Absolute Title

What is 'Absolute Title'

An absolute title to a property is free of any encumbrances or deficiencies. Absolute title gives unequivocal right of ownership to the owner, and cannot be disputed or challenged by anyone else. This is opposed to titles with liens, attachments or judgments against them. Also known as a perfect title.

BREAKING DOWN 'Absolute Title'

A title search will usually unearth any problems with regard to the title of a property. The search is well worth the cost when someone is considering buying real estate. A title search is usually conducted at the local registry office.

Title search agencies specialize in researching properties to ensure that the seller has at least “saleable” interest in the property they put on the market. Moreover, the title search will also reveal of if there any remaining obligations associated with the property, as they remain connected to the property and not owner. For instance, if outstanding taxes remain uncollected on a property, it could impair the sale to a new owner until the matter is resolved. Furthermore, if a spouse holds some claim to a property, for example during divorce proceedings, the seller does not hold absolute title of over the property. In contrast, if the property owner has an absolute title, it would make the transaction unhindered on the seller’s behalf.

The Rights an Absolute Title Provides

An absolute title has no outstanding contestations that might otherwise hinder the owner’s ability to use or dispose of the property as they see fit. The holder of the absolute title is free to sell the property at their discretion, which could give the buyer absolute title upon completion of the transaction, dependent on how the purchase was structured. The seller of a property can only transfer the portion of an absolute tile they are vested in. In other words, a buyer cannot obtain an absolute title through a seller who does not possess it.

The holder of an absolute title can also choose lease or rent a property rather than sell it outright. A financial institution might hold the absolute title for a property it has mortgaged. The rough the absolute title, the property owner gains the right of ownership of a mortgage deed. That in turn would give the owner the rights to call for full repayment of the outstanding mortgage debt, in certain circumstances, before the previously determined due date. With the absolute title, there might also be a clauses the owner establishes in the deed that allows for an early termination of an existing interest in the property.