Home sellers must concern themselves not only with how the physical state of a property affects its value but also the perception of the real estate to ensure a fair and profitable selling price. Slander of title can negatively impact a property’s value, so sellers do well to know their legal options in the face of such an attack.
What is slander of title, and what can someone do to counter defamation of a property?
An attack with significant consequences
Connecticut home prices continue to rise, providing an excellent incentive for homeowners thinking of selling to act now. A seller might not sell for top dollar if a property has a poor reputation.
Slander of title refers to a false statement published to a third party to intentionally denigrate another’s title to a property, resulting in financial loss. The defendant stands accused of acting with knowledge or reckless disregard.
The internet makes slander of title more likely than ever. A vindictive ex-spouse or angry associate might attack a property for retribution. Others may fall victim to slander of title as a form of online bullying.
Action to fight slander of title
The pertinent factor is whether the defendant had malicious intent in publishing the statement about the plaintiff’s property. The information had to be knowingly false and must cause special damages. Since a defendant could feign ignorance, a plaintiff needs a solid case to establish the intent.
Plaintiffs must demonstrate economic loss from the false claim. Such damages might involve expenses to clear the slander, a canceled lease, selling a property for a lower price or a lost opportunity to sell a property.
Someone who believes they have suffered slander of title should know their rights and prepare to overcome the ensuing damage.