When you buy a property in Arizona it’s a major milestone and an exciting time. However, this moment can quickly become stressful if another party is making claims to the same property. There is now a question that what you worked so hard to acquire may not be yours.
What is a quiet title action?
There are solutions to property disputes and one of the most effective solutions for title problems is a quiet title action. A quiet title action is a lawsuit filed with the court to extinguish (quiet) claims to the property in question. Successfully obtaining a quiet title judgment will cutoff the claims made by others to the property owner’s rights and clear title to the property.
There are many circumstances in which a quiet title action can be used. These include:
- Cases of adverse possession
- Boundary disputes
- Fraudulent conveyances
- Title defects
- Easements over another’s property
Why it is important to file a quiet title action when someone is encroaching onto your property.
Under Arizona law, if a property owner does not file a quiet title action within the requisite statute of limitations time period, that property owner may lose rights to some or all of their property. This situation occurs in cases of adverse possession, most commonly when an adjacent property owner has asserted adverse ownership over their neighbor’s property.
When filing a quiet title action, it is important to follow the statutory procedures set forth at A.R.S. § 12-1103 which require a property owner to first send a demand letter along with a quit claim deed and five dollars to the party before filing a lawsuit. Following this procedure will allow the property owner to request the court to award their reasonable attorneys’ fees and certain costs should the party refuse or fail to sign and return the quit claim deed.
An attorney who specializes in real estate law can help you with any real estate dispute and navigate the procedures for successfully quieting title to your property.