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What is legal proof of property ownership?

"Legalese" has the ability to muddle up just about any kind of transaction. Property ownership can become convoluted if there are tax liens or back taxes owed on the property. If a deed or title is misplaced or lost, an alternative form of proof needs to be acquired.

Title or Deed

The title or deed to a piece of property, whether it be land or vehicle, is the most basic form of proof of ownership. Titles and deeds must be signed by a notary public to legally ensure that the document is valid.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is a document written by the seller of a piece of property to the buyer that transfers the ownership of the property. The bill of sale also documents the basic agreement of the sale and acts as a sales receipt. The bill of sale usually serves as evidence of a transfer of the property until the title or deed can be transferred and notarised.

Significance of Property Ownership

For business owners and entrepreneurs, property ownership is fundamental, in most cases, to starting a business. According to Seattle Real Estate News, more than 80 per cent of all businesses in the United States were started as a result of using the home as a collateral.

History of Property Ownership

Before the mid-1800s, property ownership was only recognised in local jurisdictions. It was not until well into the later 1800s that a national system of legal ownership developed through recognised the deed or title of the property and the person to whom it belonged.

Lost Titles or Deeds

Lost titles or deeds must be reclaimed at the local courthouse or county clerk's office, where you can look up your property in the land file records. The title must be in your name and will need to be notarised once you have made a copy of it.