Change In Ownership

A change in ownership includes almost all transfers of title in real property. Under Proposition 13, real property is reappraised for a change in ownership.

Some changes in ownership are excluded from reappraisal; see Exclusions for more details.

Note: It is advisable to consult an attorney or other expert before changing your present or future ownership of property. The Assessor's Office cannot give legal advice; it can only explain which transfers shall be reappraised.

A Deed is the most commonly used document to convey ownership of property from one party to another. Most deeds will cause a reassessment of some kind unless an exclusion applies.
see Exclusions for more details

A contract that conveys ownership, or a portion of ownership, from one party to another is considered a change in ownership, regardless of whether or not it was recorded. Upon discovery by the Assessor, the unrecorded contract will be evaluated. If it is determined that the property was under-assessed due to an unrecorded contract of sale, the Assessor must go back and issue escaped assessments for the effected years.

The creation of a long term lease is a change in ownership and is defined in section 61 of the California R&T code as: The creation of a leasehold interest in taxable real property for a term of 35 years or more (including renewal options).

Any individual, group, or corporation that has exclusive use of publicly owned property is subject to a possessory interest assessment.
This form is required by State Law to be filed for all property transfers. A fee will be charged if the completed form is not filed at the time of recording. If the form is not filed, or is not filled out completely, the Assessor is then required to mail a "Change of Ownership Statement". Failure to return this statement will result in penalties. This form is used to assist in the appraisal of property and is not open for public inspection.
For further assistance, contact the Change In Ownership department of the Assessor's Office.