Title

Title

Title is really fancy legalese for “ownership.” So if you “hold title,” you’re the owner.

However, the legal rights of others may limit your rights of ownership. ForThe seller of this house holds title. example, if you finance the purchase of a car, the lender has the right to take and sell the car if you default on the debt. This right of a creditor is called a lien.

Title to real property, or land, is often subject a lien because most people get a mortgage. But it may be subject to the rights of others beyond the lender, too. Where someone else has the right to cross or use a part of your property, they have an easement. A shared driveway easement can be found in many older neighborhoods. Where someone else has the right to come onto your land, mine it, and then must restore it, they have a reserved mineral right. If there is a Homeowner’s Association that can impose rules on how you use the land, there are covenants, conditions and restrictions on the property. These are all examples of encumbrances that limit your rights of ownership.

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