All You Need to Know About NYC’s BBL

When you know what property you are searching for, BBL offers you the simplest process of getting directly to that property. BBL stands for borough, block, and lot, and is a unique identifier for every property in New York City.

The BBL consists of three numeric sequences separated by slashes. The borough is always the first number and consists of one digit between 1 and 5:

  • 1 = Manhattan
  • 2 = Bronx
  • 3 = Brooklyn
  • 4 = Queens
  • 5 = Staten Island

The second numeric sequence can be up to five digits long and represents the block number, followed by the lot number, which can be up to 4 digits long.

The Advantage of Searching by BBL

Some addresses are straightforward and will take you directly to a property, but there are plenty of exceptions in NYC. For example, properties can have a host of alternate legal addresses that are different than the street address used by the owner or tenant. The BBL is a very specific, unique identifier that ensures you are looking at or referencing the right property. For example, a property’s BBL is required for certain Department of Finance or tax processes.

How to Search by BBL on PropertyShark

BBL is also sometimes referred to as the Parcel ID, and that is the case on the PropertyShark website. To search for a property using this ID, start on the home page and click “Property Lookup.”

You will see a search field with a highlighted “Address” tab above it. This default allows you to enter the property’s address. Click the blue tab right next to it that says “Parcel ID”, then type the BBL into the empty box. You do not need to specify the borough because BBLs are unique to each property and not replicated in other boroughs.

Troubleshooting Issues with BBL Search

If you do not have the BBL of a property, first remember that it may be referred to on documents as the Parcel ID. If you do not have that either, then the New York Department of Finance website offers a tool to look up the Parcel ID of any property.

To use the NY Department of Finance Tool, choose the correct borough and then enter the house number. Choose the street name and then add an apartment or condo number, if applicable. Then choose Search and you will be given the result you are looking for.

If you are trying to use the Parcel ID search on the PropertyShark website and cannot find it directly, try looking up the same block number with a slightly different lot number. You can then use the map to find the property you are looking for or use the neighbors search feature to find it.

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss is a senior writer reporting real estate trends in the US. Her work has been cited by CBS News, Curbed, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes among others. With an academic background in journalism, Eliza has been covering real estate since 2012. Before joining PropertyShark, Eliza was an associate editor at Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive. Eliza writes for both PropertyShark and CommercialEdge. Reach her at [email protected]