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, where it determines that complexities in documenting ownership may substantially cloud title. A full title report must contain a certification, a 30 year abstract of title, a property description, parcel tax information and documentation of any encumbrances on 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. 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 generally not be required for the Environmental Easement.