ISSUES IN OWNERSHIP OF REAL ESTATE
U.S.A. - ARKANSAS
Rose Law Firm
Stephen N. Joiner
Rose Law Firm
120 East Fourth Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Tel: 501.377.0329 / Fax: 501.375.1309
Web Site: www.roselawfirm.com
1. Is perpetual fee simple ownership of real property permitted? If not, what are the
principal forms of ownership, or other principal form of ownership, of real property?
Yes, fee simple absolute property ownership is permitted in Arkansas.
2. What instruments are used to convey fee simple ownership, or other principal form of
ownership, of real estate?
A deed is used to convey ownership of real estate. Ark. Code Ann. § 18-12-102. All deeds
are construed to convey a complete estate of inheritance in fee simple unless expressly
limited by appropriate words in the deed. Ark. Code Ann. § 18-12-105.
3. How in this jurisdiction is the ownership of real property recorded or searched? Who
generally performs the search?
Ownership of real property is recorded by filing the deed with the circuit clerk of the county
in which the property is located. The circuit clerk maintains a grantor/grantee deed index,
which is the most common method of searching title. While a title search may be conducted
by an attorney, a title search generally is conducted by a title examiner working for a title
Act 648 of the 2007 Arkansas General Assembly, which is effective January 1, 2008,
transferred regulation of title insurance to the State Insurance Department. This Act
established the Arkansas Title Insurance Act (codified at Ark. Code Ann. § 23-103-401),
which among other things, requires a title search to review all matters affecting title to the
property to be insured for a continuous period of not less than thirty years.
4. What assurances of ownership are available to purchasers of real property (e.g., title
insurance or title opinions)? What is