Q: Last month, in the legal article, it was written that a buyer takes title subject to any rights the occupant has.  Doesn’t my title policy protect against that?

A: No. Title insurance protects you from third party claims that actually show up as a matter of record.  This does not protect you against claims of people whose rights are not recorded in the county recorder and who are occupying the property.  The law provides that you have constructive notice of a person’s claim if you buy a property with them in it.  If you fail to determine what rights they have (or claim) you do so at your own risk.  Title insurance will not likely defend you against claims of the occupant.

By Mark B. Zinman,  Zona Law Group