A basic guide to a chain of title

What is a chain of title in real estate?

A chain of title is a series of documents that can be used to support the current owner’s claim. In the case of home ownership, a deed is used to show current ownership. But documents in the chain of title must follow an unbroken chain of ownership back to the original owner.

The chain of title deeds will include information on any fillers, seizures and transfers of property. All documents in a chain of title must be mutually supportive. Without a consistent house record, the chain of title can get messy.

For example, if someone makes a mistake when registering the deed, it can be confusing. The party with a duly registered deed will have standing to assert its claim to the property in question.

If ever someone questions your ownership of the property, the chain of title should be able to indisputably safeguard your right to the property.

Other Uses of a Title String

A chain of title is not limited to the use of physical assets. Although less common, chains of title are important for intangible property, including timber or mineral rights, and intellectual property, including music and movies.

For the above, the chain of title is essential for buyers to ensure that the seller actually has the right to sell the assets in question.

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