An allodial title is a way of holding real property free of any superior landlord. With an allodial title, the property holder has absolute ownership, rather than fee simple ownership. This means the property is owned free and clear, without any rent, service, or other tenures owed to a landlord.
Obtaining an allodial title is extremely rare in modern times. However, it may be possible in certain circumstances. Here are some key steps to understand when researching an allodial title:
Research Property History
The first step is looking into the history of the property in question. To qualify for an allodial title, the property must not be “encumbered” – meaning, at some point it was privately owned free and clear of any superior landlord. This is fairly uncommon, as most property in America was granted by Royal charter or by a colonial or early state government. However, some properties do have a unique ownership history qualifying them. Extensive title research is needed here.
Understand Chain of Title
Next, research must show an unbroken chain of title back to the original private ownership. Any breaks in the chain could indicate encumbrances existed at some point, disqualifying the property. The prospective allodial owner must prove their right to the land extends back continuously. Legal records like deeds and probate files tracing successive transfers can help establish this.
Prove Unencumbered Status
Research must also show the land was not only privately granted originally, but has continuously been passed down without encumbrance of rent, taxation or other tenures. Records like property tax records, census files, and court cases can help prove its status. Even if privately owned originally, if a property was ever taxed, had rent-paying tenants, or was condemned at some point, it likely cannot qualify for true allodial title.
File for Status Recognition
If historical records can establish that a property meets the allodial criteria, the owner can petition a local court to have the status officially recognized. This may require hiring legal counsel familiar with these rare titles. The court reviews the evidence and either acknowledges the property’s allodial status or rejects the claim.
If successful, an allodial title exempts the owner from property tax and eminent domain. However, the owner must still pay sales and income tax. They also must abide by government rules restricting use, such as zoning. True independence from government is rare even with an allodial title. Owners may still find themselves in court defending their special status against government challenges.
Because of the extensive research and legal barriers involved, allodial titles are exceptionally rare. Some owners pursue other options that provide a measure of autonomy without absolute allodial status. Setting up a family trust or seeking sovereign jurisdiction as a religious entity are two potential alternatives. While not true allodial ownership, can limit government control for certain owners.
In summary, allodial titles provide complete private ownership – but proving qualification is arduous. With thorough research, however, persistent owners may be able to successfully petition for this special status. Those seeking more practical alternatives can look to trust arrangements or religious sovereignty to establish greater control over their land.