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What Are Property Records?

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What Are Property Records?

Property records are legal documents and papers that contain vital information about a property or plot of land. Usually, the term “property records” refers to the deed to the land, which indicates who has legal ownership of the property. This is usually through the recorder of deeds or county records department. This is an office that maintains records of all transfers and important notes related to the property in that area.

For instance, if there has been a purchase and sale of residence, this should be recorded in the recorder’s office. The same process also happens if property is transferred as a gift or through a will. The records may also indicate other issues, such as if there’s a lien or other encumbrance on the title, or if there are issues with taxes.

When Are Property Records Needed?

As mentioned, property records should be updated along with any type of sale or transfer of property. The records can also be consulted or searched for other real estate issues, such as:

  • Resolving boundary line disputes (the documents generally indicate a description of the property and its boundaries)
  • Clarifying easement rights
  • Resolving any outstanding lien disputes
  • Issues with wills, inheritances, and property shares
  • Any concerns regarding mortgages and foreclosures

In most cases, property records are consulted when there is a dispute over the chain of title. For instance, a person cannot sell property if they are not the true owner of the property. In such disputes, the records may be consulted and a title search will probably be performed. This can help determine who the current and previous owners were, and who has the right to actually sell the property.

What If a Property Record Is Not Available?

If property records are not available, it can cause serious delays or even cancellations of a real estate transaction. In some cases, it may be necessary to file for a quiet title proceeding. This will allow the court to intervene to help clear up the issues surrounding the property deed or other property records.

In other cases, it can be helpful to consult other types of property documents in order to clarify a dispute. For instance, information about property can sometimes be gleaned from the property owner’s estate documents or tax information.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Property Records?

Property records are important as they help ensure a person’s legal rights are recorded for future reference. They help ensure a smooth and efficient sale or transfer of property rights. You may need to hire a real estate lawyer in your area if you need help recording property records or dealing with any type of real estate issue. Your attorney can help you research records, and can also represent you in court if you need to file a lawsuit regarding any disputes or conflicts.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-18-2015 12:34 PM PDT

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