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Massachusetts Agencies

Conveyance: Percentage Interest

Deeds and Conveyances

It is unwise for a grantor to make reference to his or her undivided percentage interest in property in a conveyance out (unless the grantor in fact wants to convey only a portion of that undivided interest). Trying to ascribe the percentage could prove to be problematic if the "calculation" of that interest is wrong. Even in the case of condominiums, that necessarily carry with each unit a percentage interest in the common areas, there's no need to recite that percentage. (See G.L.c. 183A, §5 ("The percentage of the undivided interest in the common areas and facilities . . . shall be deemed to be conveyed or encumbered with the unit even though such interest is not expressly mentioned or described in the conveyance or other instrument.") So, reciting the percentage interest held by the grantor seems wholly unnecessary.

The only case I am aware of that decided the effect of a recitation of an incorrect undivided interest is Moran v. Somes, 154 Mass. 200 (1891). In Moran a party owned four undivided fifths in a parcel of property. However, the party, in 1862, executed a deed and purported thereby to convey "all my right, title and interest in and to" the property, "being three undivided fifths of the same" The court held that this deed carried all the title that the party owned. The court, however, seized upon the words "all my right title and interest," and it is unclear whether the result would be the same if no such language appeared in the deed.