Phillips & Angley

What title issues could cause land use setbacks?

As you and many others in Massachusetts know, buying any type of real estate is a major risk. If you want to develop a piece of property or plan to use it as commercial space, you do not want to wind up facing unnecessary title issues.

Unfortunately, title issues are not uncommon, and if you do not do your part in ensuring that you have a clean title, you may face unnecessary setbacks and considerable damages to your project or business. Fortunately, a title search can often help uncover potential problems and possibly allow you to avoid a detrimental real estate purchase.

Common title issues

Having a clean title is a best-case scenario for real estate developers and commercial property owners. Of course, you may not have the luck of landing in a best-case scenario. Some title issues that could affect your property or prospective property include the following:

  • Unknown liens: If the property accrued debt under the former owners, liens could exist against the property, which may carry over even after the property becomes yours.
  • Forged documents: Forgeries and fabricated documents on public record could easily cause a myriad of title issues for you, including blurring the actual ownership of the property.
  • Filing errors: The public record is not always mistake-free, and filing errors could cause you major headaches.
  • Unknown easements: When easements on property exist, they can limit your use of that property. Checking a title for land easements may prevent you from thinking you can use land in ways that you may not.
  • False impersonation: It may seem outlandish, but some unscrupulous parties may attempt to falsely impersonate property owners in order to benefit from property sales. If such falsehoods are discovered, you could lose your claim to the property.
  • Missing heirs: Though you may have purchased property fairly and outright, previously undiscovered heirs could later lay claim to the property. As a result, you could wind up fighting for property you already purchased.

Facing title issues is no walk in the park, and your land use endeavors could face major setbacks as a result. Fortunately, a land use attorney can help you explore potential title issues before you purchase property and help you with any problems that may arise later. Developing property may be your livelihood, and you do not want to contend with any unnecessary issues on your own.

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