A title insurance policy, issued by titled insurance companies, insures the status of title in the name of the owner of the policy. The title company provides protection to the insured against financial loss related to the title, as well as the cost of defending the title in court. To do this, the title company searches and examines documents related to the ownership of and items affecting the property prior to issuing a policy. The policy provides a source of indemnification to the named insured if he or she is damaged by a negligent or bad title search or examination and also from hidden defects that would not be discovered in a title search. For instance, a title defect resulting from a forgery would not be revealed in a search or examination of the public records but would be covered by the title insurance policy.
The most common forms of ownership are:
Sole Ownership – title is taken in the name of only one individual grantee and is freely transferable or subject to encumbrance by that grantee.
Tenants In Common – allows title of the entire property to be held in multiple names. Title is also freely transferable or subject to encumbrance (as to the transferring tenant’s own interest) by each tenant. It is important to note that there is no right of survivorship in the surviving tenants upon one tenant’s death. Additionally, equal percentage ownership is presumed unless the deed specifically states otherwise.
Tenants by the Entirety – title can be taken as tenants by the entireties only by a validly married husband and wife. As tenants by the entirety, neither tenant may transfer his or her interest to a third party or encumber the property without both parties joining in the deed or mortgage. Upon the death of one party, the property automatically becomes the sole property of the surviving spouse.
There are other forms of ownership that are less common.
Upon its passage in February 2018, SB 608 made two major changes to the Oregon Landlord Tenant Act: 1) Limits no-cause evictions so that tenants who have been in their residence for more than one year can no longer be evicted for no cause; and, 2) Limits the amount a landlord can increase rent in each year. Rent increases are limited to 7% of the current rent plus the average amount of inflation for the past twelve months, as published in the prior September. However, there are some exceptions to both changes in the law. A tenant can still be evicted for no cause if they have lived at the residence for less than one year, or if the landlord lives on the property and there are only two units.
If a tenant has lived at the residence for over a year, the tenant can still be evicted for cause (i.e. violating the rental agreement), or for one of four “landlord reasons.” It is important to follow all notice requirements when serving a tenant a termination notice, otherwise the notice will be deemed invalid and the tenant will not be required to vacate the premises. Additionally, some counties and municipalities have enacted different, more strict, rules than the Oregon Landlord Tenant Act. You should seek the assistance of an attorney in your area to ensure you, or your landlord, follow all of the applicable rules.
Partitions and subdivisions are different types of land divisions. In Oregon, a subdivision is defined as the division of land to create four or more lots within a calendar year. ORS 92.010. Additionally, Oregon law defines a partition as the division of land to create not more than three parcels of land within a calendar year. ORS 92.010. There are a few exceptions to these standard definitions. Another distinction between the two is that new units of land created by partitions are referred to as “parcels”, while new units of land created by subdivisions are called “lots.” The distinction between a partition and a subdivision is important because in most cases the requirements that apply will vary depending on which type of land division you are doing. Oftentimes, the local planning ordinances put more of a burden on the developer seeking to develop a subdivision, rather than a smaller partition. Before dividing property in any way, it is important to review ORS 92 and the local planning ordinances to make sure you understand the requirements that apply.