Property laws can be complicated, and it’s no wonder that disputes over ownership rights and certain entitlements can get confused over time. That’s when a quiet title action can be useful.
When applied to the title of a property, the term “quiet” means that this civil action is meant to silence all other claims against the property except for the plaintiff’s as well as any discrepancies in the official record that may be causing the plaintiff trouble.
When is a quiet title action useful?
Essentially, quiet title actions are used whenever a property owner wants to establish clear ownership of a piece of real estate. Sometimes, these are adversarial proceedings (with both a plaintiff and an active defendant), but they’re often uncontested because the potential defendants are either long out of the picture, disinterested or unknown.
Some common scenarios that give rise to quiet title actions include the following:
- An error is found on the deed, whether it’s a misspelled name or a missing signature.
- There are old liens on the title that were never properly cleared when they were paid.
- There is something wrong with the description of the property, like its boundary lines.
- The home was obtained through a foreclosure sale or inheritance, and the current owner needs to establish their right to sell, transfer or take a loan against the property.
- The home was part of an estate, and the owner wants to quash any claims from other potential heirs down the line.
- There’s an easement on the property that the owner wants to end for some reason.
These are, of course, just examples. Any time you find yourself in a situation where there’s a question about the title to a piece of property, it may be time to discuss a quiet title action.