Does a quitclaim deed stay in effect if a property is sold to a new owner?

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Does a quitclaim deed stay in effect if a property is sold to a new owner?

I am purchasing a home and executed a contract for purchase. Two weeks before
the close, the owner who owns both parcels side by side moved an existing fence
approximately 5 feet closer in on the property I am purchasing. The new survey
appears to show the property line where the fence has been newly placed. I found
it strange and did a records search and it appears that a quitclaim deed was
recorded where 5 feet was ceded from one lot to the other which would place the
fence where it was originally located. It seems like the owners are trying to
‘reclaim’ the land they had ceded years ago. There are host of issues that are
concerning. The fence was moved after the contract was signed and the appraisal
performed, nor was it was not mentioned in the contract under knowledge of any
changes that would affect the material value of the property. What recourse do I
have?

Asked on April 28, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

IF the quitclaim deed had been filed and dislosed before you contracted to get the land, it would be valid. But the seller can NOT give away part of the land they contracted to sell after the contract: doing so would be at a minimum, breach of the agreement/contract. It would also very likely be fraud, or a material misrepresentation (lie) in regards to the extent of what you were buying, and fraud can provide to grounds to recover compensation, void your contract (not have to buy the house, if you want to get out of it), and/or invalidate the quitclaim deed, since if we understand your question correctly, there is no innocent third party involved--the owner quitclaimed to himself (to his other parcel). Without an innocent third party's rights being involved, the court can invalidate the deed. And the breach of contract--not selling you what he agreed to sell--also provides grounds to seek compensation or for you to get out of the contract to buy.
So you have recourse here. That's the good news. The bad news is, if the seller refuses to do what is right, you'd have to sue him to enforde your rights, and such a lawsuit could get expensive. If possible, work it out voluntarily with him--perhaps with a price reduction or credit against costs, if the loss of the 5' is not critical to you.


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