Gilbert, AZ asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee

Q: Do I need title insurance if I can get a warranty deed for a land purchase?

I want to purchase land in Tennessee on a mountain where the drive to the property is a few miles of gravel road put in by the land developer. The road is NOT county maintained. The title company has heard the developer plans to file bankruptcy and is no longer maintaining the roads.

Title company says they will not do title insurance or opinions until there is someone legally responsible for maintaining the roads.

Since these are not county roads, they are basically easements owned by property owners on either side of road.

Seller says he will do a warranty deed, that's all I need.

Is that true? There are no liens, the title is clear. Could I get stuck where it's hard to sell property if no one takes legal responsibility for maintaining the roads?

It's a beautiful piece of property though...

1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Title Insurance only covers a few problems, and never ensures that the access is maintained. Many Title problems that may arise are not insured risks. And making a valid claim on a policy is very difficult. Have you searched the Title yet, or even actually read the legal description and derivation of title clauses? Do you plan on surveying the tract, or has a recent survey been conducted? The cost of maintaining the right of way should be considered, but the description and extent of the ROW should be examined closely. Hire a competent TN attorney to check the Title and actually represent you. Do not rely on Title companies or real estate agents. And if the grantor is bankrupt, its warranty covenants are worthless.

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