For property owners, we at MacQueen & Gottlieb know that disputes with neighbors can arise and be a source of frustration. To add to the frustration, some neighborly disputes, such as disputes about property lines or easements, arise from surveys that occurred a long time ago. It can be tempting to take these disagreements personally and turn them into an unproductive argument.
When disputes concern claims to title, a “quiet title action” can be brought to clear title to the property. If you find yourself in a disagreement with a partner or neighbor about a common property dispute, it is important to remember that this process is simple and offers a straight-forward resolution. It is best to find an experienced real estate attorney to review your case, advise on the best course of action, attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement, and, if necessary, pursue quiet title action to clear up any title or property issues.
What is a Quiet Title Action?
As stated above, a quiet title action in Arizona helps property owners in dispute about ownership resolve the title ownership for the property. Under a quiet title action, a property owner will seek to eliminate any “clouds” on the title. These clouds include claims such as liens, claims by prior owners, and other claims of ownership.
Quiet Title Cost
While each case is unique, real estate disputes can often be resolved without a lawsuit. Our firm has resolved many real estate legal issues for clients without needing a costly trial. Once a settlement is reached and agreed upon by all parties, a quiet title helps to ensure that the legal owner obtains clear title of the property.
Typically, attorneys’ fees will not be awarded to the prevailing party in a quiet title action. However, Arizona has established a process where legal fees can be awarded to the plaintiff. Arizona Revised Statute 12-1103 states,
“If a party, twenty days prior to bringing the action to quiet title to real property, requests the person, other than the state, holding an apparent adverse interest or right therein to execute a quit claim deed thereto, and also tenders to him five dollars for execution and delivery of the deed, and if such person refuses or neglects to comply, the filing of a disclaimer of interest or right shall not avoid the costs and the court may allow plaintiff, in addition to the ordinary costs, an attorney’s fee to be fixed by the court.”
Common Uses of Quiet Title Action
A quiet title action is used when there are competing claims for the ownership of a property. This frequently happens when a property owner dies without a last will and testament. They are also used in joint ownership situations where one or more of the property owners are in breach of the partnership agreement. Disputes about property boundaries and existing easements are also typically cleared up by a quiet title action.
Find an Experienced Quiet Title Lawyer in Arizona
If you are involved in a dispute about real estate title, property lines, or existing easements, you want to make sure you have experienced legal representation. The most cost-effective approach for property owners in a potential dispute is working with a legal team that can evaluate your potential case and break down the best approach to the case. MacQueen & Gottlieb has significant experience with resolving legal disputes involving real estate and completing quiet title actions to make sure clear title is permanently established. Contact us today at 602-533-2840 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.