Legal Solutions

What is a ‘trespass to try title action’?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Owning land or property is many people’s biggest dream, but sometimes disputes over title arise. When that happens, Texas law allows you to file what is known as a “trespass to try title action” to determine who owns the property.

Finding out that someone else is claiming title to your property can cause you extreme stress and anxiety, so it is important to know how to prove your right to the property through this type of action.

Chain of title or superior title

You must provide proof of your title to the property. There are a few different ways you can do this.

The easiest way to prove your title is to show evidence of a regular chain of title, demonstrating the title was conveyed to you from the original owner and any successive owners, with no breaks in the chain of title.

You can also show that your title is superior to that of the other person who is claiming title to the property.

Title by limitations or prior possession

If these options are not available to you, you can try showing your ownership through title by limitations, which means you have possessed the property long enough to hold a valid title.

Your final way to prove title is by showing you had prior possession of the property and that you have not abandoned it.

Once the court establishes the rightful owner, the owner is allowed to immediately take possession of the property.

Trespass by title versus quiet title

A trespass to try title action is different from a quiet title action, and this distinction can be confusing. While a trespass to try title action involves deciding who owns title to land or property, a quiet title action involves clearing title from an invalid lien or charge against the title.

Title actions are almost always complex and proving your rightful ownership can be quite challenging. It is best to seek help from a professional experienced in this area.