What are Delaware Property Records?
Delaware property records are files, documents, reports, maps, books, correspondence, and other written materials relating to property ownership. The Recorder of Deeds office in each Delaware county maintains the district’s property records repository. The office is tasked with indexing and maintaining property records like deeds, tax records, property sale records, property survey records, liens, mortgages, and plot plans. Each county has its own recording standards that property owners must comply with when recording their properties. For instance, persons who want to record their properties in Kent County must prepare documents with paper size; 8 1/2 x 11 inches. In contrast, a property document must be prepared with a paper size of 8 1/2" X 14" in Sussex County.
Interested persons can obtain certified copies of property records from the Recorder of Deeds office where the property is located. Alternatively, record seekers can request U.S. land records from the U.S. National Archives Office online or fill out NATF Form 84 and submit it online. U.S. land records can also be accessed in person at:
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20408
For more information regarding U.S. land records, contact the Archives Office by email at email@example.com. The staff at the Archives office respond to requests between 10 and 12 business days.
Are Delaware Property Records Public?
Yes, Delaware property records are public information per state law. The Delaware Public Archives and County Recorder of Deeds offices allow residents to view or obtain copies of property records pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. These agencies have databases where individuals can retrieve property information online. For instance, record seekers can use the Parcel Search tool on the New Castle Recorder of Deeds website to access property records. This online tool allows individuals to conduct a search by parcel number, street number, street name, city, deed book, page, subdivision, and lot number. The search results will reveal information about properties matching the search criteria and current owner. A click on the details link will reveal further information about each property including tax details, deed history, building information, and property address, class, and location. Alternatively, requesters can visit the Archives Office or the Recorder of Deed’s Office in the county the property is located to obtain copies of property 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 information to obtain complete property records:
- The property’s exact location.
- The property owner’s details.
What Information is Included in Delaware Property Records
The information contained in property records may vary depending on the type of record requested by the record seeker. For instance, the kind of information contained in a tax record will differ from what would be found in a plot plan. However, individuals should be able to find the following information in Montana property records:
- Parcel information like map number, ID/user account number, tax account ID, property code and type, lot number, size, depth and frontage, subdivision, plat book, flood plan, improvement status, acres, total living area, address, street type and finish, water, property class, block, and census tract
- District Information like levy court district, fire, sewer, ambulance, trash, light, tax ditch, and stormwater management
- Property owner's details like name and mailing address
- Location information
- Municipal information
- Zoning information
- Assessed values
- Deed history like grantee’s name, deed number, sale date, and number
- Building information like
- Building and property IDs
- Building type, condition, and design
- Residence class
- Number of rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, stories, and fixtures
- Built year
- Exterior walls
- Interior wall finish
- Primary frame
- Floor covering and finish
- Primary roof cover
- Garage type/wall/floor
- Living units
- Porch square feet
- Story height
- Roof type and material
- Heat type
- Remodel year
- Air conditioning
- Residence class
- Total area (square feet)
- Main floor area
- Unfinished area
- Attic % Finished
- Basement information (% Finished, finish type)
- Transfer information like recorded date, sale date, and price, names of grantor ad grantee, building and land value, legal reference, document/certificate number, and transfer number
- Billing information like address, sewer billing, tax billing details (tax year, principal due, penalty due, and amount paid), tax billing history, and current tax account information
- Tax/assessment information like land, structure, homesite number, county taxable and school taxable
- Tax payments including date and amount
- Permits information
- Code violation details
- Construction violation details
- Elevator certifications
- Code enforcement fees
Where to Search Delaware Public Property Records
Record seekers can search Delaware public property records at the Delaware Public Archives or County Recorder of Deeds offices. These offices allow requesters to obtain copies of property records online, by email, and in-person. As an example, the Kent County Recorder of Deeds Office has a Property Records Search tool where individuals can view or obtain copies of property records. The search can be done by property owner’s name, address, map number, sub-division/lot, tax account, or map search. Conducting a search via the Property Search tool will allow individuals to retrieve basic property information like parcel number, address, city, lot number and name of current owners. Like other county offices, the Kent County Recorder of Deeds Office also provides walk-in services for public property records. As such, individuals can search for property records at the Office in person between 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at:
Kent County Recorder of Deeds Office
555 Bay Rd Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 744-2314
Fax: (302) 736-2035
How to Do a Property Records Search in Delaware
Delaware residents and the general public can do a property search at the State Public Archives website for free. The Archives Office has a deed roaster where individuals can see a list of all property records from 1747 to 2009. The deed roaster contains property information like the grantee’s name, the grantor’s first, middle, and last name, property/tract, location, building, transfer date, and citation. Requesters can also view or obtain copies of original property records from the Delaware Public Archives Office by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the research room of the Office at:
Delaware Public Archives
121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North
Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 744-5000
Alternatively, inquirers can search property records at the Recorder of Deeds office in the county where the property is located. For instance, a record seeker can use the Online Deeds tool, which the Sussex County Recorder of Deeds Office provides, to search for property records. The search can be done by name, document, book and page, consideration, parcel ID, record date, document number, and legal details.
Record seekers can also request copies of property documents through the Sussex County Recorder of Deeds' email address at email@example.com. In addition, they can leave messages on the office voicemail at (302) 855-7785, and an Office staff will return their calls or visit the Office between 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday at:
Sussex County Recorder of Deeds
2 The Circle
P.O. Box 827
Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: (302) 855-7785
Fax: (302) 855-7787
How to Find the Owner of a Delaware Property Using Public Records
Property buyers can review the deed roaster on the Delaware Public Archives website to retrieve public records for property ownership in the state. The deed roster contains information about all properties in Delaware, including the grantor and grantee's first and last names. Interested persons can also email the Archives office at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Research Room to view or obtain property records to find the owners of properties in Delaware.
Alternatively, property buyers can find the owners of Delaware properties online or in-person at County Recorder of Deeds offices. In-person applicants can visit the Recorder of Deeds office in the county where the property is located and request property records. The name of the property owner will be on the document. Online applicants should go to the Recorder of Deeds website of the county where the property is located and search for the property records online tools to find the names of property owners. For instance, the Kent County Recorder of Deeds Office has a Property Records Search tool which is a dropdown from the “Online” menu located at the top bar. There are several ways to conduct a search using this online tool but performing a search by name is preferable in this context. Record seekers must know the property owner’s last name to be able to ascertain their ownership status. The search result will reveal all property owners' names with the name inputted in the search box. Click on any name on the list to retrieve specific information about the property owner, like full name, mailing address, and necessary property information.
What are Delaware Property Records Used For?
Delaware property records can be used for conflict resolution, retrieving public records for property ownership, property sale records, determining a property’s historical value, and as collateral to borrow money from mortgage lenders. Below are some things individuals can use property records for:
- A property seller uses property records to sell or transfer property titles to new owners.
- Property records can be used for conflict resolution between two people claiming to be the property owners. For instance, if two parties have conflicting deeds to a property, the recording date on the property document can be used to determine the ownership timeline. Typically, the owner with the most recent deed would be considered the rightful owner.
- Courts can use the recording date on a property record to determine the priority for which liens should receive payment first.
- Lenders use property records as collateral for the promissory notes. This is done by transferring the legal title to the property to a trustee (bank, title company, or escrow company who will hold it until the loans are fully paid.
- Property buyers use property records in Delaware to determine property ownership, value, condition, tax information, and other property information to help them make their purchase decisions.
- Members of the public can determine property history with public records.
How to Find Delaware Property Tax Records
Delaware property tax records are records of all the taxes on properties owned by individuals or other legal entities like corporations. The Delaware County Treasurer is the custodian of tax records for a property and these records are available to interested members of the public who request them. Inquirerswho wish to obtain property tax records may do so online or in-person at the Treasury office in the county where the property is located.
As an example, the Sussex County Treasury has a "Search for Tax Records" tool that can be used to find property tax records. Click on the “Tax Information” menu on the website, then scroll down to see the tool. Individuals can search for property tax records by inputting the owner’s name, parcel ID (also known as property Tax ID Number), or tax year in the appropriate search boxes. Search result typically reveals property address and owner, parcel ID, tax year, bill type, image, year, and payments/adjustments details. Alternatively, interested persons can retrieve tax records for property in-person at:
Sussex County Administrative Office Bldg.
P.O. Box 601,
2 The Circle
Georgetown, DE 19947
Phone: (302) 855-7871
Fax: (302) 854-5381
What to Do When You Can’t Find Property Records in Delaware
Inquirers are sometimes unable to find property records, especially when they are not recorded with the County Recorder of Deeds office. In such a case, the record seeker can ask the supposed property owner to contact their mortgage companies to see if they are holding their original deeds. Additionally, the property owner can contact their lawyers to inquire if they have placed their deed with their Wills. Lastly, the researcher can consider requesting property records to public search resources. To conduct a search, on third-party aggregate sites, interested persons must input the record holder’s first and last names, city, and state in the search boxes available on the website. Note that access to an individual's full property records report comes at a small fee.