Many laws govern land ownership, and it is vital to know about the processes and rights of landowners so that you can avoid the risk of partaking in an illegal sale or getting involved in a scam. Before you can transfer the rights to a property, it is critical to know some facts about land titles.
What is a ‘Land Title’?
A land title is a formal document that shows what rights a person or group of people have over a piece of property. A land title is generally used to prove ownership of the property. It can also help a potential buyer to know what exactly is going on with their land such as the usage rights, natural resource rights, easements, existing liens and other rights that may not be obvious at a glance. If a property title does not bear the name of the seller, there is a chance that it may belong to another party.
Most local courthouses keep property records of a county and record all forms of land transfers that happen in that region. Whenever there is a dispute over a piece of land, a land title will provide clarity regarding ownership and other usage rights.
When considering land titles, here are some essential facts to know:
A Title is Not the Same as a Deed
A deed is a document that is used to transfer a land title from one person to another. The deed states all the terms of the land transfer and all the people involved. The local country office must have a notarized copy of a deed agreement before the title can reflect the changes in ownership.
A Title Proves Ownership
During a legal argument, the key document that the court refers to when determining the real ownership of a property is the land title. The absence of a title means that the court will not acknowledge any contract or deed related to the property.
Property Owners Should Secure Their Land Titles
If you lose your original land title, it will cause a lot of complications for you in the future. It is best to store land titles and other property ownership documents in a safe place like a bank safety deposit box or fireproof home safe. Having quick access to your land title will help to make land negotiations easier.
Title Searches Help to Reveal Potential Problems
During a title search, the investigator will peruse many years of documentation to make sure that everything is right with the property. A title search can protect a potential buyer from paying the wrong party for a property, buying a property with unresolved tax payments or liens that can invalidate land ownership transactions.
If you’re looking to purchase land in your area, talk to your real estate agent about the best property for your needs.