Real estate litigation can be a daunting prospect for any property owner, particularly when it comes to protecting property rights. Fortunately, title insurance provides peace of mind by protecting property owners from a variety of claims and disputes that can arise during the ownership of real property.
In the event of a dispute, title insurance companies are responsible for defending their insured’s rights and covering the costs of litigation. In this article, we will explore common claims and defenses in real estate litigation and how title insurance plays a critical role in protecting property owners.
Common Claims in Real Estate Litigation
One of the most common claims in real estate litigation is adverse possession. Adverse possession occurs when someone claims ownership of a property by using it for an extended period of time without the owner’s permission. Adverse possession claims can be particularly challenging to defend, making title insurance crucial for property owners who want to protect their rights.
Another common claim in real estate litigation is title defects. Title defects can take many forms, including undisclosed liens, conflicting ownership claims, or undisclosed easements. Title insurance provides protection against these claims, ensuring that property owners are not held responsible for problems that arose before they took ownership of the property.
Defenses in Real Estate Litigation
Property owners facing a claim or dispute have several defenses at their disposal. The most effective defense is the statute of limitations, which limits the time in which a claim can be brought against a property owner. For instance, the statute of limitations may prevent a claim for an alleged violation of restrictive covenants from being brought after a certain period. Property owners can use this defense to argue that the claim is time-barred and cannot be brought.
Another is the bona fide purchaser defense, which protects a property owner who purchases in good faith and without knowledge of any title defects. If the previous owner fraudulently transferred the property to the current owner, without the current owner knowing, the bona fide purchaser defense can protect them from liability. Title insurance is then able to support this defense.
In addition to these defenses, property owners may also have other defenses available depending on the facts and circumstances of their case. For instance, they may argue that the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the claim or that the claim is barred by the doctrine of laches, which precludes a party from bringing a claim if they unreasonably delay in asserting their rights.
Although real estate litigation can be a stressful and complicated process, title insurance provides a safety net for property owners, protecting them from common claims and disputes that arise during the ownership of real property. Understanding the common claims and defenses in real estate litigation is essential for property owners to protect their rights and make informed decisions. By partnering with a trusted title insurance company, property owners can ensure that their property rights are protected and defended in the event of a dispute.