A Closer Look at Property Title

Advice November 16, 2022

Many clients are not aware of issues that may arise on title. This is mostly when they have never had to overcome such obstacles – fortunately for them. Sometimes, there are unknown liens or other instruments on title, that affect the free and clear use & enjoyment of a property. It is crucial that you employ the expertise of a local realtor, who may have insight on local ongoings, can research historic listing information, and catch red flags when they may be present and visible. It is also essential to use a reputable lawyer who can facilitate any title searches in a timely, thorough fashion and rectify pertinent issues, or explain and set you up with protection for such a scenario, for your closing.

Some important considerations:
• survey the neighbourhood | see if you can connect with direct neighbours to get a feel for the relationship they’ve had with an owner, and whether anything like easements, right-of-ways, encroachments, or other instruments that may be on title come up in discussion
• ask for surveys in offers | oftentimes, sellers don’t have them but they may exist as a public record and for a nominal fee, you can purchase them online
• ask your lawyer to conduct a title search during any conditional periods or include such a condition, if there are concerns
• obtain title insurance | this is arranged with your lawyer, but ensure you understand what is covered by this very common insurance that no one ever asks about until there is a land title issue
• contract your own, up-to-date survey after closing | it’s a cost, but a valuable document to have, and will help you when conducting many exterior projects down the road

Every property is different and presents its own quirks. We’re here to help navigate these considerations.