Defective Title Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Defective Title?

n. A faulty description of the property or other imperfection with an apparent title to real property which does not hold up as a legal title.

History and Meaning of Defective Title

A defective title refers to a title to a property that is essentially flawed, which means that the title or the deed to the property does not hold up legally, and therefore, it may not grant the owner the same legal rights as a non-defective title. This means that if there is an issue with the title, it may affect the owner’s ability to sell or transfer the property, or even take out a mortgage on it.

In earlier times, property owners were at risk of having someone else come along and claim ownership of their property. To mitigate this risk, title checks were introduced, but they could be incomplete, and at times they failed to catch any issues. This made it necessary for a lawyer to perform the checks and make certain that the title was as it appeared to be.

Examples of Defective Title

  1. If there is a mistake in the legal description of the property, such as an incorrect street address or lot number, the title could be considered defective.
  2. If the property was sold to the current owner by someone who did not have the legal right to do so, the title may be considered defective.
  3. If there are any outstanding liens or unpaid taxes on the property, it may be considered a defective title.
  4. If there is a dispute over the rightful owners of the property, the title may be considered defective until the dispute is resolved.
  5. If there are any restrictions or limitations on the property that were not properly disclosed or recorded, the title may be considered defective.

Legal Terms Similar to Defective Title

  1. Cloud on Title: This is a term used to describe a title with a defect, whether legal or otherwise.
  2. Quiet Title Action: This is a lawsuit that is filed to determine the legal owner of a property, and to clear any defects in the title.
  3. Title Insurance: This is insurance that protects the owner of the property from any defects in the title that may arise after the purchase.