Municipal Lien Searches- What They Are and Why You Need One
At CLOSED we recommend ordering a municipal lien search for every purchase transaction. Read more to learn why.
A municipal lien search allows you to find unrecorded liens, code violations, outstanding property tax bills, special assessments, open or expired permits as well as outstanding utility bills to the property that are associated with a specific property.
If you or your client is considering buying a property, especially a short sale or a foreclosure, a municipal lien search is crucial to acquiring the property free and clear of any existing liens on the property.
Unlike in most states, Florida municipalities attach many unrecorded liens, code violations, special assessments, open or expired permits as well as outstanding utility bills to the property itself, not to the owner or other associated individuals. Therefore, most Florida real estate transactions require a municipal lien search as part of the closing process to ensure that no liens or encumbrances are attached to the property.
CLOSED operates in multiple states, and even when municipal lien searches are not required, we recommend them to fully inform buyers about the property they are purchasing.
This is a critical part of the process, as there are often unknown or undisclosed fees, costs or other issues that impact a buyer once they own the property. Failure to discover these issues before closing means that the buyer would be responsible for outstanding bills or bringing a property into compliance with municipal regulations.