A property’s title is a term used to describe a bundle of rights which its owner has to his property. There are a variety of rights to property, such as the rights of possession, rights to development under certain restrictions, rights to easements by the city or by neighbours, etc. While all these rights are attached to the property and are legal, things like easements which may interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the property, infractions on development requirements and restrictions posed by bylaws, encroachments of property partitions onto the neighbour’s or the city’s property do occur and may pose legal implications upon the purchaser.
Sometimes seemingly innocent things like letting one’s neighbour to park his car on a part of one’s driveway may lead to a legally registered easement which would give that neighbour the absolute right to use part of the property for this purpose, but would not necessarily be welcomed by the buyer who would consider it a nuisance.
Utility and tax arrears form liens on the property which carry over to the new owner and become his responsibility upon the execution of Transfer/Deed of Land.
The city may have a right to parts of the property for its legal use for city services such as putting power lines, communication lines, water pipes, or sewer pipes, and the new buyer, without knowing it, would be legally obliged to provide access to the property for city’s use.
To prevent the occurrence of negative implications of any sort, Title Search is commonly performed on the property being purchased and needs to be reviewed by a lawyer who is working on the purchase transaction. The main purpose of a Title Search is to determine the answer to these three questions:
- Is the seller legally allowed to convey or sell the property?
- What allowances or restrictions is the property subject to? This includes things like real covenants, easements, or other servitudes.
- Is the property subject to any liens which need to be paid off at closing? These are things like mortgages, back taxes, mechanic’s liens, utilities, or other assessments.
ESC now offers online access to Title Searching via our eService.