Home > Uncategorized > Real Estate Law: What Does it Mean to Slander Someone’s Title?

Real Estate Law: What Does it Mean to Slander Someone’s Title?

I had a client talk with me about a real estate matter he had been dealing with.

He entered into a purchase agreement to sell some real estate he owned. The buyer couldn’t  obtain financing within the time

period spelled out in the purchase agreement, and so, my client decided not to give him any more – he didn’t agree to an extension.

This made the buyer angry.

So angry, in fact, he threatened to sue my client (thus, what prompted my client’s phone call to me).

My client asked me, “what if I get a new buyer and this guy tries to hold up the sale by recording his contract with the Register of Deeds? (which the guy threatened to do unless my client sells him the Property).

I introduced my client to the legal claim of “Slander of Title

 

Slander of Title

Slander of title at common law means that a defendant maliciously published false statements that disparaged a plaintiff’s right in property, causing special damages. B & B Inv. Grp. v. Gitler, 229 Mich. App. 1, 8, 581 N.W.2d 17, 20 (1998)

 

Broken down, the elements that make up slander of title are:

 

  • Malice,
  • False statements
  • disparage your rights in property; and
  • cause special damages. (typically include costs of a lawsuit)

 

Slander of title is a common cause of action filed in response to a contractor who threatens to put a lien on property for non-payment.  However, in order to succeed on a claim of slander of title all elements must be proven, including “malice” – which asks the question – did the contractor record a lien on the property simply to force payment, even though he knew he wasn’t legally entitled to it?

 

Going back to my client’s case, if the buyer threatens to file a void purchase agreement on the property to hold up any future sale, simply because he was angry that my client did not grant him an amendment to his purchase agreement, he could have a claim for slander of title.

 

Questions? Comments?

 

Email:  Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

http://www.dwlawpc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer – nothing in any of my posts should be taken to constitute legal advice. With any legal questions please seek the advice of legal counsel.

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 14, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Good to know! Thanks for the clear explanation!

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