March 14, 2024

How to Find the Owner of any UK Property?

How to find out who owns a property or land?

If you’re a property investor and you’re actively building your portfolio, you’re probably always on the lookout for suitable properties.

It may be the case that you pass by a property and can see potential in it, or you’ve been looking in a particular area for some time because you know it’s a lucrative market, and there’s some land that looks prime for development.

If this is the case, you may wish to find out who owns a particular property or piece of land.

In this post, we’ll be answering these questions:

  • How to find out who owns a property
  • How to find out who owns land

There is more than one way to discover the owner of property or land. Join us as we explore all the avenues open to you.

Why would you want to find out who owns a property or piece of land?

There are various reasons why you might want to find out own owns a property or land. You may:

  • Wish to purchase the property, either for your own use, to renovate and sell on, or to rent out
  • Wish to demolish the property to develop the site for new housing or an alternative use
  • Want to find out about the history of a piece land and what it has been used for in the past
  • Be interested in purchasing the property next door and want to check whether there are any historical or live disputes such as boundary disputes or access rights
  • Already own the property next door and want to know the owner to smooth communication around maintenance, access or other issues
  • Wish to engage in discussions about neighbourhood development or local infrastructure projects
  • Be developing the property next door and want to establish good relations and amicably discuss the likes of Party Wall matters

Regardless of your reasoning, the first step will be to formally request the ownership information.

How to find out who owns a property or land?

Here are the best ways to find out who owns a property or land:

Make enquiries with the Land Registry

If you want to find out who owns a property, the UK Land Registry is a good place to start.

This UK government department maintains an extensive database of property and land ownership in England and Wales and keeps over 26 million records.

Head to the Land Registry website, and run a title deeds search.

HM Land Registry holds records for the majority of properties sold in England or Wales since 1993. The records include details such as the title register, the title plan, the title summary and a flood risk indicator, as well as key ownership details.

The records can be viewed online, and downloaded for a small fee. You will need to create an account, for which you’ll need an email address and payment method.

Once you’re set up, you can carry out searches by postcode, house number or house name.

The title register provides details on:

  • The title number
  • Ownership
  • Rights of way
  • Purchase price
  • Mortgage status

The title summary and title plan offer additional details. These include whether the property is leasehold or freehold, and an outline of its general boundaries.

The flood risk indicator provides a flood risk assessment for the local area by bringing together information from HM Land Registry and the Environment Agency.

Whilst HM Land Registry ceased providing this data in mid-2021 meaning records are limited to before this time, there is still the opportunity to obtain area-specific flood risk information via a postcode search on the government website.

Check local records

A large proportion of property in England and Wales is registered, but it is still possible to come across unregistered property, especially if it is old and has been left vacant for some time.

How to find out who owns a property or land that’s not listed on the Land Registry?

To find out ownership details for unregistered property or land, you have a variety of options open to you:

  1. Consult with local residents – ask around home or shop owners in the local area. You might be surprised at what you uncover.
  2. Check whether any planning applications have been submitted via the local County Record Office.
  3. Look at the electoral register. This lists the names and addresses of everyone that is registered to vote in public elections. It is open for anyone to look at, although copies cannot be provided for general use.
  4. Check records of neighbouring registered properties. These may offer clues about the ownership of the land.

Employ the services of a tracing agent

A tracing agent is a specialist who has privileged access to online databases that are not available to the general public.

These individuals are able to use this information to find out who owns a property or land. Naturally, they will charge for their services, but it is not usually prohibitively expensive.

Check Companies House records

It is possible to check the owner of an address via the Companies House website. However, this method will only provide you with addresses of properties that are also registered as businesses addresses or registered offices.

Investing in buy to let property?

If you have been asking the question, how to find out who owns a property, it may be that you are looking to invest in the buy to let market and are seeking out suitable properties.

If this is the case, you should take advice from a local property expert who will be able to inform you as to the most in-demand types of property, and those that command the highest rental yields and return on investment.

If you are wisely looking at going down the guaranteed rent route with your buy to let investment in order to minimise your risk as a landlord, check with the provider as to the types of properties that are usually most in demand.

If you are renting your property to the council via a guaranteed rent scheme, the types of properties that they’ll usually want tend to be 1-4 bedroomed, self-contained homes that are suitable for families. However, do check, because different locations may vary in their demands.

Guaranteed rent from City Borough Housing

City Borough Housing offers a guaranteed rent service with zero hidden fees. We operate throughout London, as well as parts of Kent and Surrey.

Our programme includes a professional property management service, incorporating the costs of everyday repairs and maintenance into the rental offer, so there is no extra to pay.

We also guarantee landlords receive their properties back in their pre-let condition at the end of the agreement, allowing for fair wear and tear. Regular property inspections are also included, ensuring properties are being cared for in accordance with the tenancy agreement.

To find out more about the City Borough Housing guaranteed rent scheme and how it could benefit you as a landlord, and to request your free property valuation, please get in touch.

Request Your FREE Rental Valuation

Just a few details are all we need to calculate your rental offer. You can also use this form to request more information about our services.

020 3790 9228