Tuesday, November 04, 2008

the case of the revised subdivision

This isn't a matter which has been resolved but I thought I'd mention it as an example of how things can get royally confused in a real estate title.  ;)

In early 1979 a developer got formal planning authority approval for and recorded a subdivision.  Later that year, the developer revised the subdivision.  I can't tell why.  I can't tell whether the developer submitted the revision for formal planning authority approval and was rejected.  All I can tell you is that the revised subdivision was not recorded.  

So, for reasons which remain clouded, the developer seems to have deeded some lots based upon the original recorded plan and at least one lot, if not more, based upon the unrecorded revised plan.

What makes this case especially irksome is that many - if not most - of the recorded documents in the two chains I reviewed reference the recorded plan, but also use the word revised.  I think it's just all screwed up.

Now my insured buyer has a neighbor who recognizes the lot lines described in the original approved plan.  My insured buyer wants to use the lot lines as revised.

It's a classic boundary line dispute and I post it just to show how a sloppy developer is causing grief even close to 20 years later.

Our insured buyer will find no relief in title insurance for this dispute.  In PA there is no boundary line dispute coverage in an owner policy.  We did recommend that he get a survey and he chose not to.  A survey may have raised the issue.  I have reason to believe that the neighbor did approach the buyer and raised the issue prior to closing so I do not think he went into the transaction without a heads up.  Also, the owner policy does not insure subdivision approval.

If the dispute ever goes to court, it will be interesting to see if the unrecorded revised plan has standing.

1 comment:

TitleGirlfromOH said...

wow, what a crazy nightmare. Here in Ohio a mortgage location survey would have been mandatory on a purchase and might (depending on the surveyor) have given a red flag. Then we would have sent it the Buyer or Realtor representing the Buyer for review. I am surprised that a surevey was not required for closing - different state different rules. :)