If you’re wondering what a quiet title is, you’re likely dealing with a dispute over property and who actually owns it. You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to walk you through what a quiet title is and how the action can settle any disputes over land ownership.
A title for property is similar to a title for vehicles: it provides proof as to who owns the property. You will need proof of ownership when selling a property and you will obtain a title when you purchase property.
What situations call for a quiet title?
A buyer or seller can move for a quiet title action if a dispute is found or even in a precautionary move to prevent future disputes. The quiet title action is a lawsuit or legal process to get clarity on who owns either an entire property or just a portion of it. Examples include:
- Property boundary or survey disputes
- Previous property purchases are found to be improper (including clerical errors)
- Property transfers in a will following death
- Property purchases during a tax or lien sale
- Property transfers disputed by previous owners
- Fraudulent transfer of property
- Encroachment on property by nearby property owners
These are just some of the many situations where property disputes may arise, but it’s important to understand a quiet title generally relates to actual ownership disputes OR situations where clerical errors are present. Ownership disputes are often a more lengthy process whereas clerical errors are often easily fixed and clarified.
If you believe you need to file a title action, you will have the burden of proof. To avoid costly legal disputes where you don’t get the desired result, be sure you have all the necessary evidence and the right lawyer by your side before you officially file a complaint.
How to avoid quiet title action
It’s in the best interest of both parties of a property transaction to avoid a quiet title action. There are ways to avoid it both on an individual level and between both parties.
The best way to avoid quiet title action is to double and triple-check all paperwork during the purchase. Some disputes are avoided simply by ensuring consistency across all forms. However, we understand mistakes can happen. Those mistakes don’t need to end in a legal dispute.
For example, a boundary dispute can often be resolved by speaking with the neighboring property owners and coming to an agreement on where the boundary actually lies. Clerical errors are often easily solvable by working with all parties involved in filing the original paperwork and understanding what was intended.
Contact a lawyer if you’re involved in a quiet title action
Whether you’re the filing party or someone is bringing a quiet title action against you, you will need the right lawyer by your side. At Pence Law Firm, we believe our experience speaks for itself. Contact us today for a free 30-minute phone consultation and get your case on track. We want to help people protect what they’ve grown.