With over 85% of the land in the United Kingdom registered, it can be pretty simple to find out who holds a property. There can be issues however, like an unregistered piece of land or an elusive landowner.
In this article, we will talk about why it can be helpful to find out who holds a property, why you need to understand the Land Registry check and how to find out who holds a house.
If you would like to discover the answer to your question quickly, please check out our list below:
- Why would you want to search for who owns a property?
- Understanding the Land Registry
- How to find out who owns a house?
- Quick fire Q&A
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Why would you want to search for who owns a property?
Many factors could pique your interest in a home. Facts about previous ownership may influence your choice to buy an estate or the surrounding land. Here are some reasons you might want to research conducting a land registry check:
- You wish to submit an offer. Interested cash buyers may be able to speak with the landowner and submit a request before the land even goes on the market.
- You should confirm the asking price. Learning more about the property’s former may influence an estate developer’s choices—especially when considering past equity demand and pricing.
- You want to learn about local development initiatives. Learning about future residential or commercial developments could influence your home purchase, especially if it is on your front door.
- You’re simply just curious. We’ve all passed a stunning home or a piece of land that piques our interest. It might be possible to learn more about the history of a building by locating its proprietor.
Understanding the Land Registry
A non-ministerial division of the government called Her Majesty’s (HM) Land Registry keeps track of who holds what in England and Wales. Land Registry offers government-guaranteed land titles and title plans. These show the borders of land to property holders.
What are land registry title deeds?
Physical documents called title deeds provide the ownership history of properties. Conveyances, purchase agreements, testaments, mortgages, and leases are a few examples of this. The deeds are digitally kept at the Land Registry.
The original copies might be with the conveyancer or solicitor who represents the proprietor, but there’s also a chance they aren’t. If title documents are supplied to you or your solicitor, it’s best to keep them safe, because they can include more details than the Land Registries copies, such as the property’s legal boundaries and the previous holder.
When is land registration not compulsory?
You don’t have to register a lease that has seven years or less left when you buy the land or other property. Without that exception, you must register your land if any of the following apply:
- You’ve bought it.
- You’ve been given it.
- You’ve inherited it.
- You’ve received it in exchange for other property or land.
- You’ve mortgaged the property.
What is a land registry check?
You can search the government’s database for digital copies of land registry title deeds, by performing a land registry check or search. If the property you are looking for is listed, you can access any former owners and the present owner. This can influence your potential asking price or influence any future purchasing decisions.
How to find who owns a house or property?
If you go to the government’s website, you can conduct an almost free property owner search – it’s only £3-11, depending on the information you require. Here you’ll be able to access most property or land sold in England and Wales since 1993. These records include details of the title register, title plan, title summary and flood risk indicator.
The information included on a title record could include; the property title number, who owns it and how much they paid for it, as well as any rights of way and whether a mortgage has been “discharged”. The title plan is a map that shows the property’s location and general boundaries – although they aren’t recorded to scale.
The title summary comprises the title number, who owned it, how much they paid for it, whether it was a freehold or leasehold property. As well as the name and address of the lender if the property had ever been mortgaged.
Finally, you might also have access to the flood risk indicator, which combines data from the Environment Agency and HM Land Registry to give you an idea of how likely the land or property is to flood.
What to do if you can’t the landowner
One thing to note is that if you want to locate a property in Scotland or Northern Ireland, then you will have to contact different registers.
If its difficult to gain information about the property holder in question, there are several options you can explore:
- Tracing Agents – These are private investigators, who can gain access to information on online databases that the general public is not permitted to view.
- Local investigation – If the property you are interested in is unregistered, you can learn who the holder is by conducting local research, and speaking with other landowners or local authorities, who may be able to give you more information on the property in question.
- You want to learn about local development initiatives.The title deed could influence your home purchase, especially if it is on your front door.
- Access local records – If local landowners or local authorities cannot assist you, you can review local authority records, and inquire with county record offices to see if any planning applications have been submitted.
Quick fire Q&A:
To sum up this article, we’d just like to finish off with a quick fire Q&A:
How to find out who owns a house?
If you are wondering how to find out who owns a house you should run a land registry check or search. By doing this you will be able to look for digital copies of land registry title deeds in the governments database.
Here, you’ll have access to the current property holder and any previous property holders, which may help to inform you on a possible asking price or subsequent purchasing choices.
What is a land registry check?
A land registry check is searching the HM Land registry for title deeds using the governments database.
How to find the owner of a property?
If you are wondering how to find the owner of a property, you could do a land registry check. If this doesn’t work then you can access local authorities, access local records, or ask surrounding land owners for more information.
Are there any free property owner searches?
There aren’t many online free property owner searches, however, the ones that do exist cost around £3 on average. An option for a free property owner search, would be to contact the County Record Offices, who will be able to give you information on any planning applications that have been submitted. This may lead you to find the land holder.
If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to send us a message.