Real estate ownership is a matter of public record in every state, including Florida. As in most states, Florida's property records are kept by the county in which the property is located. Orlando, Florida, is located in Orange County, Florida, and Orlando, Florida, property records are readily available online through various county resources.
Search for Orlando Property Ownership Records
Real estate ownership is evidenced by deed; if you buy a house, you will receive a deed from the prior owner designating you as the new owner. Deeds in Florida are recorded with the Comptroller of the county where the property is situated. You can go to the Orange County Comptroller's website to search for deeds and find out who owns a property; however, you cannot search by address. If you don't have the address or the name of the owner, you'll need the block and lot number, which can be found on other documents such as mortgages. If you don't have any of that information, you can search the tax records first.
Search for Tax Records
Property tax records are readily available and show not only the property address, but also the names of the owners and the amount of taxes paid yearly. You can find records of Orlando, Florida, property taxes by search either with the Orange County Tax Collector or the Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA).
Perform a Tax Collector Search
The Orange County Tax Collector's website allows you to search by name, parcel ID, tangible ID or property address. Once you enter the information, a page will appear showing you the owner's name and address as well as the assessed value, taxable value and current property taxes due on the property. The page will also provide a legal description. The information on the Tax Collector's website is limited, however, to that information, and if you want to know more about a parcel, the OCPA might be a better choice for searching.
Read More: How to Perform a Property Title or Lien Search
Perform an OCPAFL Search
The Orange County Property Appraiser's website provides the same information as the Tax Collector, but the site may also include photos of the property. The site also provides a breakdown of the property taxes as well as a sale history for the home going back several years, plus market analysis and information about the home such as year built, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and square footage.
Use the Ownership Information to Pull Records
Once you review the information provided by the Tax Collector or the OCPA, you can use the owner's name to search the Comptroller's website and find copies of deeds, mortgages and other land records. You can download PDF versions of all available property records at no cost. These documents will provide the parcel ID number and other information that will allow you to conduct more extensive research on how the property has been encumbered and transferred over the years. For example, if you search by name, you'll find the deed related to that owner as well records for any other properties owned by that person; however, if you search by parcel ID number of block and lot number, you'll pull up all the records for that property regardless of who owned it at the time.
Property ownership is public record. If you need to find out who owns a property in Orlando, Florida, using just the address, you can search the Orange County Tax Collector's website or the Orange County Property Appraiser's website to pull up tax records, which show the owner of the property. Once you have the owner's name, if you want more details about ownership history, you can search the Orange County Comptroller's website to pull land records such as deeds and mortgages.
- If you do not know the exact address, simply type in the street name and the website will return all properties on that street.
- If the property is a unit in a condominium or timeshare building, you can search on the condo or timeshare development name to find all properties in the development.
- The Orange County Property Appraiser's website also allows users to search additional information, such as foreclosures, by ZIP code, available sales listings or tangible personal property records.
- In addition to the Orlando and Orange County areas, many Florida counties make property information publicly available online.
- Many popular Orlando-area tourist attractions, like Walt Disney World and its surrounding resorts, actually lie in the Kissimmee area of Osceola County; for this reason, these properties do not appear on the Orange County Property Appraiser's website.
- Prices and appraisals posted on the Orange County Property Appraiser's website are for research and taxation purposes only; these values do not represent the property's actual current value.
- The Orange County Property Appraiser advises against using the online resource to gather information for marketing or other for-profit purposes.
Rebecca K. McDowell is an attorney focused on debts and finance. She has a B.A. in English and a J.D. She has written finance and tax articles for Zacks and eHow.