WCUTU Researching Landlords

We need to determine where to get the information outlined below to help us determine where we should target our tenant union efforts. The idea is that places with more violations, lawsuits, and evictions would be good places to canvas. Some sources will be county; others will be based on the city. If you would like to take the lead on researching an item/city, please reply below.

The property deed
The property deed is “the record of who owns your property.” It should be available through county government sites (the county recorder of deeds) or online. Individuals, banks, or companies are common owners of deeds, and each will require a different approach to find out who our target is.

Who is paying the taxes?
Look for city and county tax agencies such as a county tax network (accessor’s office, recorder of deeds, clerk’s office, board of review, treasurer’s office). Multiple sites may generate the same information; let’s track what we receive from where and how long our requests take.

Housing and Health-Related Records
Find information about permits, inspections, and violations from the Department of Buildings or Public Health.

Find code violations and evictions (some landlords are eviction-happy). The County Clerk may have those records.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests
A FOIA request allows us to request copies of government records, including emails and text correspondence with government officials.
You can also request records of housing subsidy programs - if the landlord has tenants that receive housing subsidies, the agency that pays those subsidies will have records about interactions with the landlord.

Here is our original Google Doc with some additional context: Researching Your Landlord - Google Docs

Here is some information from EvictorBook (based in SF) that may help us figure out how to find stuff in San Joaquin County as well: Evictorbook

Here a similar website for New York: https://whoownswhat.justfix.org/en/how-it-works

This reports methodology might be worth looking into https://twitter.com/antievictionmap/status/1702717182797566379?t=-mNQt6JGMx1ObCDLaHqmig&s=19