First, you must find out the Property Identification Number (PIN) of your building. Online, you can try www.newschicago.org. If the website is down or it is not finding your building, you can call the Cook County Assessor’s office at 312-443-7550.
Once you have the PIN number, you can go to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds’ website and click the link to do a “Property Identification Number (PIN) Search.” This page can get a bit confusing, so a phone call to their office is a good alternative at 312-603-5050.
You can also find out the landlord’s name by going downtown. Begin your search in County Building (118 N. Clark Street). First go to the Revenue Dept., Room 112, and ask someone at the counter for the Permanent Index Number (PIN number) for the address of the building. You may also get the PIN number yourself by looking at the green books on the counter. Go to the tract dept. of the Recorder of Deeds which is located in Room 120. Give the person at the counter the PIN number and tell them that you want to know the name of the owner of that building. The grantee of the most recent deed recorded is the owner of the property. If the property is in a land trust you can send letter to the bank trustee. They should forward the letter to the beneficiary of the trust your landlord. The bank will not disclose the name of the beneficiary of the trust to you. Get the document number of the deed (see below).
- Take the document number of the deed to the microfiche department in the Recorders Office, down the hall from the Tract Dept. Tell the person behind the counter you want to look at the deed to determine the grantee’s address. Give him the document number. Look at the deed for the grantee’s address, usually near the beginning. This is the landlord’s address at the time he/she purchased the building. The address could be near the bottom under “send subsequent tax bills to”. If it is a corporation, call the Secretary of State at 312-793-3380 to get the name of the registered agent and corporation’s address.
- Call the Revenue Dept. 312-443-5100 or 443-6253 to find out the property taxpayer’s name. Caution – the taxpayer is not necessarily the owner, it could be the previous one. You can also get this info in Room 112.
- If you have the landlord’s phone number, call Ameritech’s Reverse Directory at 312-796-9600. They will give you the address if the number is listed.
- Call the City’s Dept. of Buildings Multiple Dwelling Registration number 312-744-3452. All apartment buildings should be registered. They can give you the name and address of the landlord or landlord’s agent. However, few buildings are registered even though failure to register is a building code violation.
- You can check to see if your landlord is being sued (defendant) by calling the three numbers listed below. (Or use the computers in room 602 of the Daley Center 50 W. Washington Street. Type “users” to get to the main menu.) If he/she is, get the case number. Then go to the appropriate floor at the Daley Center and look at the file (see below for the location of the different departments). The address where the landlord was served should be on the summons.
Chancery (foreclosure) 312-443-5133 files on 8th floor
Law 312-443-5426 files on 8th floor
Municipal 312-443-5145 files on 6th floor
Divorce Files on 8th floor