By Lydia Blair
A hidden hazard on your property is not the kind of thing you’re going to stub your toe on. At least not the kind of hidden hazard that we’re talking about here.
In the title business, a hidden hazard is an issue that is not uncovered in a traditional search of property records. Most title companies are really good at finding potential problems in the research of deeds, maps and plats, mortgages, tax records, court records, liens, abstracts of judgement, probate and divorce actions, etc.
Issues that can be found by a typical title search are considered “discoverable.” These would be items like outstanding mortgage loans, tax liens, court judgments, utility easements, and such. Anyone with enough time, resources and expertise could likely find these things in court records and a search of the chain of title. Or they would find most of them at least.
But even the most fastidious title search may not reveal a hidden hazard. Sometimes they are impossible to uncover until an event brings it to light.