Five Common Issues with Real Property Titles

Legal Article

Five Common Issues with Real Property Titles

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, title issues can arise when purchasing or selling real estate. Further, legal issues relating to the title of a property can slow, suspend, or completely stop real estate transactions. Additionally, these issues may arise after a property has been purchased. With a variety of different title issues affecting real estate transactions, experts estimate that about 11 percent of closing issues revolve around problems with the property title.

The best way to avoid issues with property titles is to enlist an attorney that specializes in real estate to conduct a title search. A title search is the most effective way to clear up any issues with the title of a property that could affect the sale or purchase of a property. Below are the five most common real property title issues.

Common Title Issues

Before you can resolve real property title issues, you must first identify them. Below are some of the most common issues people face with real property titles.

Errors in Public Records

In certain cases, there could be an error in the public record regarding your property title. These errors could stem from either clerical or filing errors. Further, if there is an issue in the public record, it could affect the deed or survey of your property and will require you to place a substantial amount of time and money into fixing the issue.

Unknown Liens

Previous owners of your property may not have paid their bills or kept records of the bills they missed. Even if these bills are not under your name, financing companies can place a lien on the property. These financial institutions can even create a lien after you sell the property. If you are considering purchasing a distressed property, you should be especially cognizant of this issue.

Undiscovered Encumbrances

When purchasing a property, a third party holds a claim to all or part of your property. Whether this encumbrance is due to a former mortgage, lien, or non-financial claim, it could limit the use of your property.

Unknown Easements

While you may own your home and its surrounding land, an unknown easement may prohibit you from using your property or could allow government agencies, businesses, or other parties to access all or portions of your property.

Boundary and Survey Disputes

You will likely have seen multiple surveys of the property prior to purchasing your home. However, different surveys may show different boundaries. Thus, a neighbor may be able to claim ownership or use a portion of your property.  

Contact Our DC Law Office for More Information

Finally, for more information on common title problems with real property, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Additionally, for general information regarding real estate law, check out our blog