How to find land owners uk

Who owns land is one of England’s most closely-guarded secrets. This map is a first attempt to display major landowners in England, combining public data with Freedom of Information requests. To follow the investigation and help us fill in the gaps, visit the Who Owns England? blog.

The map also displays some data for Wales and Scotland, where landowners’ data includes this; our project is focused on England. Investigation by Guy Shrubsole, map by Anna Powell-Smith.

Data sources and attribution:

  • Anglian Water: GIS data supplied following Environmental Information Request, August 2016. Released with licensing stipulation that “You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing, and for the purposes of news reporting.” It is reproduced here for the purposes of news reporting. Also see blog post. No other water companies have yet released GIS maps of their landholdings.
  • Crown Estate: GIS data supplied following Freedom of Information request. If the Crown Estate contacts us asking for this layer to be taken down, we will do so. An indicative map of land and property owned by the Crown Estate is already public.
  • Forestry Commission: Covers both freehold and leasehold land. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. See the data download and blog post.
  • Highways England: Land that Highways England manages as highway. Data released under the UK Open Government Licence. Contains Highways England and OS data В© Crown copyright 2016. See the data download.
  • Ministry of Defence: GIS data extracted from a PDF map released by the Ministry of Defence following a Freedom of Information request. No licensing conditions were provided with the released document. See the blog post.
  • National Trust: GIS data supplied by the National Trust, also published on the NT’s own more detailed Land Map. If the National Trust contacts us asking for this layer to be taken down, we will do so.
  • Network Rail: GIS data supplied following Freedom of Information request, June 2016. No licensing conditions were provided with the released document.
  • Other Government departments: GIS data extracted from online map that until recently accompanied the Cabinet Office’s ePIMS Government Property Finder. Non-GIS data on Government Property is published under the Open Government Licence. See also past blogposts.
  • Overseas companies: Data released by the Land Registry following Freedom of Information requests by Private Eye. Shows freehold titles registered in name of an overseas company between 2005 and 2014. See the Eye’s investigation and map. Reproduced with permission of the investigative journalist who obtained this information. В© Crown copyright Ordnance Survey.
  • RSPB: GIS data published by RSPB and see the blog post. Data reproduced with the permission of RSPB. В© Crown Copyright. Ordnance Survey licence number 100021787 2017.
  • Section 31 declarations: GIS data supplied following Freedom of Information requests 2017-2018; no licensing conditions were provided with the released documents. Some data also acquired by scraping; we will take down the data if councils request we do so.

Polygons may have been simplified, data may be out of date; don’t rely on this data. Thanks to Mapbox for their generous support of our work.

Related Articles

You’ve decided to buy your dream home or rent a property, but first you want to make sure that the person selling or renting it is actually the person who owns it. Generally, title companies or real estate agents track down this information, but if you need or want to do it yourself, it’s not difficult. You will need the address of the property or its legal description.

When someone claims to own a property you want to buy or rent, it’s not difficult to double-check ownership. Take the property information to the recorder’s office in the county in which the property is located or search tax records online.

Check Property Ownership Records

It will probably come as no surprise that you aren’t the only person who wants to know about property ownership. Cities and states need to keep on top of who owns property for tax assessments and also so they know who to contact if trees or other debris are creating unsafe conditions for those walking by.

Lenders also need to have accurate property ownership data when they give someone a second mortgage or a line of credit on a property. The last thing they want is to provide a loan based on home equity to someone who doesn’t own the home.

Along with all these government agencies and businesses requiring ownership data, private individuals might want to know who owns a property for a number of reasons. If your ex-spouse is behind in child support, for example, you can put a lien on his property, but you need to make sure it’s his. That’s why property records are public records. When you buy property or inherit it, you must record the deed at the appropriate government agency. This could be called the clerk of court, the recorder’s office or the registrar. Then the information is available to anyone who needs or wants to know.

Verifying Property Records

In order to verify that someone owns the property he claims to own, your best resource is the office where the deeds are filed. You can also learn what liens are on the property and whether he has paid off his mortgage. If you’d rather not make a personal trip, call the office and see whether they offer online access to property information. If not, ask about other ways to check property records. Note that each recorder’s office is different, so it’s a good idea to call before you go.

Check Tax Rolls

Most states have public tax records that are available online. Searching an address will reveal the owner’s name and address. Other information includes the tax status of the property, if it’s current or delinquent, and whether the property is in pre-foreclosure or foreclosure. This is especially important if you are considering renting a property.

“>Accessing Property Records

If the property is located in San Francisco County, that’s the place to go. The main office is located at San Francisco City Hall. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. To access property records, simply go in and ask them to help you find ownership information of the property.

You do not have to visit the office to locate ownership information. The office has an online search that you can access from your computer. Visit the assessor-recorder’s website and click on “property search.” Type in the street address of the property and a small map will appear showing the lot and abundant information about it. Click on “recorded information for this property” to view the latest deed showing property ownership.

Alternatively, you can order the most recent deed online. Click on the “recorder information” tab, then the “obtain copies of recorded documents” tab from the menu. Follow the instruction to get a copy of the deed through the mail for a small fee.

Related Articles

Finding out who owns a property is as simple as researching the tax records or the most recent property deed. Every county has a place you can go to review these records; all you need is the property address and a little patience. Some counties have migrated their property records online. In those jurisdictions, you can search public records of home ownership with just a computer and an internet connection.

Property Deed Search

The government office that records property transfers, deeds of ownership and other legal documents is known as the recorder’s office or, in some counties, the registrar of deeds. This office holds the most accurate and up-to-date records about a property, including the most recent property deed or other transfer document that lists the name of the current legal owner. The county recorder’s office is usually located in the county courthouse, city hall or other county department. San Francisco’s deed recorder, for example, is located in the city hall. You can visit the recorder’s office in person and use one of the public terminals for your research. Staff are knowledgeable and can usually assist your search. They can also provide copies of registered documents for a nominal fee.

Local Tax Assessor

The tax assessor’s office holds a record of ownership for all the properties that are assessed for property taxes in the city or county of its jurisdiction. Members of the public are entitled to search information relating to tax rates, tax exemptions, property assessment value and tax liens free of charge. Some counties, such as Santa Clara, publish parts of their databases online; however, by the California state code, no government agency is permitted to publish identifying information, such as a homeowner’s name, without the written permission of the homeowner. For that reason, you’ll probably need to visit the tax assessor’s office in person and inspect the public ownership records to find the name and address of the homeowner.

Private Online Record Searches

Dozens of real estate websites gather public ownership data from a variety of sources and offer this information to consumers for free. Zillow, Trulia and Realtor, for example, allow you to search listed properties by area, and some give information on homes that are not currently for sale. SearchSystems is a mega search site with links to over 50,000 public access resources across the country. You can use its search facility to filter records by state, county, city and category – for example, property assessor records and recorded deeds, mortgages, liens and judgments. You might have to pay a fee to use some of the search tools or access information behind a paywall.

How to find out who owns land is something we are asked about all the time. That’s not surprising as we’re the UK’s Leading service for finding land owners and have been for almost ten years now.

When it comes to who owns there are two basic answers. One is that the land is registered. The other more complicated situation is that it’s not. We’ll discuss both here. Please note that just because land is not registered doesn’t mean that there isn’t an owner.

Firstly you can do a Land Registry search to see if the land is registered. If it is registered then you can obtain a title deed for the land via the Land Registry for just a few pounds. It’s a relatively simple process that we’ll go through below.

If the land is not registered then the question of how to find who owns the land is significantly harder to answer. If you’ve already tried to locate the owner yourself or if you want professionals to get to the bottom of it then you might be better off with our service. Used by Taylor Wimpey and the public, our expert team research who owns the land and provides you with a full report. You can take advantage of our years of expertise in this area and our people tracing skills by clicking our unregistered land owner search here or calling now on 0113 2825900.

If you’ve not carried out any of your own research as yet and feel that you might want to, please read on.

How to find who owns land yourself

Trying to find out who owns land may seem an impossible task; if you ask around locally nobody knows the owner. Either they haven’t been seen for years or they live in another part of the country, so now what? Well if it’s not registered then you’re on your own. There are no registries of owners of unregistered land. There are no systems to check for owners. All you can do is your digging around to find them or use a service like ours.

If you’ve not found out if the land is registered then you can start by going directly to the Land Registry. They will need some information from you about the land before they will be able to search for you. Obviously land isn’t as easily identifiable as a property.

To obtain the Title Register you will need to get the official Ordinance Survey plan of the area and highlight the piece of land you are querying. The Ordinance Survey plan must be in the correct scale which is 1:1250 and on the correct mapping system this can be purchased from https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/

Once you have a clear outline of the land you will need to find which HM Land Registry office deals with the area in question (this is not always as obvious as it may first seem, for example the office that deals with the Leeds, West Yorkshire area is an office in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire). If you are unsure of the correct office information can be found at the Land Registry. Once on the site click “Customer Services” and select “Office Finder”.

You can now visit the correct office with your map and hope they can find the information you require. If they cannot help the land will be unregistered, if this is the case give us a call on 0113 2825900 and we will be happy to help.

We have outlined here what you need to do and the best ways for getting the information you need. Remember that approximately 35% of land in the UK is unregistered land, so there are no guarantees that you will be successful.

How to find out who owns land that’s not registered

If the land is unregistered then this is what to do…

  1. Local enquiries. Someone in the village or town will know who the owner is. Now sometimes you’ll want to keep your ideas to yourself so this might not always be appropriate but if it is then it’s certainly a good place to start. Local busy bodies usually know but unfortunately your business will be quickly spread.
  2. Historical data. If the land is used for something else now, what was it used for before. This can sometimes lead you to the owners.
  3. Councils – They do own a lot of land. Sometimes though they don’t know what they do own and what they don’t so this can be a problem. It’s always worth checking with them though.
  4. The Crown and land owners – Both easy to contact but not always easy to get answers from
  5. Utility’s – Utility companies do own a lot of land. They have departments that deal with this type of thing and they can often help.

There are lots of other ways to find the owners of unregistered land and our expert team will try each one for you. If you would like more information about our service then please call us on 0113 2825900 and we will be happy to help.

We hope this short article has helped your answer how to find out who owns land.

How to find out who owns land?

Contents

  • Identifying a Property to obtain a copy of the Title Register
  • When a Property does Not have a Postal Address
  • Application form with Map Utilities built-in
  • Vacant, Derelict or Ruinous Properties
  • We have the following Map-based Land Registry Searches

Article Summary

The most efficient way to find out who owns land is to use an online mapping utility such as our portal, which enables you to identify property by several different means, title number, address or map, making it incredibly simple, quick and efficient. We are usually able to provide you with your requested information within an hour after placing your order.

Identifying a Property to obtain a copy of the Title Register

Identification of a property, when applying for a Land Registry search, is generally carried out in one of two ways:

  • By Postal Address
  • By Title Number (where this is known)

The majority of people do not know the Title Number, and instead use the postal address.

When a Property does not have a Postal Address

There are a number of ways to identify a property not having a postal address, but some of these methods have been over-taken by more modern and efficient means.

Older methods involved obtaining a large scale OS map, which usually required a trip to a specialist commercial stationer or map vendor, and attaching this to an application form.

The most efficient way, today, is to use an online mapping utility such as that provided by Google. Although you could print off the map, mark the land you are interested in, and then send it to the Land Registry with an application form, there is now a far more efficient way of doing this.

Application form with Map Utilities built-in

We have 2 map utilities built into our application form. The first of these, our standard map, requires you to drag an online pin onto the land. This is fine for small parcels of land. Where the land is larger, encompassing many areas of ownership, you would use our advanced map, which enables you to trace the outline of the land in question. When you submit your application form, we receive it with a copy of the marked map. From this we can quickly identify the land and obtain the Title Register for you.

Below is a copy of a completed Advanced Map Search, clearly identifying the fields to be searched.

How to find land owners uk

Below is a completed standard map search, identifying one field only to be searched.

How to find land owners uk

Vacant, Derelict or Ruinous Properties

It is likely that a non-residential property that has been vacant for a long time, a derelict or a ruinous property, will no longer have a post code. In such cases you would need to use our standard map search.

We offer the following Map-based Land Registry Searches:

  • Single Plot of Land
  • Large Areas of Land with many Ownerships
  • Roads and Alleyways
  • Woodland
  • Riverbanks
  • Common Land

Single Plots of Land

This search enables you to obtain the ownership details of a single plot of land, either by dropping a pain onto a built-in map on our application form, or by tracing its outline onto the map.

Large Areas of Land

This search enables you to obtain the ownership details of a large area of land, whatever its nature, size or shape. Our fee includes the Title Registers for the first 5 Titles. You will be advised of the cost of proceeding with any remaining Titles, which will be charged at £4.95 each.

Woodland Searches

This search enables you to obtain the ownership details of a parcel of woodland, forest or moorland. If more than one Title is discovered you will be advised of the cost of obtaining further Titles.

Jul 05, 2019

How to find land owners uk

How to find out who owns a property

Discover how to find out who owns a property in the UK with this article. There are many occasions where tracing the owner of a building or property is required from finding who is responsible for a derelict building to attempting to purchase a building or a piece of land.

There are some straightforward searches one can complete to obtain some basic information to enable contact but to enhance the search with current contact information such as a current address (not the one registered with land registry which may be old or uncontactable) or a contact landline or mobile telephone number one would need to use a professional tracing agent to trace the property owner / landowner.

We will now run through the 3 steps to locate the owner of a piece of land or a property in the UK.

1. Land registry search

Over 85% of the land and property in the UK is registered with HM Land Registry. Much of the land owned by the Crown, the aristocracy, and the Church has not been registered, because it has never been sold, which is one of the main triggers for compulsory registration.

In England and Wales, all land is owned by somebody, even if the legal owner can’t be identified. For example, if a person dies without a Will or blood relatives, their land or property can pass to the crown by law (referred to as Bona Vacantia).

HM Land Registry holds records about most property or land sold in England or Wales since 1993. This can be a fast route to obtaining the current owner details or at least obtaining the name details to enable a tracing agent to locate the details of the property owner.

Land registry searches can be requested here

Official copies can be requested by post here

HM Land Registry

The current fees at 2019 are as follows

Title register (online copy) £3

Title plan (online copy) £2.50 (£3 with VAT)

Flood risk indicator (online copy) £9 (£10.80 with VAT)

Title register (official copy) £7

Title plan (official copy) £7

2. If the land or property is not registered with Land registry

If your search of land registry is not showing any details it may be that the land or property is unregistered with no official title deeds but you still need to find the owner of the property

The next steps in being able to obtain the current owners details or at least a clue to their old contact details and a name to enable step 3 if Land registry does not retain the details of the property owner as the land is unregistered / land is not registered as a property in England and Wales.

The next steps to discover property ownership details

· ask neighbours if they know who the owner(s) might be

· ask local residents if they have any ideas about who might own it

· ask in the local pub, postal office or local shops

· check adjoining registered properties for clues, they may refer to a deed or document which affected not only that registered title but also ‘other land’. The other land may have included the unregistered part and the deed/document will refer to the parties to the deed, which may give a clue as to the owner on a specific date;

· search county or local authority records for

· check with the local authority to see if any planning applications have been submitted over the years. By law, applicants currently have to sign either a Certificate A to say they are the owner or Certificate B where they say they have served notice on the owner who they have to name

· check your local electoral register.

3. Use a tracing agent to obtain the current property owners details

Once you have obtained the name of the owner of the property this is where a tracing agent is the next crucial stage to obtain the correct current details to enable contact. The tracing agent with the name and old address of the subject or the piece of land address associated with the property owner will be able to locate the current owners details including contact telephone numbers in a matter of hours and on a no find no fee basis.

Offer

Get 20% off with discount code BUY20 – Claim it now

Free Land Registry Search Online

Contents

  • Free Land Registry Information
  • Practice Guides
  • Land Registry Forms
  • House Price Data
  • Information that is Not Free
  • Property Documents and Ownership Information

Article Summary

The purpose of this article is to describe what type of information can be obtained for free from the Land Registry, and what type of information is charged for.

Free Land Registry Information

The Land Registry do make available a considerable amount of information for free. This includes all of their Practice Guides, Land Registry Forms and House Price Data.

Practice Guides

The Land Registry Practice Guides explain about different services the Land Registry offer, what they mean and how to use them. Some of these go into remarkable detail and some are supported with helpful videos.

Land Registry Forms

Land Registry Forms are used by professionals and non-professionals to lodge or remove applications relating to specific property Titles. They have to be lodged using the correct forms. In times past these forms were only available from legal stationers, for a price, but are now available for free using the links provided.

House Price Data

An online form is accessed which requires the insertion of a partial address, e.g. you could search for house prices in Wallasey, in Cliff Road in Wallasey or for the postcode CH45 3JH. The more detailed your address, the more specific the search result will be. You also need to enter the time periods to search between.

Information that is Not Free

Property Documents and Ownership Information

Property Documents and Ownership information cannot be obtained for free from the Land Registry or from any other organisation. This is because the information they contain is held in specific documents that are charged for, and include Title Registers, Title Plans, Prior Copies of the Title Register, Conveyancing Deeds, Leases, etc.

Many of these and other Land Registry documents are not available direct to the public, but only via a search agent with portal access. Some of the types of searches sought include many documents, or in some instances, more than one type of search to obtain a single document.

Examples:

1. A Boundary Search would include the Title Registers, Title Plans and all of the Conveyancing Deeds for each of the adjoining properties, a Lease if one of the properties was leasehold, details of Common Law Boundary Presumptions, and a fully illustrated guidebook.

2. A Rights of Way search would include the above, together with other documents, such as an Environmental Neighbourhood Report, A Common Land Map, and so on.

3. A search for a property in the conventional way may produce a negative result. A further search, using a SIM form may reveal that the property is registered, but with another property which was part of a portfolio of properties purchased together. With the information from the SIM form result we can then obtain the Title Register.

As a result of the above some considerable time may be spent in obtaining the required document, and this has to be charged for.

Title Register

The Land Registry Title Register holds data relating to the property ownership, purchase price, mortgage, tenure, covenants, rights of way, leases and class of title.

Title Plan

The Title Plan shows an outline of the property and its immediate neighbourhood, and uses colours to identify rights of way, general boundaries and land affected by covenants.

Lease & Lease Plans

The Lease and its Lease Plan usually form one document and are both provided for the one fee. They are very useful in resolving disputes, particularly with car parking and other shared areas.

How to find out who owns land is something we are asked about all the time. That’s not surprising as we’re the UK’s Leading service for finding land owners and have been for almost ten years now.

When it comes to who owns there are two basic answers. One is that the land is registered. The other more complicated situation is that it’s not. We’ll discuss both here. Please note that just because land is not registered doesn’t mean that there isn’t an owner.

Firstly you can do a Land Registry search to see if the land is registered. If it is registered then you can obtain a title deed for the land via the Land Registry for just a few pounds. It’s a relatively simple process that we’ll go through below.

If the land is not registered then the question of how to find who owns the land is significantly harder to answer. If you’ve already tried to locate the owner yourself or if you want professionals to get to the bottom of it then you might be better off with our service. Used by Taylor Wimpey and the public, our expert team research who owns the land and provides you with a full report. You can take advantage of our years of expertise in this area and our people tracing skills by clicking our unregistered land owner search here or calling now on 0113 2825900.

If you’ve not carried out any of your own research as yet and feel that you might want to, please read on.

How to find who owns land yourself

Trying to find out who owns land may seem an impossible task; if you ask around locally nobody knows the owner. Either they haven’t been seen for years or they live in another part of the country, so now what? Well if it’s not registered then you’re on your own. There are no registries of owners of unregistered land. There are no systems to check for owners. All you can do is your digging around to find them or use a service like ours.

If you’ve not found out if the land is registered then you can start by going directly to the Land Registry. They will need some information from you about the land before they will be able to search for you. Obviously land isn’t as easily identifiable as a property.

To obtain the Title Register you will need to get the official Ordinance Survey plan of the area and highlight the piece of land you are querying. The Ordinance Survey plan must be in the correct scale which is 1:1250 and on the correct mapping system this can be purchased from https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/

Once you have a clear outline of the land you will need to find which HM Land Registry office deals with the area in question (this is not always as obvious as it may first seem, for example the office that deals with the Leeds, West Yorkshire area is an office in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire). If you are unsure of the correct office information can be found at the Land Registry. Once on the site click “Customer Services” and select “Office Finder”.

You can now visit the correct office with your map and hope they can find the information you require. If they cannot help the land will be unregistered, if this is the case give us a call on 0113 2825900 and we will be happy to help.

We have outlined here what you need to do and the best ways for getting the information you need. Remember that approximately 35% of land in the UK is unregistered land, so there are no guarantees that you will be successful.

How to find out who owns land that’s not registered

If the land is unregistered then this is what to do…

  1. Local enquiries. Someone in the village or town will know who the owner is. Now sometimes you’ll want to keep your ideas to yourself so this might not always be appropriate but if it is then it’s certainly a good place to start. Local busy bodies usually know but unfortunately your business will be quickly spread.
  2. Historical data. If the land is used for something else now, what was it used for before. This can sometimes lead you to the owners.
  3. Councils – They do own a lot of land. Sometimes though they don’t know what they do own and what they don’t so this can be a problem. It’s always worth checking with them though.
  4. The Crown and land owners – Both easy to contact but not always easy to get answers from
  5. Utility’s – Utility companies do own a lot of land. They have departments that deal with this type of thing and they can often help.

There are lots of other ways to find the owners of unregistered land and our expert team will try each one for you. If you would like more information about our service then please call us on 0113 2825900 and we will be happy to help.

We hope this short article has helped your answer how to find out who owns land.