Need direction on how to proceed with vacant abondoned house.

Hi, I am a newbie and have been reading the forum for a while and actually have learned a great deal. I spotted a vacant 3 family building in a decent neighborhood in NYC and would like direction on steps to take to find the owner. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help.

Write down the address and go to your local tax accessors office and find out the owner than start a direct mailing campaign by sending either a letter or a postcard telling the owner that you are interested in buying the property and than go from there.

Thanks a lot.

Depending on where the property is located, you may be able to find the information here;

Numerous offices offer web access for basic information.

Ok, I went to the property tax office and located the property owner’s name. The problem is, the mailing address is listed as the building’s address and the building has been vacant/abandoned for approximately 10 years. Assessors office has the current value as 600,000.00, with 12,000.00 owed in taxes. Building is obviously a shell. Now what?

Really appreciate the feedback.


I just have a question, have you checked to see if this was a property that was under rent control and maybe this was another landlord that said screw it?

I’ve met several former NYC landlords that had it with the local government’s quasi eminent domain policies and left.

Plus check to see what liens including loans are on the property, one of them may lead to where you want to go. Also check the Social Security Death Index to see if this indicated owner is still alive. See if you can find a neighbor that was living on the street back then, they might give you a clue.

This one is going to need some detective work on your part.

Talk to the neighbors and see if you can find out any information. They will be a great source of information.

Talk with the people in the tax office and see what information you can get from them.

If you want to spend some money, get a skip trace done for the name of the owner and see if you can locate them. A good skip trace report will give you names of possible relatives that you may be able to get in contact with.