An Overview of the Quiet Title

Those who are looking to purchase real property in Florida should perform a title search and engage in other due-diligence measures to ensure that, if they eventually decide to purchase property in the Sunshine State, the process goes as smoothly as possible. It is not uncommon, though, for certain issues involved with a property’s title to come up during the title search. One problem that can arise is the discovery that the person selling the property doesn’t actually own the property free and clear. 

How can this issue be resolved? Well, the best option is usually to contact the person who can help, like someone else whose name is on the property or the last owner. Sometimes, though, the person who can resolve the current title issue isn’t available. In these cases, it might be necessary to initiate what’s referred to as a “quiet title” action. 

Why is it Called “Quiet Title?”

The ultimate purpose of the quiet title action, at least for the individual or entity initiating the action, is for the court to determine who holds the property free-and-clear. It is through this action that the plaintiff attempts to “quiet” others who claim they have an interest in the property. 

What Are Common Reasons for Quiet Title Actions?

There are numerous reasons why someone would initiate a quiet title action. One reason may be that the current “owner” of a property never actually had the title conveyed to him or her from the previous owner, who is now deceased or otherwise unavailable to help resolve the title issue. 

Other times, there may be an encumbrance on the property that is discovered after someone purchases a tax deed on the property. A common example of an encumbrance is a lien, which is something that attaches to a piece of real estate. Contractors commonly file liens on properties that are working on if they do not get the compensation they feel they deserve. 

Where is a Quiet Title Filed?

In Florida, plaintiffs file quiet title actions in Circuit Court where the property is located. The process can take as little as 60 days to complete or more than a year. The quiet title action is, technically, a civil lawsuit, so the other side must be properly served with papers and given a chance to respond. Once the other side has been served, they have 20 days to officially respond. Beyond this time frame, the amount of time your quiet title action takes heavily depends on the particulars of your case. 

Successful Outcome of a Quiet Title Action

For the plaintiff, a successful quiet title action involves the judge ruling that any encumbrances or third-party interests in the property are quieted. There are countless reasons for a quiet title action being initiated; our firm has extensive experience representing parties in this type of legal proceeding (as well as other legal matters involving real estate). To get personalized attention for your case, call our firm at 305-227-4030 to see how we can help.