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Jun 27

Real Estate Insights: When Land Ownership Is Uncertain

Gore Strips, Gaps, and How To Use Land Without An Owner

Surprisingly, zoning maps show many gaps and Gore strips that aren’t technically owned by anyone. In some cases, this land can be used to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) in a development.

Cornerstone Insight

Sometimes, the deeds of two adjacent properties exclude a small strip of land between them, raising doubts about who owns that small piece of property. Other times, the opposite happens: two deeds, often because of tax map errors, may lay claim to the same strip of land, which is called a Gore strip.

Even a small amount of land matters, especially in New York, where the amount of square footage allowed for construction depends upon the floor area ratio (FAR). There are ways to claim right of ownership to such land, most commonly by using a quiet title strategy. By analyzing surveys, chains of deeds, and historic tax maps, Cornerstone can determine who the actual owner is or guide a client in establishing a right to the property.

If you have any questions about gaps, Gore strips, or other potential title issues, or if you would like to discuss an upcoming or potential transaction, please contact us.