Review Your Title Coverage
In the realm of real estate law, we often consider the policy of title insurance one of the most important documents that an individual will obtain when purchasing real property. I have previously discussed the importance of title policies here and here. At the risk of belaboring the point, I again write a new post to emphasize the importance of title insurance. It is truly that critical when it comes to property ownership.
A title policy can inform property owners of numerous different issues that affect their title, including easements, restrictive covenants, joint maintenance obligations, encroachments, liens, deeds of trust, judgments, and much more. Title policies provide property owners with a wealth of information regarding the obligations and issues involved with the real property that they own.
During a real estate purchase, the prospective title policy (often a preliminary title commitment) is arguably even more valuable because it offers prospective buyers with a snapshot of the issues affecting the property they seek to purchase. Indeed, title issues can present complexities that go beyond the experience of real estate agents, and many agents will recommend consultation with a real estate attorney to address more complex title questions. Understanding the preliminary commitment means a better insight into the condition of the property to be purchased. Indeed, understanding the title policy can similarly help a property seller to identify the possible concerns of potential buyers when they go to sell their property down the road, and to market their property accordingly.
However, title policies are not all about buying and selling real estate. Understanding the title policy during ownership helps property owners to avoid surprises when dealing with various obligations that may arise – whether those obligations come from a homeowner’s association, from a covenant with neighbors, or from potential easement or boundary issues. If knowledge is power, then the title policy provides an owner with a very powerful resource.
Finally, understanding one’s title policy allows a property owner to seek assistance from the title company through a title claim where appropriate. An owner can file a claim with the title company if title insurance should provide coverage for a particular issue. As mentioned in my previous blog post as well, title issues can involve significant expense. A successful title claim can ensure that the title company will assist in addressing covered issues, whether through payment, coverage of attorney’s fees, or appointment of defense counsel.
The lawyers at Beresford Booth have significant experience in identifying, addressing, and litigating title issues, as well as in preparing and pursuing title claims. If you need any assistance with understanding your title policy, or with addressing any concerns regarding your property generally, please do not hesitate to contact us.