Title Review Lawyer

Real Estate Title Search & Examination in Ontario

A thorough title search is crucial when buying or selling a property, which assists in a legally sound transfer of real estate. This article will explore the title search and examination, its importance, the procedure involved, and its role in mitigating transaction risks.

What is a Real Estate Title Search?

A title search aims to establish a property’s legal ownership and uncover claims, liens, or encumbrances that may affect the title. It involves investigating public records to trace the property’s ownership history and identify potential legal issues. A real estate title search also reveals liens or restrictions on the property that could affect its use or value. By identifying and addressing potential issues, a title search protects the interests of all parties involved in the transaction and facilitates a smooth and legally secure transfer of property ownership.

The Importance of Title Search and Examination

A property’s title is a legal document that outlines ownership rights. A thorough review of the title is vital as it uncovers potential issues affecting ownership, marketability, and value to ensure that the aspects of ownership are legally sound and free from future problems. Here’s why this step is pivotal:

Identifying Encumbrances: A title search can uncover encumbrances, such as liens, mortgages, easements, or claims, that could affect the property’s clear title.

Ensuring Marketability: A clean title is a hallmark of a marketable property. Real estate lawyers can review the title and advise if it is free from defects that might hinder its sale or financing.

Mitigating Risks: By pinpointing potential title issues provides the opportunity to resolve them before they escalate, saving time, money, and potential legal battles.

Document Examination: Real estate lawyers can review property documents, land records, and historical records to trace the ownership history and uncover irregularities.

Title Clearing: If issues arise, real estate lawyers can work to clear encumbrances, whether it’s negotiating with creditors or rectifying errors.

Off-Title Searches: Off-Title searches go beyond property titles, conducting thorough off-title searches to ensure no hidden liabilities, unpaid taxes, or outstanding debts exist.

Informed Decision-Making: Armed with our comprehensive title review, you can make informed decisions about property acquisition, ensuring that you confidently enter transactions.

What Can a Title Search Find?

Here are some of the key aspects that a title search can uncover:

Ownership History: A title search reveals the chain of ownership for the property, showing all previous and current owners. This information confirms the current seller’s legal right to sell the property.

Liens and Encumbrances: A title search can identify liens, mortgages, charges, and other financial encumbrances against the property. These encumbrances can impact the property’s clear title and marketability.

Easements and Restrictions: Easements, which grant specific rights to others over the property (e.g., utility companies), and property use restrictions can affect the property’s potential uses and development plans.

Unreleased Mortgages: Occasionally, a mortgage might not be officially released even after it’s been paid off. A title search can uncover such discrepancies.

Missing Heirs or Beneficiaries: In some cases, a property might have multiple owners, and locating all relevant parties is crucial to ensure a valid sale.

Probate Proceedings: If the property was part of a deceased person’s estate, the title search can reveal if it went through probate and if the necessary legal steps were taken.

Errors in Documentation: Title searches can uncover clerical errors or mistakes in previous documents that could affect the property’s title.

Lawyer’s Role in Title Search and Examination in Ontario

The role of a lawyer during the title search and examination process is crucial to maintaining the honesty and security of real estate transactions. Lawyers are responsible for conducting a detailed investigation of the property’s title to ensure that there are no legal obstructions to its transfer. They examine public records, such as deeds and liens, to verify ownership and identify outstanding issues that could affect the buyer’s rights. Their expertise is critical in resolving discrepancies or legal issues that arise during the title examination, thereby protecting their clients from potential legal disputes and financial losses.


A real estate title search & examination is crucial for a legal and smooth transfer of property ownership. It reveals hidden issues and legal entanglements, providing peace of mind for buyers and sellers.

If you need more information on real estate transactions, contact us today and learn how a real estate lawyer can help you.

The information provided above is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Every transaction or circumstance is unique, and obtaining specific legal advice is necessary to address your particular requirements. Therefore, if you have any legal questions, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer.