Deeds, Parcel Numbers and Tax Maps
I need to change my name on my property (i.e. you have gotten married or divorced) or I need to add or remove a name on my property. How do I do this?
You must bring us documentation showing that your name has been changed as well as a copy of the deed showing the new name and the names of those you wish to add or delete.
What are the different types of deeds?
Deeds are usually recorded by the property owner, real estate agent or closing attorney in the Montgomery County Probate Records Office.
The various types of deeds are as follows:
Administrators or Administratix Deed - A property sold on the behalf of a deceased person with an administrator appointed by the state
Assumption Deed - Mortgaged property conveyed to another person which the new owners assume the mortgage and the mortgage holder agrees
BTD (Bankruptcy Trust Deed) - An instrument issued to a trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court to collect and distribute funds relating to real property in effort to pay off a debt
Circuit Clerks Deed - A deed issued by the circuit clerk in compliance with a court order
Correction Deed - An Addendum to an existing deed used to correct information
Executor or Executrix Deed - A deed issued for the sale of property on behalf of a deceased person that he/she appointed in a probated will to administer his/her estate
Foreclosure Deed - An instrument that conveys all interest in the property to the mortgage holder to satisfy a debt
Life Estate Deed - A deed in which the "life tenant" named in the deed has the right to undisturbed possession to the property during his/her life
Probate Deed - A deed that has been recorded in Probate Court and issued by that office
Quit Claim Deed - The grantor relinquishes any claim to his/her rights to the property. This type of deed does not guarantee the property is clear of any other claim.
Sheriff's Deed - Issued to the buyer for property sold under court order to pay off a debt
Tax Deed - Issued by the State of Alabama for property purchased for unpaid taxes and not redeemed by the owner
Trust Deed (Deed of Trust) - An instrument used to secure a debt for the creditor (usually a mortgage)
Vendors Lien Deed - Issued by the owner of the property to the grantee with certain terms that must be satisfied before a warranty deed will be issued
Will Book - A record of deeds recorded in the Probate Court
Warranty Deed - A deed issued where the grantor is guaranteed to have clear title to the property and a right to sell
How can I get a copy of my deed?
Deeds are usually recorded by the property owner, real estate agent or closing attorney in the Montgomery County Probate Court records department. If your deed was recorded, you may purchase a copy. For more information you can call the records department of the Montgomery County Probate Office located in the Montgomery County Courthouse Annex III on the corner of Washington Avenue and Lawrence Street.
How is my property assessed?
Property assessment is based on the appraised Fair Market Value determined by this office. Each property is appraised according to information based on area sales, value associated with improvements located on the property and other guidelines set forth by the Alabama Department of Revenue.
After a Fair Market Value is established, the assessed value is determined. Assessed value is determined by your properties classification and usage as of October 1 of each year.
- Class I includes all utility properties; 30% of the Fair Market Value of this property will be taxed
- Class II is rental or any property that is not occupied by the owner; 20% of the Fair Market Value of this property will be taxed
- Class III is owner occupied single family properties; 10% of the Fair Market Value of this property will be taxed
Example: The assessed value or the amount subject to property tax on a single family home owned and occupied by the owner with a Fair Market Value of $100,000.00 would be $10,000.00.
What changes to my property should I report?
The law requires that owners, or their agents, must come to the Revenue Commissioner's Office no later than December 31st to sign a new assessment officially reporting any improvements made to or any removal of structures or features from their property, on or before October 1st of that year.
An improvement as defined by the Revenue Commissioner's Office is any structure located on your property. This includes your home, detached garage, storage and utility buildings or any free standing structure located within the boundaries of your property.
Other types of improvements include any completed construction that adds square footage and or value to your home such as additional rooms, decks, swimming pools, boat docks, covered/uncovered porches, sunrooms, carports, etc. that may or may not be attached to your home. All improvements must be reported to the Revenue Commissioner's Office in a timely manner to avoid penalty.
It is not necessary to report painting, re-roofing, replacing siding, etc. or any routine maintenance made to the exterior of your home or structures assessed to your property. You are not required to report improvements made to the interior of your home unless the square footage is affected.
What if my house is destroyed?
Unfortunately, some property owners experience damage or a total loss of property due to fire, violent weather or other catastrophic events. When damage occurs, you are required to report the loss to this office before October 1st of the year that the damage was caused so that the assessed value can be adjusted.
Damage reported after the October 1st deadline will require proper documentation to adjust your assessed value.
If your property is damaged by fire, please provide our office with a copy of the fire report provided by the Montgomery Fire Department if you live in the city or your local Volunteer Fire Department if you live in the county.
To report a loss due to a storm or other damage, you must provide our office with a copy of your insurance claim. This document must contain the date that the damage occurred and loss amount.
If you are reporting a total loss of property, please be advised that any Homestead Exemption will be cancelled and the property reclassified as Class II.
What do I need to do after I purchase property?
New property owners often rely on their title company, real estate agent or other representative to properly record and assess their property. The final responsibility is still yours, as the new owner, to see that all the necessary steps have been completed. The steps are:
Record your deed in Probate Court
Assess the property in the Revenue Commissioner's Office
Claim any exemption due you
What do I do if the property I have purchased or sold is still in the previous owner's name or is still in my name?
Property transactions take place everyday throughout our county. Many properties are sold, purchased or otherwise transferred daily in Montgomery County through all manner of real estate transactions.
With over 200,000 parcels of real estate to appraise, assess, map, and tax no government office, country or state, has the staff or capability to monitor each of these transactions. Because of the constant changes in ownership, all property in Alabama is assessed according to ownership as of October 1st of each year.
This means that all property transferred after the October 1st deadline remains in the previous or "owner of record's" name for the remainder of that particular tax year. The new owner's name will be transferred to the account on October 1st of the following year.
Please keep in mind that all records held by this office are for the sole purpose of assessing and collecting property taxes. The ownership of property is determined by a legal deed to the property.
I received a valuation notice. What is this?
Valuation notices are sent to property owners each year that your property is assessed.
The reassessment of property is executed by the Alabama State Department of Revenue and conducted by the Montgomery County Revenue Commissioner's Office.
This notice is to advise owners of their property's Fair Market Value.
What is a tax map?
A tax map is used to identify ownership of each parcel of land in the county. These drawings are representations of geographical features, property lines and parcel identification numbers. Although tax maps are for tax purposes only and cannot be used for conveyance, these maps have proven to be very helpful to taxpayers for many reasons.
Are Montgomery County's tax maps digital?
Yes they are. You may inquire with the Mapping Department at (334) 832-1303.
How often are tax maps updated?
Tax maps are updated continuously. Changes are received by the Mapping Department daily. These changes usually result from deeds being assessed in the Real Estate Department and/or recorded in the Probate Office. Other updates come from newly recorded subdivision plats, right-of-way surveys, etc.
What is the "parcel identification number"?
This 16 digit number uniquely identifies every piece of property within the county for tax purposes. The parcel ID number is broken down as follows:
16: Locator - this number is derived from the township and range of the property. The legend located on every tax map will depict this grid of locator numbers.
09: Area - this number refers to the "4 section area" the property is located inside of. See the legend on the map for details.
31: Section - this is the section number
3: Quarter section - this identifies the quarter section (i.e. NE1/4 = 1; NW1/4 = 2; SW1/4 = 3; SE1/4 = 4)
004: Block - some maps are broken down into blocks because of the number of parcels per map. This number identifies which block on the map.
019.003: Parcel and sub-parcel - This is the number found on the map. Most often, however, leading zeros will not appear on the map (i.e. 19.03).
Why do I have two parcel identification numbers when I only own one piece of property?
Multiple parcel numbers does not affect the tax rate on your property. These numbers are simply for location and identification. Listed below are several reasons for multiple parcel identification numbers:
Property lies in two different sections. Each section is numbered independently.
Each parcel was previously owned by different individuals.
Property was purchased at different times.
Can I get a copy of a tax map?
Yes. Copies of tax maps are available to the public at the Mapping Office located at 131 S. Perry Street (The Carnegie Building). There is a fee for mapping data.