Title Claims - Importance of Checking Legal Descriptions

A common underlying cause of claims is an error in the legal description. Mistakes of this type can result in omitted parcels, unpaid taxes, erroneous conveyances, overlaps, and/or title disputes.

When reviewing a file for closing, members must review the legal description on the commitment against the prior deeds. If a survey is being provided at the closing, the legal description on the survey must also be compared against the commitment.

Members should keep the following questions in mind when reviewing the legal description:

  • Does the property descrived on the sales contract match the legal shown on the commitment, deeds, and survey?
    • Ex. Sales contract lists the property dimensions as 50 x 150. Survey and Commitment only show a 25 x 150 lot. There may be additional land omitted from the commitment and survey.
  • Do the calls on a metes and bounds description enclose a parcel of land?
    • Ex. Legal reads, “West 100 feet, thence North 100 feet, thence West 100 feet, then South 100 feet.” The directions on this legal do not create an enclosed area.
  • Is the seller subdividing what he owns?
    • Ex. Seller is selling lot with house to Buyer A and selling the side lot to Buyer B. The attorney must check to make sure that the description of the property on the two deeds contains only the land intended to be conveyed to the respective buyer.

If the property is a condominium, is there assigned parking? If there is assigned parking, is it a Limited Common Element? Does the parking space have its own PIN?

Posted on: Wed, 06/26/2019 - 1:00pm