At times, searching for the true owner of a property can turn out to be a rather difficult task, especially since many commercial property owners choose to use the status of an LLC when making a purchase. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the information you’re looking for!
There are several ways of unmasking the real owner of a New York property using PropertyShark, and here are the easiest three:
1. The LLC’s address might reveal the true owner
Search for the property you are interested in and open its report. Once on the property report page, use the ‘Jump to Section’ dropdown menu and click on Title History. From Title History, click on Title Documents and you will skip straight to the following section of the report:
Under Title Documents, look for the property’s most recent deed, where you will see the LLC with both the real name of the owner (or the owner’s representative) and its address listed in the address field! Based on this information, you can easily take your research even further and look up the official website and contact details of the owner. In case you want to find other properties listed under the real name of the owner, we have optimized our owner search to also include the names that appear in the address field.
For example: A quick look at 130 Delancey St., New York will list Delancey Norfolk LLC as the current owner. If we look at the latest property deed, we can easily spot the company behind the LLC – Carter Management Corp. – along with its address.
This shows that Carter Management Corp. purchased the property from Delancey Holdings LLC for $21 million. As you can see, the seller of the property was also masked under an LLC; to find the identity of the seller, all we have to do is look up the previous property deed.
2. Open the Deed or Mortgage Document
If the real name of the owner is not visible in the address field, simply open the official deed document. You will find a link to the original doc, as well as a scanned image of the document right next to the deed:
After opening the document, browse its pages until you spot a name or signature that reveals the real name of the owner or the owner’s representative. For our example, we opened the deed document for 130 Delancey St., and we were fortunate to find a legible signature revealing the name of the owner on page 9:
Now we know that Delancey Norfolk LLC stands for Carter Management Corp., with Jason Carter as the Manager.
If the deed does not reveal any useful information, check out other title documents which are filed for the property (e.g. mortgage, assignment of lease).
3. Use the LLC finder to identify who is behind the entity
If the tactics described above do not prove successful, there is a third way we help our users get behind an LLC. At the bottom of the Ownership Summary section of any property report, you will find a link called ‘LLC owners’:
This link will redirect you to the NYS Division of Corporations website, where all you have to do is type in the business name and click on Search Database.
A search results page will come up, indicating the entity you are looking for; click on it and find out the exact name and address of the property owner, if registered! Tip: If your search does not return any results, try typing in the name without the ‘LLC’!
For the property we were interested in, we looked up Delancey Norfolk LLC in the NYS Division of Corporations database. Carter Management Corp. emerged as the name behind the LLC, with Jason Carter as representative.
The NYS Division of Corporations enables you to look for business and not-for-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships, as well as other miscellaneous businesses. However, the Database may, at times, lack data on certain entities.
These three methods stand out as being the easiest ways to find additional information on a property’s owner. See three more in our second blog post on this topic: See Past the LLC Part 2: Find the Real Owner of an NYC Property.