What are New York Property Records?
New York property records are public documents that state residents fill out and submit to state or local administration offices for record purposes. New York State citizens fill out property records to document details about the land they own or property they build on them. While there are different property-related documents like mortgage reports or plats, most people refer to property deeds when discussing property records.
Interested individuals can obtain property records at the county recorder's office per the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The recorder's office is also responsible for noting any alterations to the information in a specific property record.
Are New York Property Records Public?
Yes, New York State citizens can view all property records that are not sealed by court order or statutory exemption. The public can visit their local government offices to view property records. Some government offices include the county courthouse, the county recorder's office, or the county clerk's office.
Property records are available for public viewing through government agencies or third-party aggregate websites. Accessing property records through third-party sites is typically straightforward, and the records are not geographically limited. However, because the sites are not government-affiliated and run independently, the information contained in the records may vary. Searching parties should include the following information to obtain complete property records:
- The property's exact location.
- The property owner's details.
What Information is Included in New York Property Records?
The recording departments in New York's counties store many different types of land records. However, most individuals that request property records typically refer to property deeds. NY property records typically include deeds, mortgage records, plats, and liens.
New York property deeds refer to legal written documents that assert or establish an official transfer between a property's original owner and the new buyer. If an individual's name is written on a New York property deed, the public can assume that they own the property. There are different types of New York property deeds, including:
Deeds of Trust
These are legal documents that transfer ownership of a property from the original owner to a trusted party on behalf of a beneficiary.
These are official documents that transfer property ownership from the original owner to a familiar person like a spouse or family member.
Warranty deeds are documents that transfer property ownership between two parties while protecting the original owner from legal problems in the event of a title defect.
These official documents show the transference of property ownership between two parties after exchanging an agreed sum.
While deeds provide details regarding ownership transference, New York mortgage records are official documents that reveal a property's financial details. New York mortgage records reveal existing agreements between a borrower and a credit lender. For instance, they show how much the property cost and how much the mortgage creditor loaned the homeowner to acquire it. Interested persons can also look through mortgage reports to know how many times a property has been sold since its construction and if it has any existing liens on it.
Plats in New York are official maps (drawn to scale) that outline a property's divisions. Also known as survey maps, plats give an exact representation of a property's position in an area, as well as its size. Liens are official records detailing financial burdens on a property. Property owners must pay off outstanding liens on their property before selling them. Homeowners that sell property with outstanding liens must remit the outstanding sum to the lienholder using the sale proceeds.
Where to Search Public Property Records in New York
New York property records are public records, available at specific county government offices like the tax assessor or county recorder's office. Anyone that wishes to get NY property records may query their local administrator's office. For instance, Cattaraugus County residents may obtain Cattaraugus County property records at the County Assessor or the County Clerk's office.
Some counties also provide online resources for individuals interested in getting NY property records. For instance, New York City residents may find property records on the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) which provides records for Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Brooklyn from 1966 to date.
How to Do a New York Property Records Search
Residents of New York state can request property records, as they are publicly available. However, individuals that wish to obtain NY property records must know:
- The property's exact address, including the house number, street name, and county.
- The property owner's information.
NY residents can usually find property records at their local county recorder's office. However, a county might sometimes store property deeds with the county clerk. The researcher must identify which office is responsible for managing and disseminating property records and then visit the office to request the records.
New York counties make property records accessible to interested individuals. For instance, the Westchester County Clerk's office maintains property deeds from 1680 and mortgage records from 1950. Interested persons may query the clerk's office online, in person, or by mail.
In-person researchers may visit the county clerk's office from Monday through Friday and search for property records on the free public viewing terminals. Researchers that cannot find property records on the terminals may use physical document images.
On the other hand, mail-in requesters may obtain Westchester County property records by sending a written request. The request must contain information about the type of document sought, the property's exact address, the owner's information, and any other information to expedite the search.
How to Find the Owner of a New York Property Using Public Records
Individuals that wish to review New York property records for ownership information must first acquire relevant information regarding the property. The researcher must know the house number, the street name, and the county where the property is situated.
Armed with the above details, the researcher may visit the New York county clerk or tax assessor's office. The researcher may query the county clerk's office to obtain property deeds. Property deeds typically contain information on the property owner. Interested persons can search for property deeds on the county clerk's self-service computers (if available) or look through physical images. Some counties also provide online resources that the public can use to find property deeds.
If the researcher cannot find the desired information at the county clerk's office, they may query their local tax commission. For instance, an individual searching for ownership information for a property in Westchester County may query the Westchester County Tax Commission. The tax commission collects taxes from all income-earning residents, including homeowners. Thus, interested individuals may obtain information about a property's owner at the commission.
Another option available to individuals looking for the owner of a New York property is to look through county court records for any disputes involving the property. Such records will typically contain the property owner's name. Meanwhile, individuals that wish to know the ownership details for a commercial property may query the New York State Department of State by mail at the following address:
Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code
1 Commerce Plaza 99 Washington Avenue,
6th Floor Albany,
What are Property Records Used for in New York?
NY property records provide residents with information about all state properties and their owners. New York property records have many uses, including the following:
- Verifying Ownership: Property deeds help identify a property's true owner. This identification can come in handy when there is a dispute over ownership. Without property documents, it would be difficult to establish who owns a property.
- To Establish A Property's Market Value: Documents like mortgage records typically include the property's most recent purchasing price. Individuals interested in buying or selling the property can refer to such documents for guidance on its current value.
- To Resolve Border Conflicts: Property owners usually run into conflicts with each other over property boundaries. Property records solve these problems as the owners can look to them to verify their property boundaries.
- To Learn About A Property: NY property records provide in-depth details about a property, such as its present state, modifications over time, legal restrictions, or unresolved liens. This information is very important for individuals that wish to buy property in New York.
How to Find New York Property Tax Records
Property tax is a tax that the government places on every home based on its specific value. Every county or town in New York collects property taxes.
New York residents can find NY property tax records by collating accurate information about a property and taking it to their local county tax commission. For instance, Westchester County residents interested in obtaining property tax records may contact the Westchester County Tax Commission by mail, phone, fax, or email.
Westchester County Tax Commission
110 Drive, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Room L-221
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: (914) 995-4325
Fax: (914) 995-4333
What to Do When You Can't Find New York Property Records
Most individuals searching for public property records in NY refers to property deeds. Sometimes, however, researchers may not be able to find a New York property deed at their county clerk's office. In such situations, consider looking for other related property documents like survey maps, mortgage modification documents, or assessment maps. These alternate documents will provide information about the property. Alternatively, hire a real estate lawyer to find missing property records in the court system.