February 2015 Archives

Unintended Irrevocable License

A trial court and the court of appeal have held that property owners who allowed a neighbor to landscape, irrigate and install lighting on a driveway easement across their property, had inadvertently and unintentionally given up a permanent irrevocable license for those improvements. The courts couldn't grant the neighbor an easement for the landscaping improvements, because there was no dispute that the property owners had consented to the improvements. Both courts held that because the property owners had allowed the neighbor to expend a considerable amount of money and effort installing and maintaining the improvements and over a long period of time, six years, that an irrevocable license had been established. 

Title Report Warning

First American Title Insurance Company recently won a case which highlights an important limitation of title reports and title insurance policies. First, a title report is nothing more than an offer to sell a title policy. You cannot sue a title company over something omitted from a title report. Second, a title policy only insures owned interests in the subject property. There are a variety of notices which get recorded which are not interests in the property. Omitting such notices from a title report, even from a title insurance policy is not covered.