Title (property)

In property law, a title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document, such as a deed, that serves as evidence of ownership. Conveyance of the document may be required in order to transfer ownership in the property to another person. Title is distinct from possession, a right that often accompanies ownership but is not necessarily sufficient to prove it. In many cases, possession and title may each be transferred independently of the other. For real property, land registration and recording provide public notice of ownership information.

In United States law, typically evidence of title is established through title reports written up by title insurance companies, which show the history of title (property abstract and chain of title) as determined by the recorded public record deeds;[1] the title report will also show applicable encumbrances such as easements, liens, or covenants.[2] In exchange for insurance premiums, the title insurance company conducts a title search through public records and provides assurance of good title, reimbursing the insured if a dispute over the title arises.[3] In the case of vehicle ownership, a simple vehicle title document may be issued by a governmental agency.

The main rights in the title bundle are usually:

The rights in real property may be separated further, examples including:

Possession is the actual holding of a thing, whether or not one has any right to do so. The right of possession is the legitimacy of possession (with or without actual possession), the evidence for which is such that the law will uphold it unless a better claim is proven. The right of property is that right which, if all relevant facts were known (and allowed), would defeat all other claims. Each of these may be in a different person.

For example, suppose A steals from B, what B had previously bought in good faith from C, which C had earlier stolen from D, which had been an heirloom of D's family for generations, but had originally been stolen centuries earlier (though this fact is now forgotten by all) from E. Here A has the possession, B has an apparent right of possession (as evidenced by the purchase), D has the absolute right of possession (being the best claim that can be proven), and the heirs of E, if they knew it, have the right of property, which they cannot prove. Good title consists in uniting these three (possession, right of possession, and right of property) in the same person(s).

The extinguishing of ancient, forgotten, or unasserted claims, such as E's in the example above, was the original purpose of statutes of limitations. Otherwise, title to property would always be uncertain.

Equitable versus legal title

At common law equitable title is the right to obtain full ownership of property, where another maintains legal title to the property.[4]

When a contract for the sale of land is executed, equitable [interest/title] passes to the buyer. When the conditions on the sale contract have been met, legal title passes to the buyer in what is known as closing. Some companies, such as Econohomes/Visio Financial, use this term to describe a "trailing deed". This is not the case. Properties that are sold on the basis of equitable title have a legal chain of title intact, and a recorded transfer with the local municipality.

Legal title is actual ownership of the property as when the property has been bought, the seller paid in full and a deed or title is properly recorded. Equitable title separates from legal title upon the death of the legal title holder (owner). For example: When a person having legal title to property dies, heirs at law or beneficiaries per the last will, automatically receive equitable interest in the property. When an executor or administrator qualifies, that person acquires legal title, subject to divestment when the estate has been administered so as to allow for the lawful passing of the legal title to those having an equitable interest. The resulting merger of the legal and equitable gives rise to "perfect title," often referred to as marketable title.

Legal and equitable title also arises in trust. In a trust, one person may own the legal title, such as the trustees. Another may own the equitable title such as the beneficiary.[5]

Applications

In countries with a sophisticated private property system, documents of title are commonly used for real estate, motor vehicles, and some types of intangible property. When such documents are used, they are often part of a registration system whereby ownership of such property can be verified. In some cases, a title can also serve as a permanent legal record of condemnation of property, such as in the case of an automobile junk or salvage title. In the case of real estate, the legal instrument used to transfer title is the deed. A famous rule is that a thief cannot convey good title, so title searches are routine (or highly recommended) for purchases of many types of expensive property (especially real estate). In several counties and municipalities in the US a standard title search (generally accompanied by title insurance) is required under the law as a part of ownership transfer.

Paramount title is the best title in Fee simple available for the true owner. The person who is owner of real property with paramount title has the higher (or better, or "superior") right in an action to Quiet title. The concept is inherently a relative one. Technically, paramount title is not always the best (or highest) title, since it is necessarily based on some other person's title.[6][7]

A Quiet title action is a lawsuit to settle competing claims or rights to real property, for example, missing heirs, tenants, reverters, remainders and lien holders all competing to get ownership to the house or land.[8][9] Each of the United States have different procedures for a quiet title action.[10]

However, most personal property items do not have a formal document of title. For such items, possession is the simplest indication of title, unless the circumstances give rise to suspicion about the possessor's ownership of the item. Proof of legal acquisition, such as a bill of sale or purchase receipt, is contributory. Transfer of possession to a good faith purchaser will normally convey title if no document is required.

Political issues

California prevented aliens (mainly Asians) from holding title to land until the law was declared unconstitutional in 1952.[11] Currently there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of land in the United States, although sales of real estate by non-resident aliens are subject to certain special taxation rules.

Aboriginal title

Prior to the establishment of the United States title to Indian lands in lands controlled by Britain in North America was governed by The Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763. This proclamation by King George III reserved title in land to the Indians, subject to alienation only by the Crown. This continued to be the law of Canada following the American Revolution.[12]

In the United States Indian title is the subservient title held by Native Americans in the United States to the land they customarily claimed and occupied. It was first recognized in Johnson v. M'Intosh, 21 U.S. (8 Wheat) 543 (1823).

It very early became accepted doctrine in this Court that although fee title to lands occupied by Indians when the colonists arrived became vested in the sovereign – first the discovering European nation and later the original states and the United States – a right of occupancy in the Indian tribes was nevertheless recognized. That right, sometimes called Indian Title and good against all but the sovereign, could be terminated only by sovereign act. Once the United States was organized and the Constitution adopted, these tribal rights to Indian lands became the exclusive province of the federal law. Indian title, recognized to be only a right of occupancy, was extinguishable only by the United States. Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida , 414 U.S. 661, 667 (1974).

The usual method of extinguishing Indian title was by treaty.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ American Bar Association. (1995). The American Bar Association guide to home ownership: the complete and easy guide to all the law every home owner should know. ISBN 0812925351, 9780812925357. Ch.3 sample.
  2. ^ 3 Things You Should Know About Preliminary Title Reports. ZillowBlog.
  3. ^ "What is a Title Company?". Benchmark Title Company. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013.
  4. ^ In the United States, legal titles are those that were recognized by the law courts in England. Equitable titles were those recognized by the English chancery courts. Both concepts were adopted by the various states upon their creation except, possibly, those based upon European Civil Law, such as Louisiana. Most, if not all of the states have merged the law and equity courts into a single court system, though there may still be law and chancery divisions in some of the systems.
  5. ^ "Trusts and Estates – What is the difference between legal title and equitable title?". quizlaw.com. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  6. ^ "Answers – The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions". Answers.com.
  7. ^ "Enotes: West's Law Encyclopedia". enotes.com. Archived from the original on 2006-11-21.
  8. ^ "Enotes: West's Law Encyclopedia". enotes.com. Archived from the original on 2006-11-21.
  9. ^ "Legal Dictionary – Law.com". Law.com Legal Dictionary.
  10. ^ For example, California --quiet title action
  11. ^ Sei Fujii v. State of California, 242 P.2d 718, 617 (California Supr. 1952) ("...we hold that the alien land law is invalid as in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.").
  12. ^ "Virtual Law Office: Royal Proclamation of 1763". www.bloorstreet.com.
  13. ^ "Indian Lands" Douglas Roger Nash
Adverse possession

Adverse possession, sometimes colloquially described as ‘squatter's rights’, is a legal principle under which a person who does not have legal title to a piece of property—usually land (real property)—acquires legal ownership based on continuous possession or occupation of the land without the permission of its legal owner.In general, a property owner has the right to recover possession of their property from unauthorised possessors through legal action such as ejectment. However, in the English common law tradition, courts have long ruled that when someone occupies a piece of property without permission and the property's owner does not exercise their right to recover their property for a significant period of time, not only is the original owner prevented from exercising their right to exclude, but an entirely new title to the property springs up in the adverse possessor. In effect, the adverse possessor becomes the property's new owner. Over time, legislatures have created statutes of limitations that specify the length of time that owners have to recover possession of their property from adverse possessors. In the United States, for example, these time limits vary widely between individual states, ranging from as low as five years to as many as 40 years.Although the elements of an adverse possession action are different in every jurisdiction, a person claiming adverse possession is usually required to prove non-permissive use of the property that is actual, open and notorious, exclusive, adverse and continuous for the statutory period.Personal property, traditionally known as ‘chattel’, may also be adversely possessed, but owing to the differences in the nature of real and chattel property, the rules governing such claims are rather more stringent, and favour the legal owner rather than the adverse possessor. Claims for adverse possession of chattel often involve works of art.

Boundary (real estate)

A unit of real estate or immovable property is limited by a legal boundary (sometimes also referred to as a property line or a lot line). The boundary (in Latin: limes) may appear as a discontinuation in the terrain: a ditch, a bank, a hedge, a wall, or similar, but essentially, a legal boundary is a conceptual entity, a social construct, adjunct to the likewise abstract entity of property rights.

A cadastral map displays how boundaries subdivide land into units of ownership. However, the relations between society, owner, and land in any culture or jurisdiction is conceived of in terms more complex than a tessellation. Therefore, the society concerned has to specify the rules and means by which the boundary concept is materialized and located on the ground.A 'Western' version of the operationalization might be a legally specified procedure, performed by a chartered surveyor, supported by statements from neighbors and pertinent documents, and resulting in official recording in the cadastre as well as boundary markings in the field. Alternatively, indigenous people represent boundaries through ephemeral performances, such as song and dance, and, when in more permanent form, e.g. paintings or carvings, in artistic or metaphorical manner.

Grande tête mince

Grande tête mince is a bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti. The work was conceived in 1954 and cast the following year. Auctioned in 2010, Grande tête mince became one of the most valuable sculptures ever sold when it fetched $53.3 million.

Great Māhele

The Great Māhele ("to divide or portion") or just the Māhele was the Hawaiian land redistribution proposed by King Kamehameha III.

The Great Māhele was one of the most important episodes of Hawaiian history, second only to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. While intended to provide secure title to Hawaiians, it would eventually end up separating many of them from their land.

ISO/IEC 19788

ISO/IEC 19788 Information technology – Learning, education and training – Metadata for learning resources is a multi-part standard prepared by subcommittee SC36 of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC1, Information Technology for Learning, Education and Training.

This committee was created to deal with the consequences of substantial overlap in areas of standardization done at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Land registration

Land registration generally describes systems by which matters concerning ownership, possession or other rights in land can be recorded (usually with a government agency or department) to provide evidence of title, facilitate transactions and to prevent unlawful disposal. The information recorded and the protection provided will vary by jurisdiction.

In common law countries, particularly in jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Nations, when replacing the deeds registration system, title registrations are broadly classified into two basic types: the Torrens title system and the English system, a modified version of the Torrens system.Cadastre and land registration are both types of land recording and complement each other.

Land tenure

In common law systems, land tenure is the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual, who is said to "hold" the land. It determines who can use land, for how long, and under what conditions. Tenure may be based both on official laws and policies, and on informal customs. The French verb "tenir" means "to hold" and "tenant" is the present participle of "tenir". The sovereign monarch, known as The Crown, held land in its own right. All private owners are either its tenants or sub-tenants. Tenure signifies the relationship between tenant and lord, not the relationship between tenant and land. Over history, many different forms of land ownership, i.e., ways of owning land, have been established.

A landholder/landowner is a holder of the estate in land with considerable rights of ownership or, simply put, an owner of land.

Landgate

The Western Australian Land Information Authority operates under the business name of Landgate. Formerly the Department of Land Information (DLI), the Department of Land Administration (DOLA) and the Department of Lands and Surveys (DOLS), it is the statutory authority responsible for property and land information in Western Australia.

Lord Berners

Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners (18 September 1883 – 19 April 1950), also known as Gerald Tyrwhitt, was a British composer, novelist, painter and aesthete. He is usually referred to as Lord Berners.

Property Ladder (TV series)

Property Ladder is the name of two television shows from the United Kingdom and United States where first-time property or real-estate developers purchase houses (usually in need of repair), renovate them, and attempt to sell them (or flip) for a profit. Their efforts (and frustrations) are the featured bit of the show. An expert property developer steps in to provide advice.

Quiet title

An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over property disputes, in order to establish a party's title to real property, or personal property having a title, of against anyone and everyone, and thus "quiet" any challenges or claims to the title.

This legal action is "brought to remove a cloud on the title" so that plaintiff and those in privity with him may forever be free of claims against the property. The action to quiet title resembles other forms of "preventive adjudication," such as the declaratory judgment.This genre of lawsuit is also sometimes called either a try title, trespass to try title, or ejectment action "to recover possession of land wrongfully occupied by a defendant." However, there are slight differences. In an ejectment action, it is typically done to remove a tenant or lessee in an eviction action, or an eviction after a foreclosure. Nonetheless, in some states, all terms are used synonymously.

Sales

Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods or services sold in a given time period.

The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in response to an acquisition, appropriation, requisition or a direct interaction with the buyer at the point of sale. There is a passing of title (property or ownership) of the item, and the settlement of a price, in which agreement is reached on a price for which transfer of ownership of the item will occur. The seller, not the purchaser typically executes the sale and it may be completed prior to the obligation of payment. In the case of indirect interaction, a person who sells goods or service on behalf of the owner is known as a salesman or saleswoman or salesperson, but this often refers to someone selling goods in a store/shop, in which case other terms are also common, including salesclerk, shop assistant, and retail clerk.

In common law countries, sales are governed generally by the common law and commercial codes. In the United States, the laws governing sales of goods are somewhat uniform to the extent that most jurisdictions have adopted Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, albeit with some non-uniform variations.

Schönkirchen

Schönkirchen is a municipality in the district of Plön, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

The Leonardo (Sandton)

The Leonardo is a 55 floor mixed-use property development currently under construction in Sandton that, when completed, will have reached a height of 234 metres (768 ft), 11 metres (36 ft) taller than the current tallest building in Africa. The building is being built at 75 Maude street, approximately 100 metres from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, South Africa.

It has been announced that the 2100 square metre, 3 floor penthouse apartment will go on the market for R180 million which, if sold, will make this the most expensive sectional title property ever sold in South Africa. The entire structure will cost R2 billion and consist of 200 apartments and 11 floors of commercial office.The development will include street level shops as well as an above ground podium, where a swimming pool, restaurant and several other facilities will be located.

The tower portion of the development will be built above this 4 level podium.

The design has changed significantly since it was announced and was originally scheduled to be designed by AMA architect firm and be completed by 2010.On 17 November 2015, the Leonardo began construction.By early September 2016, the 4 floor underground parking structure had reached ground level.

By mid March 2017, the core of the structure was approximately 6 floors above ground.

By late April 2018, the Leonardo was the tallest building in Sandton, exceeding the Sandton City Office tower which stands at 141 m.

Warehouse receipt

A warehouse receipt is a document that provides proof of ownership of commodities (e.g., bars of copper) that are stored in a warehouse, vault, or depository for safekeeping.

Warehouse receipts may be negotiable or non-negotiable. Negotiable warehouse receipts allow transfer of ownership of that commodity without having to deliver the physical commodity. See Delivery order.

Most warehouse receipts are issued in negotiable form, making them eligible as collateral for loans. Non-negotiable receipts must be endorsed upon transfer.

In the United States, warehouse receipts are generally regulated by Article 7 of the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted by the various jurisdictions.

Warehouse receipts also guarantee existence and availability of a commodity of a particular quantity, type, and quality in a named storage facility. It may also show transfer of ownership for immediate delivery or for delivery at a future date. Rather than delivering the actual commodity, negotiable warehouse receipts are used to settle expiring futures contracts.

Warehouse receipts may also indicate ownership of inventory goods and/or unfinished goods stored in a warehouse by a manufacturer or distributor.

Zwijndrecht, Belgium

Zwijndrecht (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzʋɛi̯ndrɛxt] (listen)) is both a village and a municipality located in the Flemish province of Antwerp, in Belgium. As well as Zwijndrecht proper, the municipality includes the village of Burcht. As of January 1, 2006, Zwijndrecht had a total population of 18,231.

The total area is 17.82 km² which gives a population density of 1,023 inhabitants per km².

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