If there is unutilized land in close proximity to your property, it may be worth considering acquiring it. In this article, we will explore methods for determining the landowner’s identity, enabling you to approach them with a purchase proposal.
In situations where a parcel of land borders a property but remains unused, it is common for property owners to express interest in purchasing it. This desire stems from the intention to take responsibility for its maintenance and utilise it for various purposes, such as expanding their garden or constructing a garage. Additionally, acquiring such land can help prevent it from becoming neglected in the absence of any caretaker.
To initiate the process of acquiring a neighbouring piece of land, it is crucial to determine its ownership. The Land Registry holds comprehensive records of all registered land and properties, encompassing approximately 80% of properties in England and Wales.
If you have the required knowledge, you can conduct a search in the Property Register. In case the property is registered, you will have the opportunity to acquire a plan that displays the land boundaries, along with a copy of the property’s title indicating the owner’s details. This will enable you to establish contact with the owner. Be aware that in the case of residential properties as well as commercial properties, there might be issues arising that need a litigation process. In the case of an issue with a commercial property, you will need the help of a commercial property litigation attorney.
When property ownership is transferred, it is now mandatory to register it. However, if the property has not been transferred for a significant period, it may still remain unregistered.
If the land is not registered, determining its ownership becomes more challenging. The Land Registry maintains records that can be accessed to identify the land using their aerial land locator, even in the absence of a specific address, and verify whether it is registered or not.
Here are some additional options you can explore to determine the owner’s identity:
- Reach out to the neighbouring residents and landowners to inquire about the identity of the property owner.
- Seek information from individuals within the community, such as shopkeepers, bar owners, or post office employees, who may possess insights regarding the potential owner of the item.
- If there is a nearby church, it would be advisable to inquire with them regarding ownership. Often, church properties remain unregistered due to the absence of any recent transactions.
- Examine the title of the neighbouring property to check for any mention of the adjacent property. If there is, it might be possible to track down the owner by reviewing the process through which ownership of the neighbouring property has been transferred.
- To retrieve local country records, you can inquire with your local authority regarding the information they possess.
- You can review the planning records of the local authority to determine if any applications for land development have been submitted.
- Examine the nearby voter registry.
Acquiring Ownership of Property
It is possible to assert ownership of unclaimed land if you have held possession of it for a period of twelve years, or ten years if the land is registered. It is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable property attorney prior to taking such action in order to mitigate the potential risk of a trespassing lawsuit.
In order to establish adverse possession, one must have treated the land in a manner consistent with that of a responsible owner. This may involve actions such as fencing the land and ensuring its maintenance.
Once an individual has met the necessary time requirement for ownership, there still remains an extensive procedure to be completed in order to acquire any form of legal ownership.