What issues may arise when clearing a property title?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Blog, Real Estate |

If you wish to buy or sell a property, you must first clear the title. This requires resolving any disputes to ensure there will be no legal complications in the future.

Property title issues can arise when there are problems with the ownership of a property. They can range from simple errors to complex disputes.


A cloud on the title is a claim or encumbrance that affects the title. It may not be immediately apparent. This can include old liens, unresolved easements or undisclosed heirs. Clearing a cloud on the title typically involves conducting a title search to uncover any hidden issues and taking steps to resolve them, such as paying off a lien or contacting heirs for them to sign off on the property.


A defect is a problem with the title documents. This can include errors in the legal description of the property, improper document recording or missing signatures. Resolving a title defect often requires filing corrective documents with the appropriate government agency.

Conflicting claims

Title disputes can also arise when there are conflicting claims to ownership of a property. This might happen when there are competing deeds, boundary disputes or claims of adverse possession. Resolving this type of problem often involves negotiation between the parties. Litigation may also be necessary to determine ownership.


Ideally, the parties will clear all issues with a title before the sale. However, it is possible for something unexpected to happen, which is why title insurance is advisable. It can help protect against undiscovered title issues.

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