The County Recorder
Protecting property ownership has been a public concern throughout the years. Because of this, the position of the County Recorder was born. This public official handles land transactions. The Official Record is where they keep these transactions. It serves as a permanent record that the public may access to assure transparency. This is to prevent deception and confusion when verifying property ownership.
The Necessity of Constructive Notice
How will you know if the property seller is the bonafide owner of the property you are going to buy?
You can file a document confirming claim or interest in a property. Then, the County Recorder will check if it complies to all the statutory requirements. Once verified, it will be copied into the Official Record. This record should stay permanent for at least 500 years in California. It is then indexed and copied in a public record that is accessible to all interested parties. It's a transparency that serves as a notification that a transaction has taken place. This type of notification is known as the legal principle of constructive notice.
In California, you can also trace the chain of title of a property. With this, you will have access to all the historical documents related to it. This includes every buyer’s and seller’s name since its first ownership.
It is best to consolidate the constructive notice and the chain of the title. This helps you prove the ownership and history of the property. This system will remain reliable as long as no documents will be removed nor hidden. The authorities should be able to keep their transparency and credibility.
Now, you can now have the confidence to go ahead and buy your dream property!
Securing the Permanent Record
Throughout the years, the County Recorders used a blend of methods and tools to keep the records. They have evolved into a mixture of physical files and digital files.
The digital age has changed the use and access of people to data. Transparency of the Official Record has posted concern with data abuse and hijacking. This resulted in several attempts to shield the Official Record from data risks. Currently, it is only accessible to authorized individuals. They are only the ones who can access certified copies of documents.
Restricting access to certain information improves the security of the Official Record. However, it would weaken the transparency aim of constructive notice. Recorders now use a combination of strategies to keep the balance. Secure the documents without compromising the purpose of the Official Record.