Can I be held liable for an encroachment on a lot that I sold when I had no knowledge of the encroachment?

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Can I be held liable for an encroachment on a lot that I sold when I had no knowledge of the encroachment?

Approximately 5 years ago I sold a lot by warranty deed. I just received a note from the current owner who purchased the lot from me stating he was attempting to sell the lot, but his deal feel through due to an encroachment of the neighbor’s driveway. I was unaware of this encroachment. He claims he plans to sell for whatever price he can get because the lot is now worthless and will seek legal action against me for the difference in what he gets and what he paid me. Will he be successful in this attempt?

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok so you need to go and seek legal help with this as soon as you can.  A warranty deed is one of the strongest deeds that a buyer or purchaser can hold.  The legal definition is as follows:  A warranty deed provides the greatest protection to the purchaser because the grantor (seller) pledges or warrants that she legally owns the property and that there are no outstanding liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances against it. A warranty deed is also a guarantee of title, which means that the seller may be held liable for damages if the grantee (buyer) discovers the title is defective.  Get legal help as soon as you can please.  Good luck.


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