A home title is a legal document that proves ownership of a property. In Canada, it is important for homeowners to be aware of the various risks that could affect their title, as these risks could have significant consequences for their ownership and use of the property.
1. Title defects
One of the main risks to a home title is the presence of title defects, such as undisclosed liens, errors in the description of the property, or disputes over the ownership of the property. These defects can make it difficult for homeowners to sell their property or obtain financing, and can even result in the loss of the property if they are not addressed.
Encroachments occur when a portion of a property extends onto an adjacent property, or when an adjacent property extends onto the subject property. These can lead to disputes between neighbours and can impact the value and marketability of the property.
3. Zoning and building code violations
Zoning and building code violations can also affect a home title, particularly if they are discovered after the property has been sold. Homeowners may be required to make costly repairs or upgrades to bring the property into compliance, or may face penalties or fines from local authorities.
Homeowners should also be aware of the risk of fraud, particularly in cases where someone claims to own the property or has a valid interest in it. In some cases, fraudulent individuals may even sell a property that they do not own, leaving the rightful owner without a home and the buyer with a worthless title.
5. Natural disasters
Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and wildfires can also have an impact on a home title. In some cases, these disasters may result in damage to the property that must be repaired, or may render the property uninsurable or unsalable.
To minimize the risks associated with a home title, it is important for homeowners to conduct a thorough title search prior to purchasing a property, and to seek the advice of a qualified real estate lawyer or title professional if they encounter any issues. Additionally, homeowners should regularly review their title to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date, and should take steps to address any defects or encumbrances as soon as they become aware of them.