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When is a quiet title action necessary in Washington state?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes

A quiet title action refers to a legal dispute filed to determine the proper ownership of a real estate property. This lawsuit sometimes becomes necessary if multiple parties claim the same property. The goal involves “quieting” the title and ruling in favor of one correct owner.

Causes of a quiet title action

Any time real estate disputes involve disputes over ownership, you may wish to pursue a quiet title action. Common examples may include:

  • Someone claiming “squatter’s rights” on a property
  • An unclear history of the property’s ownership
  • Disputes over property boundaries
  • Need to remove lienholders
  • Estate sale disagreements

Quitclaim disputes

Individuals often prepare to offer quitclaim deeds to close friends and family. These types of deeds allow the transfer of property ownership through a simple renouncing of the property claim. However, quitclaim deeds do not guarantee a clear title. The lack of a clear title can result in a dispute that leads to a quiet title action.

Mortgages and quiet title actions

Few people expect to go through a real estate dispute before purchasing a home. However, if you attempt to obtain a mortgage for specific properties, you may need to start proceedings for a quiet title action. Mortgage companies require this step to clear up any issues about the legality of the sale and to allow you to purchase title insurance.

Responses against a quiet title action

If you find yourself needing to prove ownership in a quiet title action, you will need to produce a valid deed to the property. If someone files a claim against you, you must respond quickly or you can face losing the lawsuit.

Few people want to engage in serious real estate disputes. However, you may consider a quiet title action to prove that your property belongs solely to you.