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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7414
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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What is the legal status of an unrecorded Texas subdivision?

Customer Question

What is the legal status of an unrecorded Texas subdivision?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

This is a rather peculiar question. Please explain what you mean by and "unrecorded subdivision". Do you mean that someone took a large tract of land and sold off parts of it to individuals who built homes on their parts? How was the subdivision created? Were deeds to the individual owners ever recorded? Thanks. I will be on and off line during the day today and tomorrow.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Deeds that reference unrecorded subdivision are not valid under Texas law. Instead metes and bounds descriptions of the lots or tracts that are recorded are valid conveyances. Texas State law specifically requires that a subdivision be recorded in the County Clerk Deed Records in the county where the property is located. See Tex. Prop. Code 12.002 which states (c) Except as provided by Subsection (d) a person who subdivides real property may not use the subdivision's description in a deed of conveyance, a contract for a deed, or a contract of sale or other executory contract to convey that is delivered to a purchaser unless the plat or re-plat of the subdivision is approved and is filed for record with the county clerk of the county in which the property is located and unless the plat or re-plat has attached to it the documents required by Subsection (e), etc.
Is the same true for street dedication within an recorded subdivision? Until the plat is recorded, there can be no valid dedication of streets, etc.Thanks,
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. Thanks for getting back to me. The statute that you referenced does not refer to the private dedication of streets in any way. Streets would probably be recognized as necessary access easements to the lots that were deeded off by the developer. When you researched this subject on line you probably found several lengthy Texas Atty. General opinions which should be helpful, but it would take me most of the day to complete reading all of the material that there is. They probably contain the answer to your question about streets. The following quote is from the very end of the 1987 Matrox opinion: While the absence of a dedication of any parts of the divided land to public use is a relevant circumstance, it is our opinion that a court's decision will not turn on the presence or absence of this factor. The resolution of this issue by the courts will, in our judgment, be governed by the facts and circumstances of each individual case. See If you are involved in an actual legal situation which could involve significant expense on your part, I suggest that you contact a Texas attorney Who is familiar with these issues to conduct further research for you.Please don't forget to enter a rating by clicking on one of the five boxes at the top of this reply. We are not employees of Just Answer, and only receive credit for assisting you when the rating is positive.