Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is the deed goofed up or what?

Hi Diane,

I saw your blog and thought you might be able to point me in the right direction. Here's my situation (located in PA):

About 10 years ago the previous owner agreed to transfer 1000 sqft of land to the neighbor. From my understanding, this should have been done by sub-dividing and then the neighbor re-joining the parcels. However, the land in question was too small to be sub-divided. Instead, a corrective deed was issued—basically an addendum to my deed—carving out a portion of my land and assigning ownership to the neighbor. 

Is that a legitimate use of a corrective deed? It doesn't seem right that my deed has an owner of record (me) with another owner of a sub-parcel specified within.

Some extra bits: SOMETHING was recorded at the county but it doesn't seem to have been done right. The transferred portion does not have a map# assigned to it and is not part of the neighbor's deed either.

My desire isn’t to increase the size of my property. However, this has been a sticking point for getting a proper survey and I’m concerned there could be liability if an accident happens on that land. Additionally, property taxes were never adjusted to take this change into account.

Does this sound like an improper deed modification to circumvent the subdivision minimum? Would a title company get involved in something like this?



Hi, J

It's a bit hard to know what you mean by an addendum to your deed because it sounds like the deal with the neighbor pre-dated your deed. 

It is possible that subdivisions may not have been required in your county ten years ago [some counties have a casual way of dealing with subdivision] or perhaps the local authority considered this was an incidental boundary change.  In that case a subdivision may not have been required. So, let's say it was properly done but in an unusual way that just seems odd but your title agent may be able to explain the logic of it.  I would call them and request that they review your file and explain how they dealt with it when they did your title examination.

It is also possible that there is a mistake and that your title agent missed it.  If they cannot explain it to your satisfaction, consider making a claim against the policy.  That would move the file into review by a title company attorney who might be able to resolve a problem or at least make sense of it.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.


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