If you have found your little piece of Florida paradise, you are probably looking forward to years of comfortable and carefree living. Of course, if someone comes out of the woodwork to say that he or she owns some or all of your property, your dream may quickly turn into a nightmare. Fortunately, state law likely allows you to bring an action to quiet title.
In simple terms, with a quiet title suit, you ask a judge to declare you the exclusive owner of a piece of real property. While having an official order designating you as the owner is both useful and meaningful, there are some other reasons to file a quiet title suit. Here are three of them:
1. Adverse possession
While buying property from its owner is the conventional way to gain ownership, you may also adversely possess a parcel. If you do so for the statutory period, you become the owner. Still, to protect your ownership interest, you may want to file a quiet title action. The same is true for prescriptive easements.
If you inherited property, there may be some question as to its legitimate owner. That is, other heirs may have an ownership interest. As an alternative to a prolonged probate process, you may consider pursuing a quiet title action.
3. Title insurance and tax sales
For a variety of reasons, you may need to purchase title insurance. Regrettably, without waiting a long time, you may have difficulty obtaining title insurance for a property you bought in a tax sale. To speed things along, asking a court to quiet title is usually an effective approach.
While many real estate transactions leave few questions about the title, others are murkier. Fortunately, Florida law has a way to officially establish your ownership interest. By knowing when to file a suit to quiet title, you can better protect your property investment.