When you’re driving past a vacant plot of land, it’s pretty much impossible to know who owns the land without doing a little digging. It’s not like every field has a sign saying who it is owned by (without a doubt, that would certainly make things easier). So, unless you know people in the area who you can ask, you’ll have to do some research to find out who owns the land. Here is how to find out who owns the land in the UK.
“I Want To Find Out Who Owns This Land” Here's Where To Start
There are several situations which may call upon you to find out who owns some land.
- Farm animals have escaped and you have to contact the owner/farmer
- The land is causing problems (flooding, smell, etc)
- You or somebody else has damaged the land and you want to notify the owner
- You’re interested in buying the land (to build your own house, you’ve got retirement plans, etc)
Years ago, it was rather difficult to track down the name of a landowner. Today, it’s normally very easy.
The go-to place to start searching for who owns a piece of land is searching the national land registry. In the UK, you can use the HM Land Registry to find the contact details of a registered property or land.
The HM Land Registry gives you access to recorded details and information. If you’re looking to buy some land, it’s worthwhile finding it on the registry; you can purchase additional land information and find out whether there is a flood risk or other such issues.
Using the land registry is also a beneficial way of learning more about the land before making an offer (especially if you’re not hiring the services of a land agent).
In most cases, you will be able to track down information through HM Land Registry as long as the land has been registered.
When the land is not registered, it starts to get a little bit complicated. But it's not the end of the world.
What To Do Next If The Land Is Not Registered
However, if the land has not been registered, you’ll just have to use other methods of investigation to find the answer. Just because a plot of land is not registered, does not mean it’s not owned. Every plot of land in the UK is owned by somebody; sometimes you just have to go the extra mile to find out.
1. Check The Adjoining Registered Land
Start by looking into the adjoining land. If the adjoining land has been registered, you’ll be able to find out who lives there and contact them. It’s very likely they will know who owns the land you’re looking into and give you the relevant contact information.
2. Contact The Local Authority
If you have been unsuccessful with the adjoining landowners, contact your local council. They will be able to check the electoral roll for the address you’re looking at and they may have access to contact information for landowners in the local area.
3. Speak To Neighbours
If the previous two options have not worked, then you will have to put on your detective cap and start asking neighbours and nearby services. People in the neighbourhood will likely know who nearby land belongs to or at least be able to point you in the right direction.
In most cases, you will often find the registered landowner on HM Land Registry and will not need to resolve to the three alternative solutions above.
You Can Make A Healthy Profit On Land In The UK, As Long As You Don’t Make Any Of These Common Mistakes
Here at Land Trader we want to help people buy and sell land easily. It’s a common misconception that land is difficult to sell. In fact, it’s a fast-moving market. If you want to make money buying land, we’ve created a guide that lists all the golden rules you should follow so you can guarantee you’ll make a profit and not a financial loss.