Under the Texas Constitution and statute, each County Clerk is responsible for recording documents affecting title to real property within their county. In other words, the County Clerk is the official place where deeds and liens affecting title are recorded. When you purchase a piece of property, the title company sends the deed and any deed of trust to the County Clerk for recording. Documents filed with the County Clerk are public records, but not always accessible online.
People often confuse the Appraisal District as the official source of property ownership. Appraisal Districts are set up by statute for the purpose of assigning a value to property for taxation purposes. Information regarding who owns property is obtained by the Appraisal District by either searching the records of the County Clerk or being notified of a change in ownership by the new owner or their representative. Most Appraisal Districts have a specific form that must be completed and submitted to indicate the transfer in ownership.
Your title company may provide you with the Appraisal District’s form to indicate a transfer in ownership, but the title company cannot simply submit the information for you. If the information regarding the transfer of ownership is not submitted to the Appraisal District by the new owner, then the Appraisal District’s records will not be updated until the Appraisal District locates the deed into the new owner during a search of the County Clerk’s records, which may be several months after the closing.
If you would like to use a knowledgeable title company conveniently located in the Heights, please give us a call.
Fidelity National Title, 1512 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008 (713) 529-8800.