You are buying (or selling) a home (or business property), or you are entering into a long-term (for example, 50 years, 99 years) lease of property. On such a sale, Oregon law requires that either the land sale contract or a memorandum of the contract must be recorded within 15 days after the signing of the contract. As to long-term leases, another Oregon law permits (but does not require) the recording of the lease or a memorandum of the lease.
Parties to these sale and long-term lease agreements often opt for recording a memorandum of the sale or lease, rather than recording the entire contract or lease. This reduces the cost of recording (counties charge by the page, and memoranda are generally shorter documents) and provides privacy protection because the memorandum contains only the names of the parties, the description of the property and the consideration (amount paid).
However, there is a significant risk involved in recording only a memorandum, rather than the full contract or lease. Parties to contracts and leases often lose the original contract or lease that was signed by the parties. If later there is a problem, such as where the buyer or tenant stops making payments or doing other things required under the contract or lease, it is very difficult to prove just what the buyer or tenant is required to do under the contract or lease.
So as a general matter, we recommend that the original contract or lease be recorded, as opposed to recording a memorandum.