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Who owns that property?
“Who owns that property?” – something we’ve all said in the past, but did you know how easy it is to find out using HM Land Registry’s land and property services?
We’ve built two services where you can find this out: Find a property and Search for land and property information.
Property ownership details will be added to Search for land and property information, for purchase, in March 2021 and it can currently be used to:
- view a subset of register data at no cost
- view the latest price paid for a property
- view the property description as house owner search in the register
- identify if any restrictions or rights exist on the land
Whether it’s prices or ownership, the national conversation is never too far away from property, and HM Land Registry holds a lot of the data that underpins it all. From people and organisations wanting to know who owns a piece of land to real estate companies generating their house price indices east and west all star game score journalists finding out how much a house costs, our data is viewed by thousands every day for a multitude of reasons. It helps to support the economy and is the backbone of property-related industries.
Millions of searches
Since its launch in March 2003 Find a property has returned millions of searches from people looking to find out who owns land and property or how much it was bought for. It’s been used by citizens, surveyors, journalists and property developers to name a few. Find a property will be retired later this year and Search for land and house owner search information will become our flagship citizen-facing service.
Search for land and property information was launched in February 2020 and has already seen more than 750,000 searches made. This newer service is easy to use and will eventually give you information you need whether you’re researching house prices in advance of a move, looking for legal or ownership reasons or simply to satisfy your personal curiosity. You can find information such as property deeds, and the house price data uses the same Price Paid Data set, produced by HM Land Registry, that is used by Zoopla and other property websites.
As we get closer to Find a property’s retirement date, further features such as customer accounts, map searching, digital register and title plan view will be added to ensure a smooth transition between the two.
We designed Search for land and property information to make as much of our data as possible accessible for everyone in England and Wales and to help achieve our aim of becoming the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. We’ve worked closely with our early adopters to make an easy-to-use and clear service that we hope will benefit users as we add more features.
Why not give Search for land and property information a try yourself? Please remember current Find a property users will have to create a new account for Search for land and property information.
NOTICE: Please note that Chapter 538 from the 2020 Session of the Maryland General Assembly provides that the current $40 surcharge on recordable instruments recorded among the land records and financing statement records will continue on and after July 1, 2020. For more information, see page 15 through 16 here.
Disclaimer – This page provides some general information about Maryland land records. Property transfers can be complicated. There may also be tax consequences for property transfers. Consider contacting a Maryland lawyer or Maryland title company to help you with a property transfer.
What are Land Records?
Every Maryland County and Baltimore City has a Department of Land Records located in that County’s Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. These departments maintain records about real property in the county that are accessible on a variety of media from “well-bound books” to digitally scanned images.
What can be recorded at Land Records?
The Department of Land Records can record any “instrument” (or legal document) that affects someone’s legal interest in real property. Common documents recorded in land records are deeds, mortgages, liens, powers of attorney, and certain leases.
Read the law: Maryland Code, Real Property §§ 3-101, 3-102, and Commercial Law § 9-501(a)(1)
What is a deed?
A deed is a written document that gives ownership rights to a piece of land. In a deed, one person, called the grantor, gives their ownership rights in land to a second person, called the grantee. Deeds contain important information about the property and the terms of the property transfer.
What can the clerks at the Department of Land Records do?
Clerks at the Department of Land Records are responsible for accepting documents that meet the requirements for inclusion in land records, rejecting documents that do not, and keeping records. Clerks may also collect certain payments at the time documents are submitted. When you come to the Department of Land Records, you must have your documents ready to give to the clerk. The clerks can answer only a few limited questions. The clerks cannot:
- Help you fill out documents or forms
- Review your documents prior to being presented for recording
- Tell you if your documents will accomplish your goals
- Perform a title search for you
- Give you legal advice
In many counties, the clerks cannot accept a document into land records until the county’s finance or treasurer’s office endorses the document and collects taxes.
Read the law: Maryland Code, Real Property § 3-104
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How can I get Information from Land Records?
How do I look up a deed?
Deeds are public information. This means anyone can view and get a copy of a deed. Deeds can be viewed for free online through mdlandrec.net. You must create an account with the Maryland State Archives to view deeds on mdlandrec.net. Many courthouses also have computer terminals you can use to search or review deeds. If you have a deed reference number, or need additional assistance finding a deed, a clerk in the Department of Land Records can help find the deed for you. Should you want copies of any document, the cost is $.50 per page.
Where can I find a deed reference number?
Every deed recorded in land records has a reference number that refers to the book and page number where it is stored. (Sometimes deeds use the Latin words “liber” for book and house owner search for page.) Look up reference numbers online through the Maryland Department of Assessments. Select a county and then enter the property address. The reference number appears under the owner information section in the top right corner of the page. The book number is first, followed by a backslash, then the page number.
How do I find a lien?
Finding all liens on a property is difficult. There are different kinds of liens. Only some are recorded in land records. If you are planning on transferring property, consider seeking help from a lawyer or title company to locate liens.
- Liens against property can be recorded at the Department of Land Records alongside deeds. Search for liens online using Maryland Land Records (mdlandrec.net).
- Some liens come from court judgments. If this happens, the lien may not be at Land Records. Go to Maryland Case Search to search for court judgments against the property’s owner.
- Unpaid taxes on the property may result in a lien. Visit your local county or city’s finance office to find property tax or other municipal liens.
Can I check if a home is in foreclosure at Land Records?
Foreclosure cases are not kept at the Department of Land Records. The Civil Clerk at the Circuit Court handles foreclosure cases. You can look up a foreclosure case by searching the owner’s name on Maryland Case Search.
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How do I record a deed?
You can read about the steps to record a new deed at the People’s Law Library. Preparing a deed is complicated. Small mistakes can have major consequences and be difficult to fix. There may also be tax consequences for property transfers. Consider speaking to a lawyer before you prepare any documents
What are the costs associated with house owner search deeds?
Please note that Chapter 538 from the 2020 Session of the Maryland General Assembly provides that the current $40 surcharge on recordable instruments recorded among the land records and financing statement records will continue on and after July 1, 2020. For more information, see page 15 through 16 here.
Deeds and other documents have fees, surcharges, and taxes you must pay to record them in land records. Some fees house owner search paid directly to the Land Records Department. Others must be paid to your local county or city finance office or other local government offices. Fees charged by the Land Records Department are listed in the Circuit Court fee schedule. Clerks at the Land Records Department can answer some questions about the fees you need to pay and where you must go to pay them. Below is a list of costs associated with recording and transferring deeds. Seek professional help from a Maryland lawyer or title company to determine the exact costs of any specific transaction.
- Recording fees and surcharges
- Recordation tax
- State transfer tax
- County transfer tax
- Non-Resident tax
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Frequently asked questions
How do I take someone’s name off a deed? How do I add someone’s name to a deed?
To take someone’s name off a deed, a new deed must be prepared to transfer the property from all of the current owners to all of the remaining owners. Similarly, to add someone to a deed a new deed must be prepared to transfer the property from all current owners to all new and current owners. The new deed must then be recorded in land records.
You can read about the steps to record a new deed at the People’s Law Library. Preparing a deed is complicated. Small mistakes can have major consequences and be difficult to fix. Consider speaking to a Maryland lawyer before you prepare any documents.
What if a person listed on a deed has died?
When someone dies, changing legal ownership of their property usually does not happen at the Department of Land Records. Instead, there is a legal process to distribute their property called estate administration. An estate can be opened at the Register of Wills in the county where the deceased person lived at their time of death. More information on the estate administration process can be found at the People’s Law Library.
What is a deed in lieu of foreclosure?
If a property owner falls behind on the mortgage, the lender that holds the mortgage can foreclose on the property. Foreclosure means the lender can go to court and ask to sell the property by auction. A deed in lieu can be done instead of auctioning the property. This means that the property owner will transfer ownership of the home directly to the lender. The lender must agree to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
If you are facing foreclosure and need assistance, call the Maryland HOPE Hotline at 1-877-462-7555. Housing counselors can help you explore your options.
What is a quitclaim deed?
In regular deeds, the grantor warrants generally that there are no problems with the title. If it turns out that there is a problem with the property’s title or other ownership rights, the grantor can be held responsible.
In a quitclaim deed, the grantor makes no promises that they have a good title to the property. The grantor does not even promise that they own the property. Instead, the grantor only transfers whatever interest, if any, they have in the property. By accepting a quitclaim deed, the grantee takes responsibility for any problems with the ownership rights to the property.
What is a life estate?
A property owner with a life estate has ownership rights of their property until they die. When the homeowner dies, a person named in the deed automatically becomes the owner of the property. Life estates have some important advantages and disadvantages over regular property ownership. Consult with a lawyer before you set up your life estate.
What is a contract of sale?
A contract of sale is a written agreement to transfer ownership of property. The contract does not cause the legal ownership of the property to change. The deed is the document which has the legal effect of transferring the property. The contract will state terms of the transfer including who will write a new deed and when the deed should be signed. A contract of sale is subject to taxes. If the contract falls through the tax is not refundable.
Can I file deeds online?
In some counties, deeds and other documents for the Department of Land Records may be filed online at Simplifile. A current list of Land Records Departments and County Finance Offices that permit electronic filing of deeds can be found here. Read about the requirements for electronic filing here. You can use an electronic signature if you complete and submit an Affidavit of Intent to Use Electronic Signature.
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How to Find Out Who Owns a House in 6 Steps
Have you ever wondered who owns that dilapidated House owner search home two blocks away from your house? Have you ever thought of acquiring it for a small price? Well, you’re not the only one. It’s not uncommon to want to know who owns a house or a property, especially for a real estate investor looking to land the best real estate deals. Because of the fierce competition in today’s market, many investors go about looking for off market real estate opportunities. What they do is perform a property owner search in a well-performing housing market and create a list of all the potential sellers they find. Once they find out who the owner of a property is, they get in touch with them to let them know that they are interested in buying investment property in the neighborhood. If the homeowner is motivated to sell their own house, the real estate investor will then make an offer and finalize the deal.
But you might still be wondering: How to find out who owns a house? Actually, there are several ways. Here are the two most common ways of how to find out who owns a house by address:
- Property Tax Records: The first way is to look up local property tax records to find property owner information. Usually, each town or county has a tax assessment website that allows anyone to search for tax records and property information online, as long as you have the address of the property. But in many cases, you may have to visit the tax assessor’s office in person and search through paper records manually if no website exists for the county where the property is located. This also requires you to have the address of the property.
- Property Deeds: Another way to find out who owns a house is through a property deed search, using the Registry of Deeds. Searching the Registry of Deeds is in principle similar to the process of looking up tax records to find a property owner. If the county where the property is situated has a Registry of Deeds website, then you’ll need to enter the property’s address and select the most recent deed on file. The latest deed will tell you who the current owner of the house is. Here also, you may have to take a trip to the county’s recorder’s office and search for the deed to the property in person if the county does not have an online service.
Searching through public property owner records, whether tax records or property deeds, might seem like a good way to find the owner of a property. But, how to find out who owns a property WITHOUT an address? Successful real estate investors typically don’t go around their neighborhoods writing down addresses in order to find investment properties and perform a property owner search. Many of them don’t even invest in their local housing markets and still manage to find out who owns a property.
So let’s see how to find out who owns a house like the pros do.
How to Find Out Who Owns a House in 6 Simple Steps
In order to find out who owns a property like a pro, you need to be equipped with an advanced tool that enables you to easily search for property owners in any location house owner search the US real estate market, even if you don’t have any information on the property or the owner. The best tool that will help you perform a quick online property owner search is Mashboard.
With Mashboard, it’s actually fairly easy to find the owner of any off market property, with or without an address. In just a few simple steps, you can forgo the need to sift through local records to unearth property owner information. You can even build a property owner list so you can have a reliable house owner search of off market real estate deals to turn to anytime in the future.
Related: 6 Reasons You Should Look for Off Market Real Estate Deals
Here are 6 steps on how to find out who owns a house using Mashboard.
Step 1: Sign Up for Mashvisor
In order to access Mashboard, you need to sign up for Mashvisor. By signing up for the platform, you will also gain access to other investment tools that are useful for real estate investing, including:
Take the first step.
You can request to book a demo with one of our experts at Mashvisor to help you understand how to use each one of these tools.
Related: 4 Best Property Search Tools for Investors in 2020
Step 2: Access Mashboard and Click ‘Add Owner List’
To start your online property owner search, access Mashboard through the Mashvisor platform and click on the ‘Add Owner List’ button, as shown in the picture below.
Step 3: Set the Filters
The next step is to set the filters for your property owner search. You will notice that there are several filters available, and which ones you’ll need to set will depend on whether or not you know the address of your subject property.
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Finding Property Owners by Address:
If you know the address of your subject investment property, then go ahead and type it in the ‘Address’ field. Once you input the address of the property, you will notice that all the other location-related filters (‘State’, ‘City’, and ‘Zip Code’) will be automatically filled.
Finding Property Owners Without an Address:
If you do not have an address, you need to input any information that you have on the property or the area where you’d like to find off market properties. This means you will have to fill in the following filters:
- ‘Zip Code’
- ‘Address’ (here, you can type in the name of the neighborhood)
Besides the location-related filters, there are some other filters that you can set to narrow down your property owner search. These include:
- ‘Property Type’: This filter allows you to choose the type of real estate that you’re looking for. You have the option to select one of the following property types: single family home, multi family home, townhouse, apartment, duplex, condo/coop, and more.
- ‘Year Built’: You might be looking for an early 19th-century house in a historic district, or on the contrary, for a brand new and modern house. You can, therefore, use the ‘Year Built’ filter to specify a date range and find an investment property that was built within that range.
- ‘Sale Dates’: As a real estate investor, you should always take into account the sales date of the property you’re eyeing. A homeowner who recently purchased a property is less likely to be willing to sell. Using the ‘Sale Dates’ filter, you can, therefore, filter out all the investment properties that were recently sold. This will maximize your chances of finding owners that are willing to sell.
- ‘Contact Data’: This final filter allows you to choose which contact details you would like to receive about the property owner, such as their address, email, and phone number.
Once you’re done setting all the above filters, click on the ‘Add Contact’ button and the system will then gather the data for you.
Step 4: Download the CSV Report
Once the data is gathered, Mashboard will display a list of property owners based on your filter selections, along with their contact data, including:
- Owner’s Name
- Owner’s Address
- Owner’s Email
- Owner’s Phone Number
depending on which type of contact details you’ve chosen to receive.
You can then download the property ownership information in the form of a CSV report. Or, you can simply check out the ownership data on Mashboard.
Step 5: Connect with the Property Owners
Now that you have all the property owner information that you need, you can finally get in touch with the owners of the properties you are interested in and start negotiations. Mashboard allows you to contact the owners directly. You can actually send emails, email campaigns, as well as SMSs, all through the platform.
Keep in mind, however, that not every homeowner that you talk to will have a desire to sell their property to you right away. That’s house owner search you need to make sure to adopt a smart real estate marketing strategy and combine it with effective negotiation tactics in order to be able to reach a deal.
Step 6: Repeat!
Since you have access to a large property ownership database, you can repeat the whole process again to create a new owners list, find motivated sellers, and close on new deals. That way, you will see your investment portfolio grow in no time.
Related: How to Grow Your Real Estate Investment Portfolio in 2020
Get Started Now
Determining property ownership is essential for real estate investors who are looking to buy income properties that are not on the market and expand their real estate investment portfolio. The best way to find out who owns a house is by using Mashboard. With Mashboard, you can search for property owners anywhere in the US with a single click of a button!
Sign up for Mashvisor to start using Mashboard and find rental properties and their owners right away.