When a person intentionally speaks or writes something bad and untrue that injures another person’s title to property and causes damages to that title holder, the person making such statements may be liable for slander of title.
Generally, one must prove the following to bring a claim of slander of title:
1. There was a communication to a third party of
2. a false statement
3. derogatory to another’s title
4. with malice
5. causing special damages.
Malice normally means with the intention to cause harm. In the context of slander of title, malice may be proven by showing that the person making the statement knows he/she is lying or acts with reckless disregard of the statement’s truth or falsity.
Special damages in this context mean monetary losses that result directly and immediately from the slandering statements. These include losses that arise from the inability to sell the property, the decrease in value of the property, and litigation cost in reversing the effects of the slandering statements.
Here are some actions that are considered slander of title:
- Wrongfully recording an unfounded claim to property that you do not own;
- Burying a deceased relative in a plot of land that you do not own
- Filing claims of interest in the public records;
- Wrongfully filing a mechanic’s lien on a property.
Title and boundaries are very essential issues, which may affect your rights as a property owner. A real estate attorney can help you determine the extent of your rights to your property. Additionally, an attorney can help you defend any attack on your boundary rights and your title to your property.