What are Kentucky Property Records?
Kentucky Property Records are official documents containing information about real estate within the state's judicial district. They typically detail ownership history, legal description, and any mortgages or liens on the property. According to the provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act, interested members of the public may assess property records from their official record custodians or state repositories. Property record custodians include the County Recorder's Office in the county where the property is situated and, at state level, the office of the Kentucky Secretary of State, which maintains a Land Office Services Index. Property records can be used for various purposes, such as determining ownership of a property, researching the history of a property, or settling disputes over property boundaries.
Are Kentucky Property Records Public?
Yes, most Kentucky property records are public and accessible to anyone. According to the Kentucky Open Records Act, KRS 61.870 to KRS 61.884, record custodians and repositories must provide these records to interested and eligible persons. Hence, many counties offer in-person or online access to their property records where users can search by address or owner name.
It's important to note that some information contained in Kentucky property records may not be publicly available due to privacy laws. Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, and credit card numbers are typically redacted before being released to the public. In addition, certain types of documents may be sealed by court order or law, including those related to ongoing criminal or civil cases and certain types of financial 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 details to obtain complete property records:
- The property's exact location.
- The property owner's details.
What Information is Included in Kentucky Property Records
Kentucky property records typically include a variety of information about a specific piece of real estates, such as:
Ownership history: The names of past and current property owners, the date of ownership transfer, and the purchase price.
Legal description: This includes a detailed description of the property, including its boundaries and dimensions.
Liens and mortgages: This encompasses all information about any outstanding mortgages or liens on the property, including the names of the lenders and the amount of the mortgages.
Property tax assessments: Including information about the property's assessed value and the amount of property taxes owed.
Maps: Some property records may include maps of the property and its location within the county.
Building and zoning information: Information about the property's zoning and land use, building permits, inspections, and any violations.
However, note that the information and documents included in the property records may vary depending on the county's regulations and record type.
Where to Search Kentucky Public Property Records
Inquirers may search for Kentucky Public Property records online by navigating to the website of the County Clerk or County Recorder's office where the property is located. Some counties may provide online access to property records via a searchable database, while others may have downloadable property records files that inquirers can view on request.
Interested members of the public may also visit the County Recorder's office in person to request and view property records. In some municipalities, the requester must fill out a form, providing the information needed to facilitate the record search and present a valid ID.
For example, Jefferson county residents may search records using the Jefferson County PVA Property Search Tool featured on the county website. Users may search by address, owner's name, or parcel ID. Otherwise, inquirers may send requests in person or via mail to:
Jefferson County PVA Office
815 W. Market St. Suite 400
Louisville, KY 40202-2654
Fax: (502) 574-6108
Phone: (502) 574-6380
How to Do a Kentucky Property Records Search
According to the KRS, Kentucky citizens can view and obtain copies of property record information. To conduct a property record search through approved channels, the requestor must provide the following information:
- The property's location.
- The property owner's details
In Fayette county, for instance, county residents may obtain property records through the office of the Fayette County Property Evaluation Administrator. To do so, they may visit the county's PVA website or send a written request to:
Property Valuation Administrator
101 E. Vine St.
Lexington, KY 40507
Phone: (859) 246-2722
Fax: (859) 246-2729
How to Find the Owner of a Kentucky Property Using Public Records
Inquirers may find the owner of a Kentucky property using public records by searching the property records maintained by the county Clerk's office in which the property is located.
- Visit the website of the county Clerk's office where the property is located; Some counties may have online portals where property records can be searched and viewed.
- Search for the property using the property's address or the owner's name: Some online portals may have a search function that allows users to search by address or owner's name.
- View the property record; the property record should include information about the property's current owner.
- If the county does not have an online portal, the user may need to visit the county Clerk's office in person to request the property record. They must also provide the property address and request the most recent record. The office staff will provide the property record that contains the owner's name and other details.
- If unable to find the owner's name from the property records, inquirers can also try searching for the property in the county's property tax records, which may include information about the current owner.
What are Kentucky Property Records Used For?
Kentucky property records are used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Determining Ownership: Property records can be used to determine who currently owns a piece of real estate, as well as the ownership history of the property.
- Researching the History of a Property: Property records can be used to research the history of a property, such as past transactions, liens, and mortgages.
- Settling Disputes: Property records can be used to resolve disputes over property boundaries, liens, and other issues related to the property.
- Real Estate Transactions: Property records are often used as proof of ownership when buying or selling a property.
- Financing: Banks and other lending institutions rely on property records when issuing mortgages or other loans.
- Taxation: Property records are used by the local government to determine a property's value for property taxes.
- Zoning and land use: Property records can be used to determine the zoning of a property, building permits, inspections, and any violations.
- Public Records: Property records are considered public records, which means they are available to anyone who requests them as long as they comply with the regulations and laws regarding access to public records.
How to Find Kentucky Property Tax Records
Inquirers can find Kentucky property tax records by searching the records maintained by the county property tax assessor's office in which the property is located.
What to Do When You Can't Find Property Records in Kentucky
Suppose an inquirer experiences trouble finding property records in Kentucky (through the usual channels). In that case, they may check in adjacent counties, contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue or Kentucky Land Office, or consult a real estate attorney. Inquirers may also:
- Check with local historical societies or libraries: They may have historical records of property ownership that can help interested persons trace the property's ownership history.
- Consult with a real estate attorney: An attorney can help users research the property's history and ownership and advise them about their legal rights and options if they cannot find the property records.
- Check with the local government: Local government offices, such as the building department, may have information about the property to help inquirers find the sought-after records.
Understand that if the property records have been destroyed or lost due to natural disasters, fire, or any other reasons, it may not be possible to find the records. In such cases, other means may have to be used, such as consulting with a local or land surveyor to establish the property boundaries.