How to find out who owns a property.
By: Eveline Brownstein (c)
There are many reasons why a person might want to know who the owner of a property is, but did you know that the owner of a property is a matter of public record? Every county in the United States has a property tax assessor whose job it is to establish a value for every single piece of property in their counties. The assessment will include assigning a value to the land and all of the structures on that land. If deemed appropriate by the county and the state in which that assessor is located, it is also the job of the assessor to collect the property taxes for the properties in that county for the county and also for the state.
As a result of the meticulous job assessors are charged with to both identify properties, assign value, assess taxes and collect the taxes, assessors must keep thorough records regarding who owns each parcel of property within a county. In some states, there are both county and city tax assessors. Cities collect taxes for their local government purposes, including police and fire departments, park upkeep and other infrastructure, etc. In order for assessors to know who is responsible for paying the property taxes on the parcels of property within their jurisdiction, it is imperative they know who owns the property.
So, if you want to know who owns a property, the local assessor in the city or county where that property is located will have that information and since this is tax collection information, it is a matter of public record. This means that anyone can have access to that information upon request.
These days, most assessors’ offices have interactive websites that make obtaining the information regarding the name of the owner of a property easy to achieve. In areas where the assessor does not have an official website with the information readily available, an interested person can either visit the assessor’s office and request the information in person, or can mail a request for the information. In some instances there is a charge for the assessor to provide the information, but in many cases information obtained via the internet is free.