There are a few different reasons why you might need to find the owner of a particular property. Maybe you’ve come across a particularly beautiful property that you’d like to own, for example, or maybe you need to have someone address a safety issue on their property. Whatever the reason, the process of finding the owner of a property doesn’t have to be a hard process. In fact, you can often make it a relatively painless affair. Let’s take a look at how best to find the owner of a property in a few simple steps.
Do you know the address?
Before we decide which method of searching is the best for your needs, we need to know whether you have the property’s address or not. If you have the address, it becomes relatively easy to find the owner of most properties. If you don’t have the address, you can still find the owner, but it might take a bit longer. Either way, here are some of the things you can do to quickly and painlessly find a property’s owner.
Without the Address
Don’t worry, all is not lost if you don’t have the property’s address. Here are some steps you can take to locate a property owner without an address.
Property Search Tools
Much like the recommendation above, online property search tools can help you find the address and owner of a property. With some tools, you can search areas instead of specific properties. This will generally give you a list of the properties in a particular area, and you can sift through those results until you find the right one.
Some tools will even offer you a map tool, which allows you to zoom in on the location of the property you have in mind and find the address – and other related details – that way. Again, be prepared to pay for the information you uncover using these sites.
This tip actually works whether you have the address or not, but it’s particularly useful in the latter situation. If you are looking for help locating an address and an owner of a property, scope out the neighbourhood a bit. Even if you can’t determine an address from this activity, you will likely come across neighbours you can ask for more information. People-search sites like Nuwber allow you to find contacts of someone’s neighbours only by knowing the correct address or phone number. Make sure to keep your interactions polite and clear so that the people you’re approaching understand exactly why you’re asking. This knowledge might make them a bit more forthright in their responses.
With the above said, don’t linger in the neighbourhood for too long. You don’t want to seem suspicious or make anyone uncomfortable, especially if you’re hoping to buy the property in question. If anyone approaches you and asks what you’re up to, be honest and ask them for help at that point.
With the Address
First, we’ll look at how to find a property owner when you have the property’s address in hand.
County Tax Assessor
One of the first steps you should take when looking for a property owner is to reach out to the county tax assessor. Whether the taxes on a property are up-to-date or not, you can rest assured that the tax assessor will know the owner’s name in most cases.
There are a few different ways you can go about this step. If you’d like to try your luck online, you can run a search in your favourite search engine for the tax assessor in the county where the property is located or visit a website that aggregates that information on their users’ behalf.
If the tax assessor doesn’t have a website or the website doesn’t seem updated, you might have to reach out to the tax assessor’s office instead. You can also try visiting the local library and looking through paper records. It’s important to keep the property’s address handy at this point as you will need it to search through the county’s database. In most cases, the tax paperwork you come across will have the name of the property owner. If you find that the property has been foreclosed, you can reach out to the listed contact and ask how to proceed.
Check Public Records
In addition to looking through tax paperwork, you can also search public records for owner information. Consider visiting the county recorder’s office and asking them to pull the deed of the property. This should give you the owner’s name as well as a way to contact them. The recorder’s office is often located in the county’s courthouse, although you might have to look around online if that’s not the case in your county. Consider determining the lot number or plat of the property before you go in to search.
Try Property Search Tools
If neither of the above strategies work for you – or if you’d like something a bit easier – you might be interested in online property search tools. These sites are used to help provide users with all manner of information in a single report instead of forcing them to reach out to different departments and offices. With that said, these search tools are not always free. You might have to pay to access a full report, including the owner’s name or to use certain tools when searching. If you don’t mind spending a bit for the information you need, then this might be a good option for you.
Send a Postcard
This might be a rather unorthodox approach, but it’s also an unobtrusive one. If you have the address, why not consider sending a postcard to the owners introducing yourself and explaining your interest in their property. Make sure you send this through the mail as opposed to leaving it in a mailbox unless it’s obvious the owners actively live in the property. If they’ve moved, your postcard could still reach them via mail forwarding.
If you’re looking for a property owner, don’t worry – the process doesn’t have to be a long and arduous one. Keep our tips in mind and work through them methodically until you’ve found the information you need.