Real Estate of Utility Companies (REUC)

Title Agency Guidance

New York City is home to approximately 14,000 Real Estate of Utility Corporation (REUC) properties—parcels or interests typically owned by utility companies. REUC properties can consist of land, buildings, specialized structures, and equipment. Common examples include power plants, cell towers, railroad tracks, pipes, large emergency backup generators, and power lines.

It is essential that all title agencies understand how to identify and work with REUC properties, so that all parties to a sale or ownership transfer are aware of their tax obligations. Title agents should download the Department of Finance’s step-by-step guide to working with REUCs and refer to the instructions below.


Questions about working with REUC properties? Contact Us.

Determining whether a property is an REUC

Sales and ownership transfers involving REUC properties require a different set of steps than transactions involving residential or commercial properties. It will not always be obvious to you that you are dealing with an REUC property.

Take the following steps to find out if you are working with an REUC:
OR
  • Review the ordinary real estate (ORE) assessment roll. You can find the roll by visiting Property Tax Bills & Payments system and searching by BBL number. Click on the link to the most recent “Final Assessment Roll.”

    If the property’s assessed value on the ORE assessment roll is $0, if its tax class is 3 or 4, and if its building class is U, it is an REUC property. Many REUC properties will be identified as such in the “Description” section as well. (Refer to the step-by-step guide to working with REUCs for an example.)

Understanding how REUCs are identified and billed by DOF

REUC properties are assigned a unique identifier. You might hear Department of Finance staff refer to this identifying number as an “IDENT.”

The Department of Finance assigns each of these IDENTs a “pseudo-BBL,” which is just a sequence of five numbers ranging from 70000 to 89999.

Confirming whether taxes are due on the property

Follow the instructions in the Department of Finance’s step-by-step guide to look up the property taxes for an REUC property.

Informing the buyer of his/her obligations

If there is an unpaid tax bill associated with the REUC property, inform your clients so that they understand what they will be responsible for paying. Inform the Department of Finance of every sale and share the new owners’ mailing address so that we may bill them correctly.