Real estate transactions can be complicated, and not every real estate deal proceeds as smoothly as it should. That can cause uncertainties about ownership interests and legal disputes down the line that can be hard to resolve without a quiet title action.
A quiet title action is a legal proceeding that is designed to eliminate clouds on a title and establish clear ownership rights over the piece of real estate in question, putting all other potential ownership claims over the property to rest.
When is a quiet title action useful?
Quite often, the problems that lead to a quiet title action are first discovered during the due diligence phase of a property purchase, whether the property is being bought for personal use or as an investment. Quiet title actions can be useful when:
- The property is being sold after the previous owner’s death through an estate sale and there are heirs who cannot be located or there are other uncertainties about the estate
- There are disputes or questions about who truly has ownership, such as when the property has been passed down through successive generations of a family without a clear title
- There is a known defect or error in the property’s title, such as an incorrect legal description, recording mistakes by prior owners or missing signatures from previous transfers
- There are boundary disputes with a neighbor or there are questions about the property line and you need to be certain where the property lies in relation to your neighbors
- There are encumbrances on the property, like easements that are not properly recorded or a lien that should have been removed long ago, and you’re looking to avoid future issues
- The property was obtained through a tax sale process and you want to make sure that you have a clear and marketable title
Sometimes a quiet title action is the only way to resolve a property dispute, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Learning more about your legal options can help you ultimately find the best path forward to a clear title with minimal delays and maximum results.