Dealing with Missing or Imperfect Title Records: A Practical Guide for Florida Property Buyers
July 02, 2023
When it comes to buying property in Florida, the ability to obtain clear title is essential. Unfortunately, due to a variety of circumstances, it is not always easy to obtain title records or have them in good condition. This guide is designed to provide a practical approach to dealing with imperfect or missing title records.
One common issue is that title records may contain errors. These errors may include omissions, typos, or outdated information. The first step in dealing with imperfect title records is to obtain a title search. This is typically conducted by a title services company and involves a thorough review of title records to ensure accuracy. Once the title search is complete, the title services company will provide an updated title report. This report will contain a detailed list of all of the title records, including any errors.
Another issue that may arise is the absence of title records. This can occur when a property has changed hands several times and no title records exist for the most recent owner. In this situation, the title services company may advise using the doctrine of “adverse possession”. This is a legal principle that allows a person to gain title to a property by occupying it for a certain period of time without the permission of the rightful owner. This period of occupation must meet certain requirements and is subject to local laws.
Once all of the title records are in order, a title insurance policy may be obtained. This is an important step as it provides assurance that the title is free and clear of any liens, encumbrances, or other legal claims. This is critical to ensure that the property is legally protected and that the title is clean. Title insurance is usually obtained through a title services company and will provide financial protection if any claims are made against the title of the property.
Dealing with imperfect or missing title records can be a complicated process, but the right title services company can help make it happen. By taking the time to understand the process and working with a reputable title services company, buyers in Florida can rest assured that their title is secure.