How to Find Out If a House Is Rented or Owned

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If you are looking at property to rent or buy, it may be difficult to tell whether or not a home is already owned by someone else or being rented out. There are several ways for an individual to find the answers to these questions about real estate, because deed information and other property-related facts are part of public record. Homes that appear vacant and available may not be listed with a real estate agent or show other signs of being for sale. If you are interested in a particular home, you can learn plenty of information about it at no cost to yourself.


Step 1

Confirm the address of the house with the post office or by visiting the home itself and taking down the address.

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Step 2

Make contact with potential owners/renters by knocking on the door to inquire about the status of the home.


Step 3

Research the address to the house online through public records of the local courthouse to find the deed owner's name.


Step 4

Visit the local county clerk or tax assessor's office to inquire as to who the registered owner of the home is.


You may also have some luck by speaking to neighbors around the home who typically know a lot about what is going on around them.

Whoever you contact about the home, be sure to be polite and upfront about why you want the information.

If the home is not currently for rent or sale, be sure to leave your contact information should the owner have a change of plans in the future.


Approaching potential homeowners may not always be the best idea. If you do take a personal approach to the inquiry, do it at a reasonable hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper real estate ads

  • Internet connection

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