I get this question frequently…exactly who can go on the deed to a property in Montgomery County PA. The answer is relatively simple….anyone!The deed is the “pink slip” or “title” if you will, to real property in PA. This is your ownership paperwork showing what it is exactly that you own. You are allowed to put anyone on the deed for a property. The better question is who MUST go on the deed?
If you are seeking to obtain a mortgage, actually you give the mortgage, the mortgage company receives it (another time and place to explain that one), then there are certain people who MUST be on the deed. For instance, if both the husband and wife are on the mortgage, then they must both be on the deed.
However, if the husband is a stay at home dad without an income (politically correct analogy) and he is not on the mortgage due to the fact that his income and credit are not being used to qualify for the loan, then he does not have to be on the deed as he is not signing the note, or the promise to repay the loan. He will still have rights to the property as Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth State.
When you are married in the Commonwealth, you both own things jointly regardless of whose name it is in. Therefore, in the case above, the husband, being on the deed but not the note, would have ownership interest in the property without the responsibility to pay for it! However, he WOULD have to acknowledge that there is a lien being placed against his property by signing the mortgage, not the note.
Confused yet? Good! Talk about confusing, I once had a deed with 17 people on it! It was a vacant lot behind a bunch of homes in Hatfield. Because they were on a main road, they all chipped in and bought this lot for the kids to play in. But when it came time to sell it, each one of them had to sign the deed to transfer it. That was fun! Tracking down 17 people after 25 years, some deceased, etc. Anyway, fact is, anyone can be added to the deed.
When it comes to removing people from the deed, that becomes a bit more difficult. Again, if there is a mortgage on the property, and you want to remove someone from the deed, you will most likely have to refinance that loan so that the person who wants to remain on the deed is the only one on the mortgage. If not, this could trigger what is called the “due on sale clause” that is in just about everyone’s mortgage. This states that if ownership is transferred, and it is being transferred from one party to the other, then the note must be paid in full.
As always, when dealing with real estate law, an attorney should be consulted for the final recommendation on your particular situation but this should give you enough information that you are more educated than you were 10 minutes ago. Hope this helps and remember, call or email me with any questions.