FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Property Alert Service?
The Property Alert Service is a way for property owners and other interested parties to receive email alert notifications when a document that could affect a specific property is recorded by the Erie County Clerk's Office. The service works by matching data (S-B-L and/or Party Names) in legal descriptions on recorded documents with requests for notifications made by subscribers.
Is there a fee for the Property Alert Service?
No. This is a free service provided by Erie County.
Can more than one person register the same parcel ID or party name?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of subscribers for a particular S-B-L and/or Party Names. All subscribers that registered to receive notifications for a specific S-B-L and/or Party Names will be notified by email when a document with that specific S-B-L and/or Party Names is recorded by the Erie County Clerk.
Why should I register for this service?
This service is voluntary for individuals who want to know if fraudulent activity has occurred under their name or on property located in Erie County. In some cases, fraud on real property is not discovered for years; this service helps to notify property owners in a more timely fashion. You may also wish to register the name or property id for elderly loved ones to help protect them from scams.
Does the property need to be occupied in order to receive an alert?
No. The property alert service is for any type of land owned in Erie County, whether occupied or vacant.
Which recorded documents will trigger an alert notification?
Any document with a legal description pertaining to real property is included, as long as there is an exact S-B-L and/or Party Name match with the S-B-L and/or Party Name registered by the subscriber. An alert will be sent for any Party Names match, regardless of document type.
How long does it take to be notified through the Property Alert Service?
All recorded documents must go through a verification process before they are made available for viewing through a public records search. This process typically takes 5 to 7 business days. An alert email will be sent to subscribers once the process has been completed. 8.
What if S-B-L or Party Name information is not listed in a document recorded with the Erie County Clerk?
Not all recordings require the inclusion of a S-B-L and/or Party Name. In such cases, the Property Alert Service is unable to recognize that the recording pertains to the same property for which the subscriber has registered to receive alerts, and so no email will be sent to the subscriber. An example of this is when a Satisfaction of Lien is filed and recorded, which typically will only indicate the book and page number in which the lien is recorded that is being deemed satisfied.
Why can't the Erie County Clerk just prevent a fraudulent document from being recorded?
As long as a document meets statutory recording guidelines, New York law requires the County Clerk's Office to record the document. Recordings cannot be refused unless specific requirements are not met.
What should I do if I believe a document that has been recorded is fraudulent?
If you find a document recorded against you or a property that you believe to be fraudulent, you should contact an appropriate law enforcement to criminally investigate the matter. You may also wish to seek the advice of an attorney.