There are several different sources you can use to research the ownership, history, and current status of a vacant building. As you learn more about a building, keep track of each piece of information and all of the documents you collect. If you are researching multiple properties, consider keeping your information in a spreadsheet so you can easily compare one property to another.
|Questions||Sources for answers|
|Who is the owner of record?||SDAT Real Property Database; CityView; Baltimore City Department of Finance Real Property; Maryland Land Records|
|How do I contact the owner of an LLC or corporation?||SDAT Business database|
|What does the deed to the property say?||Maryland Land Records|
|Have any lawsuits been filed relating to this property?||Maryland Judiciary Case Search|
|Is this property on the tax sale foreclosure list?||Bid Baltimore|
Sources for researching ownership
Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation
A community member can identify the owner of any property in the state of Maryland by using the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) website. SDAT’s website will have the name and address of the person or corporate entity that last purchased the property and recorded the deed.
SDAT is also the agency that keeps information on business entities operating within Maryland, so community members can also look up more information about a business entity that owns a particular property; neighbors may want to know, for example, where the business entity is headquartered, whether it is in good standing, and who is the resident agent for the business.
Maryland Land Records Online
This digital image retrieval system for land records in Maryland is a service provided by the Maryland Judiciary and the Maryland State Archives. Residents who want to use this service will have to register for an account. The Land Records system will allow neighbors to see the recorded deeds of any properties. You need to create a user account to access MDLANDREC.NET.
Baltimore City Department of Finance
The Baltimore City Department of Finance provides real property tax account information online. This is another tool for locating the current owner of a property when you only know the street address. This tool will also allow citizens to find all of the properties in Baltimore City owned by a specific person or entity.
Maryland Judiciary Case Search
On Maryland Judiciary Case Search, a community member can find information on any lawsuits filed in the state of Maryland by or against a particular corporate entity or attached to a particular piece of property (e.g., foreclosure).
Bid Baltimore is the website maintained by Baltimore City to run its annual tax sale of liens on properties. Liens are legal claims to property to secure the payment of debt. Liens can be attached to a property if its owner neglects to pay real estate taxes, water bills, or other debts. Bid Baltimore shows whether a property owner owes any debt to the City. If it does, and if the City sells that debt to an investor, the investor may become the owner of the property if the owner does not pay the debt.