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Change in Ownership

The Revenue and Taxation Code defines change in ownership as “a transfer of a present interest in real property, including the beneficial use thereof, the value of which is substantially equal to the value of the fee interest”.

However, either by legislation or voter initiative, several types of transfers are excluded from reassessment. Listed below are those most commonly occurring. Please contact the Assessor’s Office for additional information regarding change in ownership.

Ownership:
  • Change In Vesting

    Any transfer between co-owners that results in a change in the method of holding title to the real property transferred without changing the proportional interests of the co-owners is excluded (i.e. change from joint tenancy to tenancy in common).

  • No Change To Proportional Ownership Interests

    Generally, transfers between individuals and a legal entity or between legal entities that result solely in a change in the method of holding title, and in which proportional interests of the transferors and transferees remain exactly the same, are excluded.

  • Trusts

    The transfer by the trustor/trustor’s spouse into a trust for so long as (1) the transferor is the present beneficiary of the trust or (2) the trust is revocable or any transfer by a trustee of such a trust back to the trustor is excluded.

  • Estate For Years/Life

    Any transfer whose terms reserve to the transferor an estate for years/life is excluded.

  • Joint Tenancy Creation

    The creation of a joint tenancy, if all the transferors are among the joint tenants, is excluded from change in ownership.

  • Leases

    The creation of a leasehold interest in taxable real property for a term of less than 35 years (including renewal options), the termination of a leasehold interest in taxable real property which had an original term of less than 35 years (including renewal options), and any transfer of a leasehold interest having a remaining term of less than 35 years (including renewal options) are excluded from change in ownership.

  • Parent/Child Exclusion

    Transfers between parents and children occurring on or after November 6, 1986 may be eligible for exclusion from reassessment. The property must be transferred from parents to their children or children to their parents, and a claim form must be filed with the Assessor timely as provided by statute. The exclusion applies to the principal residence, as defined, or the first $1,000,000 assessed value of other real property.


    Some transfers from grandparents to grandchildren may also be excluded. The transfer must occur on or after March 27, 1996 and the parent of the grandchild who is the child of the grandparent must be deceased as of the transfer date. A claim form must also be filed timely with the Assessor to qualify for this exclusion.


    Contact the Assessor for more information regarding these exclusions.  


    This form is available online. Click here to go to the form.

  • Property Replaced After Acquisition By Public Entity

    Change in Ownership does not include the acquisition of real property as a replacement for comparable property if the original property was located in California and acquired by eminent domain, acquisition by a public entity, or by governmental action resulting in a judgment of inverse condemnation. A claim form must be timely filed with the Assessor to qualify for this exclusion.

  • Interspousal Exclusion

    Transfers of property between spouses are excluded from reassessment, including transfers between former spouses in connection with a property settlement or decree of dissolution of a marriage.

  • Domestic Partnership

    Effective with transfers occurring on or after January 1, 2006, any transfer between registered domestic partners is excluded from reassessment.

  • Replacement Dwelling Exclusion: Claimant Over 55

    Effective November 5, 1986 and provided certain requirements are met, any person who is at least 55 years of age (at the time of sale of original/former property) who resides in a property eligible for the Homeowners Exemption or currently receiving the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption is allowed to transfer the base-year value of the original property to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value within the same county. “Original property” and “replacement dwelling” are defined for this exclusion as a building, structure, or other shelter constituting a place of abode which is owned and occupied by a claimant as the principal place of residence, and “land” includes only that area of reasonable size which is used as a site for a residence.


    A claim form must be filed for this exclusion within 3 years of the date a replacement dwelling is purchased or new construction of that replacement dwelling is completed. Some counties, by ordinance, do allow the exclusion even if the original residence was in another county. However, the acquisition of the replacement dwelling must occur on or after the date specified in that county’s ordinance.


    Please contact the Assessor for more information regarding this exclusion.


    This form, including instructions, is available online. Please click here.

  • Replacement Dwelling Exclusion: Claimant Disabled

    Effective June 6, 1990 and provided certain requirements are met, any person who is severely and permanently disabled, as defined, at the time of sale of original/former residence and who resides in a property eligible for the Homeowners’ Exemption or currently receiving the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption is allowed to transfer the base-year value of the principal residence to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value within the same county.


    A claim form must be filed for this exclusion within 3 years of the date a replacement dwelling is purchased or new construction of that replacement dwelling is completed. Some counties, by ordinance, do allow the exclusion even if the original residence was in another county. However, the acquisition of the replacement dwelling must occur on or after the date specified in that county’s ordinance.


    Please contact the Assessor for more information regarding this exclusion.

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