Last Owner Search, Title Abstract or Title Report Requirements
Every easement package must contain a copy of the deed to the current owner. If the current deed was conveyed by a warranty deed, this will be sufficient to document ownership and authority to convey an easement to the Department. If the current deed was a bargain and sale deed, quitclaim deed or referee's deed, the Department will require that a search be made to locate the last warranty deed in the chain of title.
In the event that a warranty deed cannot be located, the Department reserves the right to request additional information, up to requiring a full Title Report, containing a certification, 30 year abstract of title, property description, parcel tax information and documentation of any encumbrances on title, where it determines that complexities in documenting ownership may substantially cloud title. Examples of properties that may require a full Title Report include properties that contain "lands under water"; restricted deed transfers such as a Quit Claim deed; and multiple party ownership. If a full Title Report is required, then the following requirements must be met:
A Title Report identifies who has title to the property and all others with an interest in the property. Every Title Report shall provide a Certification Page, Schedule A, and Schedule B.
- The Certification Page shall indicate who has the right to convey or mortgage the property that is subject to the EE.
- Schedule A shall provide the legal description of the property.
- Schedule B shall list the exceptions to the title or issues which require clearance or amplification before the title company is willing to issue its policy. The Easement Attorney must ensure that the Title Report includes a copy of every encumbrance that affects title (i.e. mortgages, judgments, easements, leases, subleases, assigned leases).
- A copy of the Tax map must be included in the report.
Title Insurance will not be required for the Environmental Easement