BY AMALIA OTET
Over the last decade, LLCs have become an extremely popular choice for holding title to real property. While for investors this form of business entity has many benefits – including tax flexibility and relative ease of administration – real estate professionals might find it tough to pierce the LLC veil to find the real name of a property owner.
When looking to make an investment or acting on behalf of a client who is interested in buying a particular property that is owned by an LLC, the need to unmask the real owner becomes paramount. This is where PropertyShark can be of real help.
A trustworthy source of ownership information, the real estate website allows you to tap into their comprehensive database and identify the owner even if it’s hidden behind an LLC.
PropertyShark’s property reports contain crucial information about any property in New York City, such as physical characteristics, title history, permits, ownership, and much more.
To make things easier for you, we’ve summarized below three of the most effective ways to find the real name of a property owner by browsing through a property report.
- Identify the owners by looking at the LLC’s address: The Title Documents section of the report will show you the most recent sale deed, where the owner’s address field can actually indicate the name of the company behind the LLC or that of a representative for the owner.
- Browse through the deed or mortgage document: You can also open the official deed, available as a link or as a scanned document. You’ll find both the seller and the buyer listed in there, with addresses and signatures, which might give away the name of the owner. If there is no printed name and you can’t read the signature, look at the notary’s acknowledgement, as they usually write the person’s name there.
- Use the LLC finder tool to see who is behind the entity: The Ownership section of the report should immediately reveal the current owner of the property. However, if the data is inconclusive, PropertyShark will redirect your query to the NYS Department of Corporations website, which will display all the relevant official documents concerning that LLC. You’ll be able to see more details about the owner, including a valid address and the name of a contact person / agent.
Additionally, you can look at Ownership from Permits, where you will see all permits filed for the property, along with the name and contact details of either the owner or his representative. Or, you can go even further and reach out to the on-site tenants (also listed in the property report) who may be able to point you in the right direction.
Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé.