Homeowner, be aware. Don’t overpay for your records.

As a homeowner, you are familiar with receiving a deluge of junk mail weekly. In most cases, you glance at a piece of mail before tossing it in the garbage. But sometimes, you might receive a piece of mail that catches your attention. 

Recently, homeowners have received official-looking letters and postcards in the mail from private companies urging them to act now to purchase a certified copy of their property deed. In some cases, warning the receiver of additional fees if action is not taken quickly. According to AARP, these companies might charge anywhere from $59.95 to $157 to order a copy of your property deed.

Is it legal? 

Yes, it is legal for these companies to charge a fee for this service, even a high fee. These companies are charging you a convenience fee to request your property records on your behalf from the Clerk of Court office your records were recorded in.  

How do I avoid overpaying for my records? 

To avoid overpaying for your records, the Clerk’s office recommends the following tips:

  • Question any mail from an unknown company asking you to act fast to retrieve your property records. The Manatee Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller office never sends notices urging you to purchase your public records.
  • Search online for free. If your property was purchased in Manatee County, the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller office provides a public record search hub on our website. Access online copies of your public records, including your property deed, for free at https://records.manateeclerk.com/.
  • Request a certified copy for a nominal fee. The Clerk’s office provides copies of official records for $1 per page, and documents can be certified for an additional $2 per document.

Don’t overpay for convenience. The Clerk’s office strives to make it easy for you to access your records. For any questions regarding public records, please contact our recording department at (941) 741-4045.