What can you do if a deed’s legal description contains an error?

Tiny discrepancies in a deed’s legal description of a real estate property can easily go unnoticed during a transaction and for years afterward. However, even the smallest of ambiguities can cause huge problems when they finally become apparent.

Correcting description errors and settling the issues they cause can be a sensitive area of real estate law. You can protect yourself as a property owner by knowing what errors to watch for and how to respond when you notice one.

What are some potential legal description errors?

There are circumstances in which a deed provides an incorrect measurement of the land included in a real estate transaction or defines the wrong parcel entirely. These errors can occur as a holdover from outdated measurement techniques or as a result of blatant negligence. The existence of such an error can negatively impact your tax payments and any loan applications. In some cases, misunderstandings based on errors in a deed can even give rise to heated boundary disputes.

How can you correct a legal description error?

In the case of a minor error, an individual other than the party of the original deed can draft an affidavit serving as an official notification of the error. Otherwise, it is possible to file a corrective deed that amends the defects of the original document on record.  An extreme error might require the submission of a new deed altogether.

Legal description mistakes can be devastating to both sellers and buyers in a real estate transaction. If you find yourself on the wrong side of a title dispute due to an error in your deed, it is important to take the correct steps before the issue spirals out of control.