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Real Estate Tip – “Signed and Sealed” Still Makes a Difference
February 1, 2013

In many states, including Maine, “signed and sealed” documents may be enforced for a longer period of time than documents that are not sealed. The statute of limitations for sealed documents may be 20 years, but only six years for documents without a seal. This means that a suit may be brought by landlord or tenant for many years longer than what is typical. Landlords suing for back rent may be limited to a shorter time period, too, if the lease was not signed and sealed.

This brings us to a simple but important practice tip: Don’t rely only physical seals, paper, wax or imprinted. In addition to those seals, be sure to recite “this document is signed as a sealed instrument” in the body of the lease deed or other documentation.

Today’s real estate tip is brought to you by Rick Smith, a member of Bernstein Shur’s Real Estate Practice Group. Stay tuned for more useful tips for real estate professionals.

For more information on signed and sealed documentation, contact Rick at rsmith@bernsteinshur.com or 603 623-8700 ext. 8829 or 207 774-1200.