Color Of Title Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Color Of Title, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Color Of Title?

It is applicable in the property law, where a person claims the title of property and it seems or appear to be right or valid though legally there is a defect in the claim.

History and Meaning of Color Of Title

The term "color of title" has its roots in the legal concept of adverse possession. In property law, adverse possession occurs when someone takes possession of property without the owner's permission and uses it openly and continuously for a certain period of time. If the original owner fails to take action to remove the person from the property during that time, the law allows the person to claim ownership of the property.

Color of title refers to a situation where someone claims ownership of property based on a flawed or invalid title, but the claim appears to be legitimate. Typically, a person claiming color of title believes they have a valid title to the property, but it later turns out that there is a defect in the title.

Examples of Color Of Title

  1. Maria purchased a piece of land from a seller who claimed to own the land. However, it later turned out that the seller had obtained title to the property through a forged deed. Although Maria's claim to the property was based on a flawed title, she had color of title and was allowed to claim adverse possession after occupying the land for the required period.

  2. John inherited a house from his grandmother, who had been using it as a rental property for many years. After his grandmother's death, John continued to receive rent from the tenants and assumed that he had inherited ownership of the property. However, there was a problem with his grandmother's will, and John's claim to the property was based on a flawed title. Nevertheless, his possession of the property was open and continuous, which allowed him to claim adverse possession based on color of title.

  3. Sarah and Mike were married and bought a house together. However, after their divorce, they both claimed ownership of the property. Although Sarah's claim to the house was based on a flawed title, she had been living in the house and paying the mortgage for several years since the divorce, which gave her color of title.

Legal Terms Similar to Color Of Title

  1. Adverse possession: The legal concept that allows someone to claim ownership of property by occupying it openly and continuously for a certain period of time without the owner's permission.

  2. Marketable title: A title that is considered good or clean because there are no defects or problems that might affect the owner's ability to sell the property.

  3. Quiet title action: A legal proceeding to resolve disputes over ownership of property and establish a clear title to the property.