Title disputes can be a major roadblock for commercial property developers in California.
These disputes can arise from various sources, such as conflicting property boundaries, errors in public records or unresolved liens. It is important for developers to address these issues promptly to ensure a smooth and lawful development process.
1. Clear outstanding liens
If you discover any outstanding liens on the property, take steps to clear them. Contact the lienholders and negotiate a resolution. Paying off the debt or negotiating a settlement can remove this obstacle from your property’s title.
2. Resolve boundary disputes
Boundary disputes often arise from unclear property lines. To resolve these issues, consider hiring a land surveyor. They can accurately determine the property’s boundaries, reducing conflicts with neighboring landowners.
3. Quiet Title Action
In some cases, you may need to file a quiet title action in court to establish your property rights definitively. This legal process seeks to “quiet” competing claims and confirm your ownership. It can be a proactive step to eliminate potential disputes. considering that the state’s Superior Courts receive 4,400,000 new filings annually, there is a good chance this process could take up to a year.
4. Title curative actions
In cases where title issues come to light after property acquisition, explore title curative actions. These actions involve rectifying defects in the title, such as clerical errors or unresolved disputes, to ensure a clear title.
5. Negotiation and mediation
If disputes arise during the development process, try to negotiate with the parties involved. Mediation can be a helpful tool for reaching a mutually agreeable solution without going to court.
Commercial development means sticking to a strict schedule, making any title disputes a frustrating experience. Resolving them requires a proactive and strategic approach.