LAND TITLE Title is a legal term for bundle of property rights, where others may own legal interests or equitable interests in property. The rights in a bundle may be separated and held by different persons. It may be a formal document as evidence of land ownership. Conveyance of the document may be needed to transfer land ownership to another person. The bundle of property rights may include exclusive possession, use, and enclosure. It may include access easement, water rights such as riparian and runoff, easement to neighboring property for utility lines, air rights, development rights to erect improvements, appearance rights subject to zoning ordinances and deed restrictions
POSSESSION OF LAND - Title is not the same as possession of property. Possession is often associated with land ownership, but possession may not prove land ownership. In fact, possession and title may be transferred independently of each other. Possession is the actual holding of property, whether or not a person has a right to possession hold property. Right of possession is legal by possession itself. The law upholds possession, if a better claim to land is not proven.
APPARENT PROPERTY RIGHTS - Title to property would be forever uncertain without statutes of limitations barring ancient and forgotten claims to the right of property ownership. The property buyer has right of possessing property, while property seller has an “apparent” property right, gained from earlier “apparent” property right holders (earlier owners) in the chain of title.
DEED - In real estate, the legal instrument to transfer title is a deed. A thief cannot convey good title, so title searches are routine for purchases of property. A standard Title search generally accompanied by Title Insurance may be required by law to transfer ownership.
HAVING GOOD TITLE - Having good land title means having actual land possession as a buyer, having an apparent right of land possession as received from the seller, and having a right to the property as handed down by numerous sellers in a chain of title. Most property does do not have a formal document of proof of title. Possession is the simplest indication of title, unless circumstances give rise to suspicion about the possessor's ownership. Proof of legal acquisition, such as a bill of sale or purchase receipt, is helpful. Transfer of possession to a good faith purchaser will normally convey title if no document is required. Legal title is that which is recognized by a Court of Law.
LEGAL RIGHT TO LAND - When a buyer purchases land and finances it, the buyer becomes the listed owner of the land and possesses the land, but the bank has legal ownership of the land as lien holder. If the buyer defaults on the bank loan, the lien holder bank has right to repossess the land and resell it. The listed owner has possession and right of possession of the land, but the lien holder has the legal right of property.
QUIET TITLE ACTION - A Quiet title action is litigation to settle competing claims or rights to real property. This is done to establish a person’s title to real property against all others to "quiet" any challenger to claims of title. This action is brought to remove a cloud on the title so plaintiff may forever be free of claims against the property. This lawsuit is sometimes called a Try title or Ejectment action to recover possession of land wrongfully occupied by a defendant. An ejectment action is done to remove a tenant or lessee in an eviction action, or an eviction after a foreclosure.
Grounds for quiet title action may be that ownership (title) of land is defective, typically where title to property is ambiguous, for instance where land was conveyed by quitclaim deed which owner disclaimed all interest, but it does not guarantee good title conveyed. Such an action may also be brought to dispel another party's claim of a nonpossessory interest in land, such as an easement by prescription.
Other grounds for Quiet Title Action:
Adverse possession where new possessor sues to obtain title in their name
Fraudulent conveyance of a property by forged deed or coercion
Torrens title registration to terminate all unrecorded claims
Taxation where municipality claims title in lieu of back taxes owed
Buyer obtains insurable title after to tax sale of forfeited land
Boundary disputes between government or private parties
Competing claims by remainders, missing heirs and lien holders
Quiet title actions are derive from common law, and are supplanted by statute law. Quiet title actions do not clear title completely, but rather they clear a particular or perceived title defect. This is contrasted with Title registration which settles all title issues known and unknown. A quiet title action is also subject to Statute of Limitations often 10 or 20 years.
SQUATTER - Squatting is the act of occupying abandoned or unoccupied space or a building that a squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use. Squatting may be viewed as a civil conflict between owner and occupant. However, property law favors the property owner . But, where squatters have de facto ownership, laws may legitimize their status. Squatters often claim rights over spaces they have squatted by virtue of occupation, rather than ownership. Therefore, squatting is potentially one necessary condition of adverse possession, by which a possessor of real property without title may eventually gain legal title to the real property.