
(L) All new parcels will be subject to computer verification as to the accuracy of the traverse closure. A minimum allowable traverse closure error of 1:10,000 over the area as described, with a maximum of 0.02 feet allowable in latitude and departure overall as spelled out in O.A.C. 4733-37-04-B. If permanent easements are fully dimensioned on the plat, they will be subject to closure verification.
(M) Quality of Document
The County Engineer will approve no plat unless the plat presented to the County Engineer meets the following requirements:
1 - Original required -
If the plat is to be recorded, the plat must be an original drawing on vellum, mylar or paper. It must have the original signature(s) of the current owner of record, accepting such plat by appropriate acceptance clause. Excepting electronic submissions as prescribed in ORC 1306.06. Further instructions or electronic submissions can be found in the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
2 - Document size -
The maximum size for any plat is 24 by 36 inches. The minimum size is 18 by 24 inches.
3 - Text size -
No text on a plat shall be less than a standard “Arial” font 10 in size or any other font equivalent in size. This requirement includes handwritten plats and the only exception will be for the signatures shown thereon.
4 - Text quality -
All typed or computer drafted text on a plat shall use Roman, Courier, Calibri or Arial type text fonts. Hand printed lettering must be completely legible.
5 - Cut and Paste on Plats -
No plat shall have cut and pasted text attached to said plat.
6 - Corrections shown on a plat -
Erasures of any kind on a plat are not recommended. Rather, corrections should be made by lining through the incorrect passage and writing the correct passage above said text or noting the correction with an asterisk indicating the correction at the bottom of the plat. The use of a revision block in the lower right-hand corner of the plat is also recommended. A revision block, when used, should contain the date, reason for the revision, and the initials of the reviser, at a minimum.
7 - Signatures -
All signatures on a plat must be the original, in black or blue ink. No red ink will be permitted, as this color may not reproduce clearly. Property owner signatures shall have the signers name printed under the signature line for clarity. Electronic Signatures are acceptable per ORC 1306.06. Further instructions or electronic submissions can be found in the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
8 - Witnesses and Notary -
All Notary’s witnessing the signatures of property owners’ acceptance on a plat must comply with “O.R.C. 147- “Notaries Public and Commissioners” minimum standards. Notary seals must be in permanent black ink or of the raised embossed crimped type. Electronic notarial acts shall follow Ohio Administrative Code 111:06. For technical direction, see the Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards.
(N) Compliance with Items (A) through (M) above shall be verified by submittal of the plat to the County Engineer s Tax Map office for the appropriate review and approval.
(O)Varying degrees of complexity in plats and subdivisions submitted may require a more extensive review. Normally, the submitter should allow three (3) business days for a standard instrument to be reviewed for the required compliance. Extremely large tracts of land or complex closures may require a more extensive review and the submitter is advised to submit these types of instruments as early as possible as to avoid delays at recording time.
(P) Upon submittal of a new Plat or Subdivision to the Tax Map Department, a Review and Approval form will be attached to it. (See Exhibit 4).
1 - The instrument is first checked for appropriate format and parcel numbers.
2 - Secondly the instrument is reviewed for compliance to the standards established herein by a qualified technician trained in surveying related issues.
3 - A closure verification is established. Note: A closure printout sheet may be prepared and attached to the final review.
4 - Verification of the appropriate governmental and/or municipal approvals that may be required is checked.
5 - Verification of the proper acceptance of the owners, witnesses and Notarization is checked for.
6 - When applicable, the acceptance of utility easements associated with the plat is verified.
(Q) Upon completion of the appropriate reviews, and all comments addressed and accounted for, the original of the instrument will be stamped;
"This Survey Plat complies with Cuyahoga County
Conveyance Standards and is hereby approved".
Plat Vol. ________ Pg. ______
T.M. _____ Pg. ____
(R) No Map of Survey, Plat or Subdivision will be processed by the County Auditor without the appropriate stamp, listed above, affixed to said instrument and the appropriate reviewing agent s signature thereon.
(S) The Basis of Bearing statement on all plats should preferably be stated with reference to a deed of record, an official record, a plat of record or a road improvement plan of record along with the bearing used. The State Plane Coordinate System, the Cuyahoga Regional Geodetic System, (C.R.G.S.), NAD 27 or NAD 83, may also be used as a Basis of Bearing only if the control monuments used along with the bearing between them are denoted in the statement. Assumed bearings may be used provided there are no bearings of record readably available. Examples of acceptable Basis of Bearing statements are available at the Office of the County Engineer.
(T) Metric Measurements
(1) Each course of a new parcel on a plat and/or courses used to develop the plat prepared using the metric system shall include the following:
(a) Distances shall be recited in meters and decimal parts thereof, along with the equivalent distance in feet and decimal parts thereof enclosed in brackets (*),
(b) Bearings shall be expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds.
(c) Curves must contain the direction of the curve (right or left), as well as the radius, long chord and arc expressed in meters and decimal parts thereof, likewise the same dimensions shall expressed in feet and decimal parts thereof in brackets, (*). The bearing of the long chord shall be expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds.
(2) Area shall be expressed in hectares along with the equivalent area expressed in acres calculated to the third decimal place as required by the County Auditor.
(3) The U.S. Survey foot definition shall be used when converting between meters and feet. The conversion ratio of 39.37/12 is the U.S. Survey foot multiplier used to convert from meters to feet.
Section 13 - Special Applications for Condominiums
(A) All Condominium plats and associated declarations shall be prepared in accordance with applicable O.R.C. 5311 - "Condominium Property".
(B) All Condominium plats shall be subject to the same review process as conventional plats and the survey of the perimeter boundary of the overall Condominium development shall meet all the requirements of O.A.C. 4733-37 and the requirements laid out in Section 11 enclosed herein.
(C) Individual Phases of a condominium shall have complete dimensional ties with bearings and distances back to the original perimeter survey.
(D) Phases of a condominium shall have complete dimensional ties with bearings and distances back to the original perimeter survey.
(E) Overlaps and shortages in closures of condominium phases are not permitted; all phases shall fit graphically and mathematically with each other.
(F) "Common Area" shall be defined as that area common to, and held in fee by, all members of the established Association as spelled out in the recorded declaration related to such development, or held in fee by the developer or owners of record, and as further described in O.R.C. 5311.04.
(G) When the final phase of the development is completed and recorded, the established Common Area will be assigned a new Permanent Parcel Number. Multiple Common Areas that are not contiguous will also be assigned a new Permanent Parcel Number.
(H) Transference of interest into the association may be accomplished by affidavit as spelled out in Section 2-item (C) on page 5 enclosed herein.
(I) The percentage interest of each member of the association holding an interest in established Common Area of a condominium development should be clearly shown, in tabular form, on each phase as the development progresses.
(J) If garage units are established as separate parcels but are tied to and transferred with the associated unit, then both parcel numbers and legal description shall appear on the conveyance document.
(K) The legal description for a condominium unit and/or garage unit should only refer to the first phase that established the association and the current phase in which the conveyance is included.
(L) Adjustments to common walls and changes to condominium unit shapes and sizes will require a new filing of the Condominium Plat and Declaration.
Section 14 - Special Applications for Foreclosures, Forfeitures and Special Court Ordered Transfers
(A) Documents relating to foreclosure and forfeiture include the following:
1. Preliminary Judicial Report: prepared by a title company under contract with the County Prosecutor; provides full legal description and facts relating to title for property prior to foreclosure hearing. This document becomes a part of the Order of Sale and Order of Forfeiture (if applicable);
2. Order of Sale: document issued by Common Peas Court and recorded with the Clerk of Courts, ordering the County Sheriff to sell a property for non-payment of delinquent real property taxes;
3. Order of Forfeiture: documents issued by Common Pleas Court and recorded with the Clerk of Courts, forfeiting a property to the State of Ohio as a result of a parcel not being sold under the terms of the Order of Sale;
4. County Sheriff's Deed: document transferring title of property sold at the Sheriffs Sale of Tax Delinquent Property to the purchaser of such property;
5. County Auditor's Deed: document transferring title of property sold at the Auditor's Sale of Forfeited Land to the purchaser of such property;
(B) Foreclosures, forfeitures and Court Ordered Transfers occasionally have legal descriptions that would not meet all the requirements established in Section 5 and Section 11 enclosed herein.
(C) The nature of most foreclosure parcels tends to render them as small obscure, balance pieces that remain after other lands have been appropriated. They usually have relatively low value while being very expensive to survey.
(D) When a Meets and Bounds legal description, used in a foreclosure or Court Ordered document, does not meet the standards set-forth in Section 5 and 11, every effort shall be made by the writers of said legal to use the original full parcel legal description with the "three exception rule" applied. (See Section 5 - Paragraph C).
(E) If every effort to described such parcels as discussed in (D) above has failed to produce a legal description that meets the criteria established in Section 5 and 11 enclosed herein, then the County Engineer shall attempt to verify the parcels true location and parcel number(s) by making a comparison to the current Tax Maps of Record. If the County Engineer can satisfactorily determine that the parcel can be defined on the Tax Maps, then the transfer will be approved with the stamp affixed to said legal description reading;
"Legal description approved for transfer. Future conveyances of this parcel(s) will require a new legal description based on an approved boundary survey"
(F) If the County Engineer, upon completion of the analysis of the legal description, as described in (E) above, determines that the parcel is not clearly defined or is describing the wrong parcel, then the document shall be rejected for transfer and returned to the Court for corrections.
(G) To avoid rejection of transfers by the County Engineer's Tax Map Department, all Foreclosure, Forfeiture and Special Court ordered transfers should be submitted to the Tax Map Department as soon as practical so that a preliminary review of the legal description(s) can be performed.
Section 15 - Air Rights Plats
Air Rights Defined
An “Air Rights” parcel involves the conveyance of fee simple title to a three-dimensional space located at a precisely defined location.
(A) The Air Rights plat shall contain a full boundary survey of the property with building tied downs and shall bear the certified statement of a registered professional land surveyor.
(B) All Air Rights Plats shall contain a full metes and bounds description for each air rights parcel being created on the plat. The description shall include the vertical and horizontal representation of the air rights parcel.
(C) A reference benchmark shall be set at a prominent position within close proximity to the subject land being described. The reference benchmark shall also be shown and referenced to the boundary of the subject land on the plat of survey.
(D) All elevations shall be on the North American Vertical Datum of 1988, also known as NAVD88, expressed in feet and decimal parts thereof and to the nearest hundredth of a foot. All elevations derived from Global Positioning System Technology shall also reference the geoid used. Each description of Air Rights Parcel shall contain notations of the intent for what each elevation represents (i.e. the top of the finished first floor).
(E) Each new Air Rights parcel shall have a parcel designation with brief description of the parcel.
1. Parcel “A” Basement Parcel
2. Parcel “B” First Floor Parcel
(F) Air Rights Parcels shall be created on commercial property only. See section 13 on Condominiums for Residential property.
- SECTION 1
Application of Transfer and Conveyance Rules
- SECTION 2
- SECTION 3
Specific Requirements for all Documents of Transfer
- SECTION 4
Quality of Documents
- SECTION 5
Sufficiency of Description
- SECTION 6
- SECTION 7
Breaks in the Chain of Title
- SECTION 8
Governmental Approval of Parcel Splits and Associated Plats
- SECTION 9
Transfer of Property in the name of a Trust
- SECTION 10
Land Split by Taxing District Boundaries
- SECTION 11
Requirements of Conveyance by the County Engineer
- SECTION 12
Requirements for Survey Plats by the County Engineer
- SECTION 13
Special Applications for Condominiums
- SECTION 14
Special Applications for Foreclosure, Forfeitures and Special Court Ordered Transfers
- SECTION 15
Air Rights Plats
- Exhibit 1
DTE 100 Form
- Exhibit 2
DTE 100-EX Form
- Exhibit 3
Description Review Form
- Exhibit 4
Plat Review Form
- Exhibit 5
Cuyahoga County Electronic Recording Standards