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Property Title “Clouds” in California

Jan 18, 2021 | Real Estate

What Does It Mean if My Property Title Has a “Cloud?”

If you have a “cloud” on your property title, that means that the property has some type of outstanding lien or unresolved issue that makes it possible for the property to be confiscated in place of payment. Some common types of clouds on titles are:

  • Liens from a mechanic, bank, healthcare, etc.
  • Easements
  • Probate issues (Wills)
  • Boundary disputes

Many of these issues can go unnoticed for years, only coming up during a title search. Given that title searches typically only take place during the buying and selling process, clouds on titles often cause complications for property owners and prospective buyers.

Should I Be Concerned if I Find a Cloud on My Title During the Selling Process?

Generally, yes. People looking to buy are generally weary of purchasing a property with a cloud on the title, given that this can invalidate the owner’s right of ownership over the property. There may also be laws, depending of the type of cloud, that prevent you from selling a home before the issue with the title is resolved. 

How Can I Get a Cloud Title Removed From My Property?

Fortunately for property owners, many types of clouds on titles can be fixed through the use of a “quiet title action.” This is basically when a property owner presents the title to a court, who decide who must resolve the title. The information one would submit includes:

  • A description of the property that is the subject of the action. This must include both the legal description and the street address or common designation, if any.
  • The title of the plaintiff as to which a determination of quiet title is sought. If the complaint is based on adverse possession, the complaint must allege the specific facts constituting the adverse possession.
  • The adverse claims to plaintiff’s title.
  • The date as of which the determination is sought. If the determination is sought as of a date other than the date the complaint is filed, the complaint must include a statement of the reasons why a determination as of that date is sought.
  • A prayer for the determination of plaintiff’s title against the adverse claims.

Glendale Real Estate Attorney

Be aware that a quiet title action is different than removing a cloud title, which may be necessary to completely void the record of the cloud on your title depending on the type of cloud it is. Consult with a real estate attorney in order to see if your title can be solved by quiet title action, or if it is necessary to seek cancellation. We invite you to contact our Glendale real estate attorney today at 310-933-5171 for a free consultation.