3 ways a quiet title action can benefit a property owner

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions

Judges can use their authority to correct state records and protect someone’s real property ownership interest. A quiet title action is when a property owner asks a judge to review and correct issues with a property’s title records.

New York County Recorder offices maintain thorough records of property ownership and the deeds that have transferred parcels and the improvements on them from one owner to the next. Sometimes, mistakes in those records necessitate a quiet title action so that the owner doesn’t have to worry about outside claims and can prepare for upcoming financial transactions.

What can a property owner potentially achieve by filing a quiet title action in New York?

The removal of a name from title

There may have already been a deed executed removing one party from the title for the property, but the records may not reflect that change. Whether someone sold their interest in the property or died, the other owners of the property may need to ask the courts to remove them from the title. Quiet title actions can result in the state records accurately reflecting the current owner.

The elimination of an old or paid lien

Maybe the previous owner of the property had a home equity line of credit that they paid off before transferring the property to the new owner. However, the lien still shows up and has prevented the current owner from securing a second mortgage to fund property improvements. Maybe it was a mechanic’s lien on record because there was a delay in paying the roofer for services provided, but there is clear proof that someone has paid off the lien. Provided that there is appropriate documentation affirming the resolution of the lien, a quiet title action can lead to a judge removing a lien recorded against the property.

The removal or revision of an easement

Easements exist for many different purposes. Sometimes, they give an adjacent property owner the right to use someone’s driveway or well. Other times, they give utility companies access to power lines. Easements sometimes become unnecessary as infrastructure changes, or their current use may differ from the use of the time that someone initially recorded the easement. Quiet title action can help someone either remove an easement that no longer applies to the property or update the recorded easement to reflect the current arrangement between the property owner and the party with easement rights.

When successful, a quiet title action can correct state records to better preserve someone’s ownership interests. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about real estate regulations can help those who are dealing with a title issue or other challenges related to real property.