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How To Find Out Who Owns A Property

How To Find Out Who Owns A Property

There are many reasons someone may be curious about who owns a property. Maybe you have spotted a home that you would love to purchase, so you want to reach out to the current owner to see if they are open to selling it. Or, maybe you are looking to open a business and need a space to rent; you’ll need to know who the property owner is in order to share your interest in opening up a shop in their building.

In other situations, there is no building being scouted – finding the property owner is all about the land. A city representative may be interested in building a commercial facility in a rural area, or a developer may have their sights set on an up-and-coming area. In either case, finding the owner of the property is necessary. In this article, we will discuss how to find out who owns a property in a residential area, as well as how to find a commercial property owner.

How To Check Who Owns A Property

Regardless of why you are searching, finding a property owner has never been easier. There are resources online that house public records and databases with all of the information you are looking for. From tax records to your county’s Assessor’s Office and the Registry of Deeds, you will have no problem hunting down the name of the person who owns the property you are interested in. The following section will focus primarily on how to find out who owns a residential property with the help of online records.

Assessor’s Office To Find a Property Owner

There is a County Assessor in every county who is in charge of determining the market value of the properties in their jurisdiction. The County Assessor’s Office typically has a website feature that allows anyone to search for tax records and property information, as long as you have the address of the property. Typically, you will want to look for the Property Record Card Search if you have a property address or parcel number. You can also use the Public Access Tax Information research feature for the property if you have a:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Parcel number
  • Duplicate number

If you are unable to find these features, simply type your county + “Assessor’s Office property search” into your search engine. Keep in mind, the County Assessor is also called the County’s Property Appraiser in some areas.

Using the Registry of Deeds To Find Out Who Owns A Property

Searching the Registry of Deeds is a similar process to looking up tax records to find a property owner on the Assessor’s Office website. Simply look for the feature that says “property search” and enter the address of the property. The latest deed will tell you who owns the house now, and who owned it prior to the current owner.

Lookup Property Owners Online

In addition to searching public records from the Assessor’s Office and Registry of Deeds, there are multiple online databases you can use to find out who owns a property. Simply do a Google search with “property owner records.” Some of these resources include Reonomy, NETR Online, and Property Shark. All you need is the address of the property, and you can usually find out basic information about the current owner. Keep in mind, some of these websites may charge a fee to search through their database.

Find Out Who Owns A Property

How To Find Out Who Owns A House For Free

If you are unable to find out who owns a property with the resources mentioned above, there are a few more old-school methods you can try. If you know the address of the property, you can always send them a letter or postcard in the mail. It is best to address the letter to them, rather than slipping it in their mailbox to ensure it lands in the right hands and is taken seriously. Simply introduce yourself and explain to the property owner why you are interested in knowing more about the building or plot of land. Leave your contact information (email and phone number) so they have a way of replying if they are interested in keeping the conversation going.

Another way to find out who owns a property is by asking neighbors. This typically works best if you already know someone who lives by and would likely have a connection with the property owner. You can keep the conversation casual at first, but be sure to ask the neighbor to formally introduce you.

If you are still not able to find the property owner with the aforementioned resources, you might consider hiring a private investigator (PI) if obtaining answers is extremely important to you. Private investigators often have an expensive hourly rate, so this method is much more expensive than doing a simple online search. However, you will be able to find out much more information with the assistance of a PI.


What If The Property Doesn’t Have An Address?

If you are looking to find out who owns a property, the first step is to obtain the address. However, there are situations where finding an address is not possible. In this case, you should use something called a parcel number to find the property owner. Both an address and a parcel number are kept on file by the Assessor’s Office for all properties. These identifiers are used to look up information about a property like property lines, property tax, and deeds.

So, how do you find a property’s parcel number? The Assessor’s Office has Parcel Maps that map out every lot in a city or township. You can usually view these maps online on the Assessor’s Office website. If you know the specific neighborhood or road the property is on, you should be able to find it on the map. Parcel numbers can be formatted differently in different jurisdictions, so be sure to ask the Assessor’s Office how to read the parcel map if you are confused.

Who Owns A Property

How To Find A Commercial Property Owner

The most common reason people will look for a property owner is to find out more information about a residential space or lot. However, there are reasons you might want to search for the owner of a commercial property, too. For instance, commercial real estate agents are always on the lookout for commercial properties to show their clients. They need to have a constant stream of available spaces that are ready to be leased or bought out. So, if there’s a property the realtor is interested in showing a client but it isn’t on the market, they may have to do some digging to see if the property owner is willing to sell or rent their space. Once you discover who owns a building or space, be sure to keep track of property owners in a database for future reference.

Business owners may also want to find property owners if they are looking for a home for their business. Or, maybe they are curious about the cost to rent or buy in a certain area and want to chat with a nearby property owner to get a better idea of the price. Whatever the reason is for finding a property owner, you can do so by following the same steps mentioned above. Reach out to the Assessor’s Office, look through an online database, or simply visit send a message to the business if they are still open.

To learn more about property law, check out How To Locate My Property Lines.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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