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Volume 8 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 114

Opinions of Counsel index

Sales reporting (conveyance) (assignment of rights - land contract) - Real Property Law, § 290; Real Property Tax Law, § 574; 9 NYCRR 191-1.1:

A written instrument assigning rights under a land contract need not be accompanied by a real property transfer report if offered for recording.

Real Property Law, section 333(1-e) provides, in pan, that “[a] recording officer shall not record or accept for record any conveyance of real property affecting land in New York state unless accompanied by a transfer report form prescribed by the state board of equalization and assessment. . .” (emphasis added). For this purpose, the term “conveyance” is denned in section 290(3) of the Real Property Law as including:

every written instrument by which any estate or interest in real property is created, transferred, mortgaged or assigned, or by which the title to any real property may be affected, . . . except a will, a lease for a term not exceeding three years, an executory contract for the sale or purchase of lands . . . (emphasis added).

The State Board’s sales reporting rules (9 NYCRR 191-l..l(e)) also define the term “conveyance” as “every instrument in writing, by which any estate or interest in real property is created, transferred, assigned or surrendered, except that it shall not include a will, an easement, a right-of-way, a lease, a license agreement or a mortgage. To the extent that the definition in the statute (§290(3)) is more restrictive than the definition in the rules, the statutory definition controls.

Therefore, although a land contract may be recorded (see, Real Property Law, §294), it is not a “conveyance” which must be accompanied by an EA-5217. It follows that an instrument assigning an interest under a land contract need not be accompanied by an EA-5217 when presented for recordation. However, when the contract vendee or an assignee obtains a deed following completion of the land contract, the deed must be accompanied by an EA-5217 and the EA-5217 must indicate that the transfer was a land contract sale.

June 30, 1986

Updated: