Queens County Property Search
Queens County property records are official documents containing information about real properties (e.g., land, commercial buildings, apartment complexes) situated in the county. These records - generated by private individuals - provide details on the description, location, and ownership of property and are maintained by local government agencies. In Queens County, New York, the primary agency that maintains property records is the Office of the City Register, a unit of the Land Records Division under the New York City Department of Finance.
The Office of the City Register ensures that all Queens County property records are indexed accurately and publicly accessible. The office accepts both manual and electronic filings of property records. However, property owners must comply with filing regulations and fees to record any property document.
Through the Office of the City Register, members of the public can perform property searches for several reasons. For example, an individual can search Queens County property records to learn more about a piece of property (e.g., its historical value, environmental issues, legal issues). One may also review the county's property records to find out if any liens or other encumbrances exist on the property, and so on.
Individuals can access Queens County Public Records, including property records filed in the city register's office from 1966 to the present and earlier.
Are Queens County Property Records Public?
Yes. Per the New York Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL"), outlined in Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, Queens County property records are considered public records. The law permits the record custodians (e.g., Office of the City Register and Department of Finance) to provide property records in their custody for inspection when required by members of the public.
However, certain records (or parts of records) may have restricted public access. Below are conditions that may prevent the release of a property record:
- The information is exempt by state or federal statute (e.g., financial data, social security numbers).
- Disclosure may impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations.
- Disclosure may endanger a person's life or safety.
- Disclosure represents an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. For instance, electronic contact information, such as an email address or social network username, obtained from a taxpayer.
If an agency denies an individual's application for a property record, the law mandates the agency to provide reason(s) for the denial in writing.
What Do Queens County Property Records Contain?
Government agencies in Queens County maintain different types of property records, and the information contained in these records varies based on the document type. Examples of property records include property deeds, liens, mortgages, memorandum of lease, property tax records, UCC termination records, etc.
For instance, one can find the following property information at the Office of the City Register:
- Document identification number (usually 16 digits)
- Document creation and filing date
- Location details: Unit number (where applicable) and borough, block and lot number (BBL)
- Ownership information: Names and addresses
- Document type (deed, lien, mortgage, agreement, assignment of lease and rents, etc.) and document class
- Parcel information: Property value, property type, building class, percentage transferred, air rights, property address, subterranean rights, etc.
- Real property transfer report
- Tax information: Real property transfer tax amount, homeowner exemption, and taxable value
Meanwhile, property tax records maintained by the Department of Finance (DOF) contain property ownership information, property data (location details), notices of property value, market values and assessments, tax exemptions, refund history, property tax bills, and annual property tax value.
Where to Perform a Queens County Property Lookup
Inquirers can perform a Queens County property lookup online, by telephone, or in person.
Online search –Interested persons can search property records online using New York City's Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS). The platform allows users to access property records and document images for free. However, only records from 1966 are accessible.
In-person search: Individuals can visit the city register's office in Queens County to perform a property record search. At the office, requesters can look up records before the 1960s and obtain certified copies for $4 per page. However, requesters must schedule an appointment before stopping by, and the visitation period is limited to one hour.
Queens Business Center
144-06 94th Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11435
Telephone: To perform a property lookup via telephone, interested persons can call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK ((212) 487-6300) for assistance.
How to Perform a Property Owner Lookup in Queens County
Individuals can search for property ownership information at the Queens County City Register's Office or online via the NYC Department of Finance's Property Tax Public Access web portal.
Also, as mentioned, the city register's office provides in-person property information lookup. However, interested persons must schedule appointments before visiting the office.
All appointment requests must be made between Monday and Friday via the city's online booking site. On the platform, requesters will select the service they want (in this case, property research), select a location, and a convenient time. Afterward, the requester must supply their email and phone number to receive the confirmation email from the Department of Finance. On the day of the appointment, the requester must provide the necessary information (e.g., a property owner's name) and pay the necessary fees to access records containing details about property ownership.
How to Find Queens County Property Records Online
The Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) is the official portal for accessing property records in Queens County online. Users can access property records with information such as a property owner's name, the borough, block and lot number (otherwise known as the parcel identifier), federal file number, document type, and document identification number (the number allotted to a document by the city register's office).
Besides the official sites, independent third-party sites provide property records search services online. However, accessing records from these sites may require the requester to subscribe to a monthly plan or pay a fee per record.
How to Find Property Owner by Address Free
Individuals can find property owners by address for free using the Department of Finance's Property Tax Public Access web portal. Though the site operates as a tax and assessment web portal, interested persons can use the platform's Property Address Search feature to find property ownership information. Each search query brings up a table that displays a property's BBL number, complete address, and owner's name.
Note that the property ownership information available on the platform may not reflect the most recent updates. One may contact the Queen County's property assessment and valuation office for updated ownership records.
Queens County Property Tax Lookup
Interested persons can perform a Queens County property tax lookup on the NYC Department of Finance's Property Tax Public Access web portal. By inputting search keywords such as a property address, BBL number, or REUC (Real Estate of Utility Companies) number assigned to properties like power plants, cell towers, etc.), inquirers can obtain tax information about a property. This includes a property's tax class, tax bills, market value, assessed value, tax exemptions, and abatements.
One can also contact the DOF's business center in Queens to look up property tax information and make other related inquiries.
Conducting a property tax search is particularly important to prospective buyers and owners of real estate who want to ascertain the tax status and implications of a piece of property. Specifically, a person may conduct a property tax lookup to find outstanding taxes or determine the total property taxes they will pay.
How to Find Queens County Property Appraiser
Property appraisers (also called real estate appraisers) require licenses to operate in any New York area, including Queens County. This license is administered by the New York Department of State (NYSDOS). Thus, individuals seeking a property appraiser based in Queens County can use the department's Licensee Search tool or access the Open NY Appraiser Portal to find currently licensed local appraisers.
Some services that property appraisers provide include determining the fair market value of property, drafting comprehensive reports on a property's market value, and analyzing property to determine its taxable value.
Queens County Property Assessor
In most counties, a local official known as the property assessor estimates the value of all real property within the county. In Queens County, this function resides with the New York City Department of Finance (DOF).
Duties of the Department of Finance include:
- Identifying all real estate in the county that can be taxed
- Calculating taxes due on properties and producing tax assessment roll data annually
- Administering exemption and abatement programs to lower property owners' tax liability
- Maintaining the official tax maps of New York City
Below is the DOF's office in Queens County.
Queens Business Center
144-06 94th Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11435