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Alabama Property Records
What are Alabama Property Records?
Alabama property records are legal papers that offer information about lands in the state and private or commercial properties that landowners build or buy. Per the Alabama Open Records Law, Code of Alabama 1975, § 36-12-40, Alabama property records are in the public domain. Generally, these documents enter the public domain when property owners file them with county officials after performing a real estate transaction.
Alabama property records come in different forms, including property deeds, mortgages, liens, judgments, and plats. Of all these, property deeds are the most popular type of property record. In Alabama, interested persons can obtain property records from their local probate office’s records and recording or land records department. Alternatively, they may query their local revenue commissioner’s office for property tax records. These offices allow the public to request property records in-person or by mail. They also offer online databases that researchers can peruse from remote locations.
Are Alabama Property Records Public?
Yes. Alabama’s property records are public property according to the Alabama Open Records Law. The law allows Alabama citizens to solicit, review, and duplicate property records as needed. Citizens of Alabama can visit the land records department or the local revenue commissioner’s office to request property records.
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 Alabama Property Records?
Alabama mortgage records refer to documents that mortgage companies generate when homeowners borrow money to purchase properties. These documents usually contain financial details such as the property’s initial sale cost and the contribution split between the property owner and the mortgage company. They also reveal repayment rates and frequency, and any outstanding payments left on a property.
Alabama property maps are official drawings produced as visual representations of existing property. There are different types of property maps, including survey maps, parcel maps, assessment maps, or subdivision maps.
Alabama property deeds are legal documents used to facilitate the transfer of ownership between a property’s owner and its buyer. Most people seeking Alabama property records require property deeds, as they usually reveal a property’s legitimate owner. There are different types of property deeds in Alabama, including (but not limited to) the following:
Deed of Trust
A deed of trust is an official document that a property owner draws up to transfer control of a property or estate to a third party. Typically, the third party must maintain the property on behalf of a beneficiary who will eventually take over.
Warranty deeds are legal documents that usually play when facilitating the transfer title. Warranty deeds provide legal assurance of the grantor’s right to the title and their ability to transfer the title. They also protect the grantee against future problems regarding the property’s ownership.
Most homeowners use grant deeds when selling personal property. A grant deed provides legal assurance that a property has only one owner and nobody else has purchased it. Grant deeds also assure the grantee that the current grantor did not run into legal problems while holding title to the property.
Quitclaim deeds are mostly used to transfer property title when there is no worry about ownership. Quitclaim deeds usually come into play when divorcees or other family members need to transfer property between themselves. A quitclaim deed gives the grantee title to a property but does not protect them from legal challenges.
Where to Search Public Property Records in Alabama
Residents of Alabama that need to obtain property records can visit or write to their local land records or revenue commissioner’s office.
How to Do an Alabama Property Records Search
In Alabama, residents can visit or write to their local land records or revenue commissioner’s office to obtain property records. Researchers must have standard information on the property whose records they require. Typical information includes the street address and parcel number. Researchers may request help from Department staff but must look through the available records in person.
How to Find the Owner of an Alabama Property Using Public Records
Persons looking to find the owner of a property must first know the address or parcel number of the real estate property. Then, they must take this information to the land records or revenue commissioner’s office.
For instance, individuals looking for a property owner in Baldwin county may obtain this information by contacting the Baldwin County Revenue Commissioner’s Office. The revenue commissioner collects taxes on all properties in Baldwin County. It also appraises properties and makes those appraisal records available online. Online researchers can input the property’s street address, parcel number, or subdivision code. If positive, search results will include the property owner’s name and valuation details.
What are Property Records Used for in Alabama?
Alabama property records provide researchers with valuable information about lands and properties in the state. Alabama residents user property records for various properties, including:
- To authenticate ownership: Anyone can claim to own a piece of property, but claimants must provide proof of ownership. Only a property’s legitimate owner can genuinely claim to own it with property records.
- To learn about the property’s history: Property records tell researchers everything they need to know about a piece of property. For example, researchers can discover when the property was constructed, how many people have owned it, any existing modification details. This information is valuable for anyone considering purchasing the property.
- To determine a property’s market value: A property’s current market value is usually subject to past sale prices. With property records, buyers and sellers can see the property’s historical value and use this to determine its current value.
- To reestablish boundaries: Boundaries are bound to shift when multiple properties share a land, leading to conflict. Property records enable owners to recognize their original boundaries and refrain from extending past them.
How to Find Alabama Property Tax Records
Anyone that wants to obtain Alabama property tax records may query their local revenue commissioner’s office. In addition, many offices make property tax records available online.
What to Do When You Cannot Find Alabama Property Records
Residents can contact their local land records department or revenue commissioner’s office to locate Alabama property records in Alabama. Most offices provide online access to their records, while others allow the public to search records in person. When accessing Indiana property records proves difficult, interested persons may use the tools and resources available through third-party record search companies.