9 Common Issues with Land Titles to Prepare For

If you’ve recently purchased a property, congratulations! But are you prepared for a property title dispute? While it may surprise you, land title issues are pretty common.

Wondering what to keep an eye out to be safe? Here are 9 common land title issues you should anticipate.

1. Survey Disputes

Boundary disputes are actually rather common. Even if you see a survey of the land covered by the property title, there may be other surveys out there. These may result in allowing your neighbors to claim your property. If you can, try to ask your property neighbors for surveys of their land as well. 

2. Public Record Errors

A simple clerical error could cause a whole lot of problems. A few errors in public records can cause a significant delay. It can even result in a full-scale investigation into the true land ownership.

3. Forgery

Be wary of falsified documents. Sometimes a property tile is forged or fabricated. That means that the true owner of the property is brought into question.

If the deed information is associated with fraud, it will take time to track and correct these documents. Additionally, it might result in legal questions about your right to the property.

4. Illegal Chain of Title

A chain of title has the name of every single past owner of the property. But if anyone claimed ownership illegally, current or future ownership is questionable. Illegal ownership includes minors, individuals of unsound mind, and undocumented immigrants.

5. Liens

Prior owners of your property title may have accrued debts they never paid. Even if it’s not your debt, financing companies can still place liens on the property even with a new owner. This can result in a halt in any plans for the property.

6. Heirs That Are Missing

Typically, bequeathing property to an heir is a simple process, as long as it’s outlined in a will. But sometimes those heirs can’t be located. Or other family members may petition for the property for themselves.

If this happens, the property’s plans are halted until establishing legal ownership.

7. Encumbrances

After buying a property, you may later find out that a third party holds some claim to your property. This could be due to mortgages, liens, or several other reasons.

The result may be that you don’t actually own your property. Or it may mean that you have restrictions on how you use that property.

8. Easements

Easements can limit how you use the property, be that all or part of it. It may also give groups like government agencies and businesses access to some or all of your land. Note that this usually is not a financial issue.

9. Missing Will

Finally, if a property owner dies without any heir or will, the state is free to sell his or her assets. But if you buy a property in this way, be wary that the will may come into light at a later date. This could jeopardize the rights to your property.

Need Help with Your Property Title?

Are you having a property title dispute? Consider a real estate lawyer. Manfred Sternberg & Associates has over 30 years of experience working with real estate litigation.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today for a free consultation!

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