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What Is Property Ownership Data?

Property ownership data refers to current and historical land and property ownership information. The property may refer to buildings or to land or both. The property may also be held privately or collectively or be passed from one owner to another without the new owner having to establish this legally.

Property ownership data has profound implications for owners, renters, lawyers, and anyone working in the real estate and construction industries.

Where Does Property Ownership Data Come From?

Most sources of this data are local governments, though property owners should be able to provide proof of ownership themselves. However, there are parts of the world where there is no documentation of land ownership. Additionally, many governments worldwide dispute ownership of certain regions.

What Types of Columns/Attributes Should I Expect When Working with This Data?

In addition to property owner name and contact information, property ownership data includes ownership type (i.e., private, collective, common), boundaries, location, value, zone, and attributes (e.g., number and type of buildings on the property). Map data and point of interest data are also very common types of property data.

Realtors and buyers also ask for property history data, particularly for buildings, so they can make informed decisions about property upkeep or renovations required.

What Is Property Ownership Data Used For?

As noted above, realtors and buyers use this data to make decisions about buying properties. Developers and investors also use the data for the same reason.

Property rights lawyers, of course, use it as a routine part of their work. Other lawyers may, for example, use this data during divorce proceedings.

Governments also use this data to update zoning laws or to help guide decisions on how to improve the economic state of their cities.

How Should I Test the Quality of This Data?

In most cases, local courts record property data accurately and completely. However, even in regions where there are no major land disputes, it would be good to compare the court documents to satellite map data—even county clerks make mistakes sometimes. Resolving possible mistakes is another matter entirely; contacting the county clerk, a local title company or a lawyer would be the next step.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

Loveland Technologies: Analysis: Land Along the US-Mexico Border
Global Open Data Index: Land Ownership

Tangible Examples of Impact

In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts explains how far-reaching the implications of the Court’s decision are beyond just McGirt’s criminal case:

“[T]he Court has profoundly destabilized the governance of eastern Oklahoma. The decision today creates significant uncertainty for the State’s continuing authority over any area that touches Indian affairs, ranging from zoning and taxation to family and environmental law.”

JD Supra: Half of Oklahoma is Now Likely Within a Native American Reservation, What Does This Mean for Your Project?

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