What Is A Quiet Title Action In Florida?
What Is a Quiet Title Action?
A quiet title action is a lawsuit typically filed in circuit court in Florida to remove “clouds” surrounding a title to real property. It is typically done either to remove claims to real property from past owners and past lien holders or to clear up questions of ownership of a piece of property that have resulted over the passage of time. The idea of the quiet title action is to bar those previous owners or lien holders from being able to claim any ownership or interest in the property and have you declared as the only party with an interest in the title (along with your lien holder, if applicable).
What Are Clouds On Title?
Clouds on title are typically defined as either claims that previous owners may have to a piece of property or claims that a previous lien holder may have. These are important to you as a new owner of a property insomuch as you will not be able to obtain title insurance on your property if the title is clouded. Clouded titles often occur when a property is sold at a tax deed sale as well as when properties are recorded incorrectly through the local property office. For example, if you bought a subdivided property that is legally described as Blk 8, Lot 12, Unit 7 and the deed is recorded for Blk 8, Lot 12, Unit 1, the true owner of Unit 1 would now have a clouded title because you, too, have now been recorded as an owner of Unit 1. Unless you agreed to re-record the deed correctly, the true owner of Unit 1 could bring a quiet title action to show that she was, in fact, the true owner of Unit 1 and you were listed as an owner as a recording mistake.
Why File A Quiet Title Action?
Imagine if you bought a property that had been subdivided a number of times in the past. John Doe was the original owner and subdivided the original parcel into 5 smaller parcels, called Lots 1-5. He willed Lots 1-4 to his children and Lot 5 was sold off before he died. Lot 5 was subdivided into Lots 1 and 2. You have purchased Lot 1 of what was originally Lot 5. If all of the properties were recorded properly, there might not be an issue. However, assume your Lot 1 was recorded as Doe Parcel Subdivision, Lot 1 and the original Lot 1 was recorded in an identical fashion, which is, unfortunately, highly possible. When it comes time to obtain title insurance, you might well have to quiet your title because the child of John Doe who inherited the original Lot 1 could be seen as having a claim on your Lot 1 and the title insurance company will not issue a policy on your new property.
All of this may sound incredibly confusing. If you have ever gone to the local property office in Miami or Coral Gables and looked through plat books, you know that it is confusing. You could be relying on documents that are ancient, indistinct and/or just plain wrong. Property recordation over the past decades was not a hard science and all manner of processes were used. In order to be secure in your ownership of your new property, you need to be able to be assured that your title is clear and that takes experience and knowledge is such matters. If you are in a situation where you think you may have a clouded title, contact the attorneys at P.A. Bravo today at (305) 209-9019 to begin exploring your options in this confusing landscape. This small firm is dedicated to client service and battling to get you the results you deserve.