Quiet title actions: all you need to know

Acquiring new property is usually a cause for celebration, but it can become stressful if other parties also make claims to the property. After all, it may have taken years of scrupulous financial maneuvering to make that property acquisition possible.

How do you ensure that your property is, in fact, YOUR property? Filing a quiet title action is one efficient to do so.

What is it?

A quiet title action is a legal instrument filed with a court that, if granted, bestows clean title to the filing party. Simply put, it squashes all other competitive claims to the property.

When can it be used?

A quiet title action can be used in many different contexts.

It is particularly popular when real property is transferred by way of quit claim deed. A quit claim deed grants title but it doesn’t ensure that title is clean – people can still present hostile claims to the property. A quiet title action ensures sole title rests with the new owner.

Quiet title actions are also common in cases of adverse possession, contested boundaries, and can even be used to settle tax issues.

What doesn’t it protect against?

It doesn’t protect against defects in the property. For example, if the real property in question is a house, and that house has a leaky roof, a quiet title action does not grant the new owner recourse against the previous owner for the defective roof.

An added bonus of a quiet title action is the general lack of confrontation. They often go uncontested – all relevant parties either consent to the action or simply don’t respond to it.

However, a quiet title action should always be filed with the assistance of a real estate lawyer. Like any other legal document or instrument related to property even a small error can have far-ranging consequences that are difficult to resolve. Professional help means peace of mind now and less hair-pulling down the road.