What Is the Legal Definition of a Land Abstract?


Quick Answer

A land abstract, also known as an abstract of title, is a condensed history of a piece of land or property, which includes prior owners and any liens filed on the property, notes the Free Dictionary. Generally, a land abstract is necessary when the property is up for sale and exchanging owners.

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Full Answer

A land abstract is usually a large compilation of papers that contains a lot of information, explains About.com. An abstract includes any repair and mechanic liens, along with liens for money owed against the property, such as a mortgage loan. The abstract also contains tax liens, and these liens take precedence over other liens. If a person does not pay the tax liens on his property, he could lose it.

If the property is part of a homeowners association, that information is included on the abstract, notes About.com. This includes the covenants and restrictions of the homeowners association and what the property owner can and cannot do with his property. If the homeowner has not paid his required dues, this is indicated on the abstract.

Easements attached to the land are outlined on an abstract of title. The easement indicates the footage that is reserved for installation and maintenance of utility lines, and landowners cannot erect structures in the area that's reserved for the easement, warns About.com.

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