Municipal Lien Search

Are you or your client thinking about purchasing a property, particularly a foreclosure or a short sale, how do you know if there will be additional hidden problems or costs? Did the previous owner have any unresolved violations or building permits? Why not rely on a title search?

A Florida Municipal Lien Search protects a buyer from unknowingly acquiring debt from municipal charges. This type of detailed research uncovers unrecorded municipal liens, code violations, special assessments, open or expired permits, and unpaid utility fees.

What Are Unrecorded Municipal Liens?

With many unrecorded charges on a property, what happens is the current owner does not clear up a building permit violation or has some unpaid taxes or even has left a permit open. These issues can lead to a lien being placed on the property – none of which have triggered them to be necessary to record. Municipal Lien Searches can be conducted on residential and commercial real estate.

Isn’t the Title Search Enough?

Title searches are not thorough enough to protect the buyer as they only uncover recorded liens on a property. The municipal debts against a property will not show in this type of report. Additionally, unrecorded liens are not covered under a standard.

Owner’s Title Insurance policy. Ultimately, it is the buyer’s responsibility,
not the closing agent or even the bank’s title insurance agent to ensure the title is clear of both recorded and unrecorded liens on a property. A wise buyer will ensure that a Florida Municipal Lien Search has been ordered and any outstanding items are resolved prior to closing.

Why Order a Florida Municipal Lien Search?

If the buyer comes to find any municipal liens after closing, they may become responsible for those charges, if for some reason the prior owner has not paid them. Having a complete Florida Municipal Lien Search performed before you or your client close can save: money, time, paperwork, and a lot of unnecessary stress.

What’s Included in a Municipal Lien Search?

With a Florida Municipal Lien Search, you will receive all of the following reports:

  • Building Violations
  • Code Enforcement Violations
  • Open & Expired Permits
  • Water Utility Balances
  • Real Estate Property Taxes
  • Sewer Utility Balances
  • Solid Waste Utility Balance
  • Special Assessments
  • Storm Water Utility Balances
  • Unrecorded Municipal & County Debts