What are Maryland Property Records?
Maryland property records refer to the various documents used to show ownership and transfer of a property. These records include deeds, mortgages, liens, surveys, and assessments. The custodian of property records in Maryland is typically the Department of Land Records for the county or municipality where the property is located. Usually, these offices are part of the Circuit Court Clerk's office or County Assessors' office. At state level, however, selected property records can be obtained from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
According to the Maryland Public Information Act, property records are considered public information and may be accessed by anyone who requests them from their local government office. Certain types of information may require open records request to access, such as specific details related to financial instruments associated with a particular parcel of land. Additionally, some information contained within specific documents may be considered confidential and thus subject to certain restrictions.
Are Maryland Property Records Public?
Yes, according to the provisions of the Maryland FOIA, inquirers may access Maryland property provided they are not exempt from disclosure by court order.
Usually, Maryland property records get into the public space when property owners file them with the county. The law grants Maryland citizens access to solicit, review, and copy these property records as desired.
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 Maryland Property Records?
The information included in the Maryland property records is as follows:
- Alienation Fees: An alienation fee is usually paid whenever a transfer or conveyance of a whole or half of a tract of land or other property is done. It is generally equivalent to an annual rent.
- Caveats: This gives a land or property owner who feels a patent or survey includes a part of their land the right to protest against such infringement for further investigation and rectification.
- Certificate of Survey and Resurvey: After a warrant, an intending property or landowner has requested or even paid for, a survey of the marked acreage is usually done, and a name is typically given to the piece of land.
After the survey is marked with a beacon stone, the surveyor usually files a certificate, including a description and a plat, with the Land Departments.
Patented land resurveys often done using a warrant of a survey to verify the original boundaries of the piece of land added to the original and also used to put together a property or land owner holding different parts of land into a single piece of land.
- Certificate of Survey Of Unpatented Lands: These are certificates that weren't included in the issuance of a patent under a landowner's main piece of land name.
- Deeds: Deeds for the conveyance of land are usually done and documented after payment.
- Fee Simple: The Fee Simple is the total possession of land by an individual, his heir, and the people he assigns it to without limitation.
- Leases: usually long-term leases are typically documented in Maryland property records.
- Tenements and Hereditaments: Tenements are all houses and other structures on land, including every natural structure not documented by the land tenements.
- Warrant Of Survey: This is the initial step in patenting land allocated to an individual. Here an individual is entitled to an assigned number of acres of vacant land.
Where to Search Maryland Public Property Records
Residents and citizens of Maryland citizens and residents can obtain property records from the record custodian in the jurisdiction where the property is situated or through the Department of Assessments and Taxation.
For statewide searches, inquirers may use the Maryland Real Property Search page on the SDAT website. However, at the county level, the requesting party must query the county recorder's office or the county assessor, depending on the documents sought and the judicial district in question.
For instance, Montgomery county residents can obtain property records from the Recording Department of the County Circuit Court. Alternatively, residents can get property tax records from the Montgomery County Assessor's Office.
How to Do a Property Records Search in Maryland
According to the state public records law, residents may request and obtain copies of property records in Maryland. Inquirers are typically required to provide the following information to facilitate a search:
- The property's actual location, including the county
- The street name and house number.
- The property owner's full name
Individuals that need to do a Maryland property records search can, first of all, visit the recording division of their county circuit court. Some may refer to the office as the County Clerk-Recorder's Office, and others, the office of the Register of Deeds.
For instance, residents of Prince George's County can obtain copies of property records from Land Records Clerk by making in-person or mail requests at:
Judicial Administrative Services
14701 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
14735 Main Street
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Phone: (301) 780-2253
How to Find the Owner of a Maryland Property Using Public Records
Anyone interested in finding the owner of a Maryland property using public records can visit the county clerk in the county where the property is located. They may submit a request for the information by providing the address of the property or search online using the same query. Alternative parameters that may be used to process this request include the parcel ID number, the tax bill number, or the parcel address number.
What are Maryland Property Records Used For?
Maryland property records are helpful for the following functions:
- Property records in Maryland can be used to identify the legal description of a property, including its address and boundaries. This information is essential for determining ownership rights and helps to assess property taxes accurately.
- Property records in Maryland can also be used to track any changes to the title or deed of a property over time. This can help buyers determine if they are making a good investment, as they will have an accurate record of when specific improvements were made to the property or whether there are any liens against it. It is also helpful for lenders who need proof that their borrower has sufficient equity in their home before issuing a loan.
- Another use of property records in Maryland is for researching the history of a property. This can be helpful when trying to determine if any previous owners may have left any liabilities or easements behind. It can also assist in developing a more accurate market value for the property, as it will provide details on all sales that have taken place within the past few years.
- Property records in Maryland are also an essential resource for tracking mortgages and other financial transactions related to real estate ownership. This information is vital for lenders who must ensure that they are adequately protecting their investments by obtaining full disclosure of all liens and other obligations associated with a property before issuing a loan or mortgage.
- Maryland's property records are also essential for helping individuals assess their financial situation. By tracking the value of a property and understanding how much it has appreciated or depreciated over time, individuals can get an idea of their net worth and plan for their future accordingly. This information is crucial for those looking to purchase a home shortly, as they will have accurate market values to refer to when making an offer.
How to Find Maryland Property Tax Records
Interested persons can find Maryland property tax records through the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Alternatively, inquirers may query the office of the Tax Assessor in the county where the property is located.
What to Do When You Can't Find Property Records in Maryland
Persons experiencing difficulty finding Maryland property records can use online search tools to locate the records. Most counties in Maryland offer online databases that allow for quick searches using various criteria, such as by owner name, address, and parcel number. Additionally, some third-party aggregate sites have access to the statewide property records database. This is done through a secure website that allows persons to retrieve information about properties throughout Maryland quickly and reliably.
In addition to providing access to property records, many counties in Maryland also offer customer service representatives who can assist persons with their search efforts by providing additional tips on how to find particular documents or giving detailed explanations about any questions they may have regarding the process or specific information within a copy.