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https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/05/search-owner-unregistered-land/

Searching for the owner of unregistered land

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Buying and selling property, Law and practice

A garage at the end of an overgrown driveway.

One question we're often asked is "Who owns that piece of land?".

We have over 25 million registered titles (records of land and property ownership) in England or Wales, so we can usually give you the answer. If you have the address, postcode, or title number of a property, you can search HM Land Registry records for £3.

But what about the bits which aren't registered? How do you go about trying to find out who owns these?

Well, the simple answer is that it will often come down to your own detective work, where the land or property is located in the country, and sometimes luck!

So, if you've checked whether the land or property is registered with us and found it isn't registered, what can you do next?

Get information about unregistered land

It's probably best to start your detective work in the surrounding area and make enquiries. You could:

  • ask neighbours or adjoining landowners if they know who the owner(s) might be;
  • ask local residents if they have any ideas about who might own it, as they may have lived in the area for a number of years and have ‘local knowledge’;
  • ask in the local pub, post office or shop;
  • 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 clues – Yorkshire and Middlesex have their own deeds registries (to make a search you need to know the name of previous or current owners), while other counties have County Records Offices;
  • 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; and
  • check your local electoral register.

Online forums such as Money Saving Expert and Garden Law sometimes suggest ‘doing something’ to the property or the land, such as putting up a sign. Before doing this, I'd advise that you check with a solicitor whether your actions would break any laws.

About unregistered land

Over 85% of land and property in England and Wales is now registered with us. 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.

Some people think that unregistered land isn’t owned by anyone or refer to it as ‘no man’s land’. But this isn't right. 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 is aiming to achieve comprehensive registration by 2030. If you want to register your own property, there is currently a 25% discount for voluntary first registrations.

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316 comments

  1. Comment by David Williams posted on

    A good starting point might be the 1910 Finance Act records:
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/valuation-office-survey-land-value-ownership-1910-1915/

    This is especially useful if you can use the information in conjunction with the Yorkshire and Middlesex deeds registries.

    Reply
    • Replies to David Williams>

      Comment by Nick Arculus posted on

      In the Isle of Man we start with the 1867 Woods Atlas, a gazetteer of all land owners at that date (for Tax purposes). It is similar to the "England and Wales (Exclusive of the Metropolis) Return of Owners of Land 1873" which recorded all owners of more than 1 acres in E&W.

      Reply
  2. Comment by Mel Catchpole posted on

    Hi there..

    I find the above very informative, BUT, What is the position with un-adopted no through roads that searches have been made on and no owner found. can the houses in the road make a claim for ownership of the land if it has been maintaining it for a period of years??

    Reply
    • Replies to Mel Catchpole>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mel - land is land so an unadopted road will still have a legal owner. Registering a claim of ownership of unregistered land is covered by our Practice Guide 5 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-1-unregistered-land-and-2-registered-land
      If you or you and your neighbours were looking at claiming the land then I would strongly recommend seeking legal advice

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Lily H posted on

        Adam - we are in a similar position to Mel and I have read the guidelines from your link but wanted to clarify whether a squatter needed to have 'exclusive' use of the land to apply to claim possession of it?
        We live along a private unadopted lane and our Land Registry title shows that our property owns a large section of the lane but the first section from the highway to our section does not appear to be registered to anyone as I have checked the Land Registry titles of the other two properties that bounder the lane. We have exclusively maintained and resurfaced the whole lane for the past 14 years but have now encountered issues with a tenant parking along the 'unregistered' section in a building that does not even front onto this lane - he is blocking access to emergency vehicles to our property and the others. We would like to formally be registered as proprietors of this section of lane so that we can install some posts or something similar. Thanks

        Reply
        • Replies to Lily H>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          lily H - our PGs 4 and 5 explain the 'essentials' as we see them and will help here. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
          The law is very complex so it is important to get legal advice before taking any action whether to claim the land or a right or do works etc

          Reply
          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Lily H posted on

            Thank you AdamH - we will seek legal advice but just had a quick glance over your 'essentials' link and hopefully we qualify to apply to more simply alter the title with an AP1 as our property dates back to 1872 and is by far the oldest along the lane in question - plus we still have the remnants of the wall for the original stable block in our curtilage which the lane would have originally serviced. Fingers crossed - thanks for your help. Sam

    • Replies to Mel Catchpole>

      Comment by Ian Forder posted on

      Good question Mel Catchpole, for which I am also searching for advice.
      I my instance, up-grading and re -surfacing of an unmade road. The land must have, or still does, belong to somebody and even if the original owner is now dead it may belong to his descendants, failing that I believe it passes to the crown. As I understand it English law would prevent structural work to take place without the owners permission.
      Any advice you may have in this regard would be much appreciated

      Reply
  3. Comment by Terry posted on

    So if I wants to find all the Unregistered land there must be a way of finding it via the LR office as the opposite of the registered land...but is CROWN LAND. Also registered ?

    Reply
    • Replies to Terry>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Terry - there is no central record of unregistered land. Some Crown land will be registered but not all of it.

      Reply
  4. Comment by Daniel posted on

    Please can someone outline whose responsibility it is to maintain over grown trees on a river bank adjacent to my leasehold property. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Replies to Daniel>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Daniel - I suspect you would start with the landowner and the National Rivers Authority to see if they will take responsibility. Legal advice may be needed to establish what rights yyou have and what responsibilities the landowner or NRA may have also

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Andrew Rudge posted on

        Adam.
        The NRA was disbanded in 1996 and it's responsibilities assumed by the Environment Agency.

        Reply
    • Replies to Daniel>

      Comment by Andrew Rudge posted on

      Daniel.
      I also live along a watercourse, and the Environment Agency have made it very clear that i have riparian responsibilities, that means it is my responsibility that the banks are maintained, damaged trees are maintained and the watercourse kept free of debris and obstructions.
      So, its the landowners responsibility.

      Reply
  5. Comment by rupert Welchman posted on

    Hi there, thanks for adding all this useful information.
    I am trying to find the correct procedure to register a tiny parcel of land. This triangle of no more than 2ft at its deepest tapering to a point and 10ft long is wedged between our field (registered) and the road. Why it is not included within our boundaries of the field is a mystery. However, we have been advised that once we have satisfied ourselves that it isn't registered to anyone else, we should register it ourselves. I have indeed checked that it is unregistered. So on to the next step. Would you agree with this logic. And how would I now go about registered our ownership?
    Thanks

    Reply
  6. Comment by Jamie Jenkins posted on

    Hi, recently I contacted you hoping that you could find out who owned the lane at the rear of our terraced street which serves about 45houses, some houses but not all have garages which are in daily use. It seems that the land is unregistered and your research revealed no owners. But I have a feeling that it could be owned by the National Coal Board, as many years ago I can remember them building a retaining wall at the boundary to their coal plant, but they also cleaned and tidied up the lane in question. If I contacted them are they bound to tell me if they own it, and if so are they responsible for the repair and upkeep of the lane.

    Reply
    • Replies to Jamie Jenkins>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Jamie - We essentially have an administrative role in registering ownership and other interests in land and so cannot advise as to whether they would be under an obligation to answer your enquiry and also whether they are under an obligation for the lane's repair and upkeep.

      You may want to consider getting independent legal advice from Citizen's Advice or from a legal professional such as a solicitor.

      Reply
  7. Comment by Fiona Mack posted on

    Hello, my query is a public footpath that runs along outside the boundary wall of my property. Somebody told my husband years ago that our territory extends to 5 feet outside our wall (as yet I have no proof) and therefore partly across the footpath. Beyond the footpath and forming a northern boundary is the M40 and a strip of land belonging to Highways for England. I believe there may be an unregistered strip between us and HfE. How can I find out if this is so? I am interested because I would like to extend our drivelway along the route of the path to have legal traffic access to the far end of our land, which is further along the footpath. I have no wish to restrict use to the footpath in any way. Indeed, our present driveway is and has been part of said footpath for many years.

    Reply
    • Replies to Fiona Mack>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Fiona - If you have not already done so, you can check the title plan for your property, if registered. But bear in mind that it will only show the general position of your boundaries as the exact position of legal boundaries is left undefined.

      It will be difficult to get exact confirmation on the extent of unregistered land as, for example, we wouldn't have any information on this. You could try checking as to the general position regarding the titles that are registered - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registryhttps://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry .

      Select the Map enquiry option and use a road or village/town to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Birds Eye View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available.

      Other possible sources of information on unregistered land include:
      • National Archives – http://www.nationalarchives.gov.ukhttp://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk,
      • County record offices, and
      • Local libraries.

      I hope this of some assistance to you.

      Reply
  8. Comment by Paula Byrne posted on

    Our 8 terraced houses' gardens and another set of 6 terraced houses' gardens are separated by a narrow strip of land with very high conifers and a pathway - shown on my deeds running from one end to the other - with access via a locked gate at the end into a garage area. We've always understood that strip was "no man's land" retained by council/utilities for access. The other houses have placed sheds etc on the strip with gates from their back gardens, and some have extended their gardens and fenced off the pathway - thus assuming ownership. Our side maintain the conifers to allow light into our gardens. I've done lots of research over the years but still cannot find out the "owner" of this strip. Can you advise? Thank you

    Reply
    • Replies to Paula Byrne>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paula - the advise is in the blog article so I assume it is unregistered and therefore the legal ownership is not known.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Paula Byrne posted on

        Thank you. I suppose my question should have been "is it, therefore" not legally owned and can be claimed by anyone"?

        Reply
        • Replies to Paula Byrne>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Paula - all land is owned but not all land is registered. Anyone can claim land but the law is a complex one and the registration requirements will vary a little depending on whether the land is registered or not and/or when the claim started. Our PGs 4 and 5 explain some of this in more detail https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides

          Reply
  9. Comment by Paula Byrne posted on

  10. Comment by Debbie posted on

    So I’m confused all land is owned but not all land is registered, I know where my boundaries are and then there’s a 2 metre gap running along the length of our houses, then another estate was built with a fence running parallel to our boundary,and someone is trying to extend their garden out sideways up to our boundary, I’ve told them I’m not happy with what they’re doing and they said they’ve spoken to their solicitor and he reassures them it’s theirs to do what they want with it, how can I find out who owns that piece of land? Would it be owned by the local council? Would they be able to help me find out?

    Reply
    • Replies to Debbie>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Debbie - if the Council are not the landowner/neighbour then they would not be involved or able to help. You would need to consider the registered details and any available information to try and establish where the legal boundary lies. I would start with checking the neighbour's registered title to see what information that provides. And have a read of this article as well https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/27/drawing-the-line-on-boundaries/

      Reply
  11. Comment by john posted on

    A local sports club recently applied for planning permission on their field, it was rejected on that they did not own the land, it was bequeathed many years ago to the village with a covenant denying any building, however the solicitors who were the trustees now do not exist and the club has claimed 1st registration proprietorship as the deed and covenant cannot be found is there any period of time before 100% ownership to allow an objections to be allowed, all the elderly people in the village remember it being bequeathed but the last member of the donor family is now unfortnately senile.

    Reply
    • Replies to john>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      John - it's legal advice you relaly need here to ascertain what rights you/other may have to challenge or object to any application to register the title. Any application to claim ownership and title will be considered initially on the evidence submitted by the applicant. Our Practice Guide 5 explains how such an application is made and the type of evidence required. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-1-unregistered-land-and-2-registered-land
      If that evidence is considered sufficient we will then survey the site and may notify adjoining landowners depending on the circumstances. We do not contact a 'community' for example.
      If that part of the proces sis also passed then possessory title may be granted which in turn may be updgraed some 12 years later.
      The key, in my view here would be what are your grounds for objection? If it is based on a counter claim then your legal advice should extend to considering looking to register the title yourselves.
      Our Practice Guide 37 explains how we deal with objections and disputes https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/objections-and-disputes-a-guide-to-land-registry-practice-and-procedures

      Reply
    • Replies to john>

      Comment by Jeanne posted on

      Hi John,
      I'm interested in finding out what has happened since as I'm dealing with a neighbour who is doing something similar.
      Thanks.

      Reply
  12. Comment by jackie owen posted on

    Who is responsible for a shop frontage? The council have confirmed it is not part of the adopted highway and the shop owner has produced a copy of the title showing their boundary to be at the building. The area outside of the shop is in disrepair and needs repairing before somebody injures themself!

    Reply
    • Replies to jackie owen>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jackie - you'll need to seek legal advice/assistance to ascertain who is responsible. Whilst we can provide any registered details it is an understanding of the law that will be needed to ascertain where responsibility for upkeep lies

      Reply
  13. Comment by john posted on

    How long after 1st title registration on a piece of unknown ownership land does the new title holder have to build on the land ? or apply for planning permission.

    Reply
    • Replies to john>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      John - I'm not aware of any requirement that states you have to build on land you have claimed. Claimed land does not have to then be built upon. If you have a specific scenario then I would recommend seeking legal advice to unravel he complexities of the law around such claims

      Reply
  14. Comment by Joy Mortiboys posted on

    There is a drive between 2 houses from Newdigate Road Bedworth CV12 8EF through to Arbury Avenue CV12. This is in desperate need of some maintenance but on searching for ownership I have found that this has reverted to Crown Land. In this case who is it that is responsible for the upkeep of such land.

    Reply
    • Replies to Joy Mortiboys>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Joy - if it is crown land then I would suggest contacting the Treasury Solicitor for clarification re any responsibilities for it

      Reply
  15. Comment by Val Kane posted on

    My question is how can I find out who owns a strip of paved land next to a house ? This strip is just over a cars width and could provide access to a piece of land which has a building application applied for. The land has a non build upon covenant attached. So we are hoping that the strip of land in question will help to prevent the access . We are hoping to get a solicitor involved but are at present waiting to find out if they can take on the case as it through our house insurance legal cover.

    Reply
  16. Comment by Tipper Tom posted on

    Ok, so when I look at the land registry map for my property, and compare it to the OS map that is used to highlight in the deeds, my garden appears to be approximately 4m longer on the land registry, now behind the property is a patch of "no mans land" untamed woodland and that's about 50m.
    How do I go about getting this additional land included in my deeds so I can legally move my fence back?

    Reply
    • Replies to Tipper Tom>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Tipper Tom - the two plans are for very different purposes. The OS plan shows the surveyed features only. It does not denote the legal ownership or registered extent as that is what the title plan does.
      If the land you are interested in is outside your title I would suggest checking if it is registered. All land is owned but not all land is registered and what you can or cannot do legally can be affected by whether it is registered or not. For example if you are looking to move your fence and claim the land our PGs 4 and 5 explain the registration requirements. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
      The law re such claims is a complex one so if that is your intention please do get legal advice

      Reply
  17. Comment by Steve posted on

    I have recently received a reply after submitting a search in index map request. The first part under the result heading gives 2 freehold numbers , registered estate ir caution ,then goes onto say no other registered estate ,caution against first application for registration or application for a caution against first registration is shown on the index map in relation to this property. Does this mean the land is not registered ?

    The reason for this application was regarding a strip of land behind my property that I've used as a veg patch for 15 years. I wanted to know whether I could claim or whether there is a current owner.

    Reply
    • Replies to Steve>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Steve - if the result refers to title number(s) then you would need to check each to see what they refer to and what interest(s) they protect. You can search online using the title number(s) under Detailed enquiry https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
      If they are caution titles then the land is unregistered but the cautioner has registered an interest in that land

      Reply
  18. Comment by Steve posted on

    Thanks for replying , there is no title number just 2 freehold numbers. Due tomorrow being land between my property and woodland there is no postcode .

    Reply
    • Replies to Steve>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Steve - freehold is the tenure and if registered would have a title number. I read your post as wanting to know what each title referred to - if so then use the Detailed enquiry option (not Quick or Map enquiry) and search using the title numbers on your SIM result to confirm the registered details as appropriate. The register confirms the ownership of the title searched whilst the title plan will show the registered extent

      Reply
  19. Comment by Steven posted on

    Thank you, this is very strange , I have completed searches and both have come back with the local council as ownership. Some years ago we went to them asking who owned it and they said it wasn't theirs.

    Reply
  20. Comment by Alan Burrows posted on

    The entire length of my back garden runs alongside a passage. The passage is L shaped with only one entrance/exit point, the Local Council say they do not own the passage and it is overgrown and some people use the area as a tip. I have a gate that I use so that on occasion I can take a short cut using the passageway or maintain the fence to my property. I do have my title deeds which clearly show the passage on the plans, also there is a reference to the vendor (this is in 1935)) "When required by Vendors (if and so far as not then done) to pay half expense of forming sd passage 12ft wide on northerly side of land thrby assured adjg and coextensive with boundary throf and also (if and so far as afsd) entire expense of paving with good paving stones or other material as mt be required by Vendors one half in width of sd passage adjgand coextensive as afsd". I take it this means that the Vendor or inheritors of the Vendor or the Crown now own this piece of land or am I completely wrong. My supplementary point is if there is an owner do my deeds indicate that this passageway should be paved or cindered (I may be pushing it here) to a standard by them. Obviously my Local Council are not interested my neighbour who has cut down a couple of trees and piled them up against my fence isn't and the other chap who piles up rubbish reducing the passage width by half isn't. So what should I do next to make any progress.

    Reply
    • Replies to Alan Burrows>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Alan - I assume the land is unregistered and the reference to the older deed is the way forward with regards trying to identify who the legal owner might be. As you already appreciate if they were the owner that ownership may have passed to their next of kin or the crown if none exist.
      Your deed states to what extent works have to be done, consented to and materials used - so it's either good paving stones or other material as agreed to by the Vendor etc.
      So it reads as if identifying the legal owner may be difficult and even if you did would they be traceable/willing to admit to it. If so it's really a question of what is it you wish to do. If that is to repair and maintain it then that may be something you can discuss and agree with the neighbours you mention, if they are willing to get involved of course.
      If you are looking for wider comment/advice then online forums such as Garden law can be useful resources re examples of similar scenarios which others have posted and commented upon. But it's really legal advice you need here to get specific advice on your own scenario and the rights of the owner (absent or otherwise)/neighbours for example

      Reply
  21. Comment by Pauline Salisbury posted on

    We have lived down the end of a lane for nearly 40 years. There are 6 other houses down the lane. Part of the lane is along the border of common land called Retired Common (Cornwall). We now know that two cautions have been registered by 2 unidentified co-owners (Both of whom we know). Commons Registry Officer has given us this information. These cautions have stopped us getting an indemnity insurance for the mortgage we want to take out to extend our home here. Can these cautions be lifted? Can we get right of way by prescription? Neither of these owners have objected to us or any of the other homeowners using the lane. One of the owners, used to live on the lane. We now suspect that these cautions are making all the properties here unmortgageable. I have left a query on the Land Registry site as well.

    Reply
  22. Comment by Alan Burrows posted on

    Thank you Adam. I do not know if the land is unregistered I just assumed because most of the neighbours I have spoke to have quoted "no man's land" which from reading the above I understand that this cannot be right. The Local Council have on a few occasions cleared the passage by the intervention of our local Councillor by working with the Restorative Justice Group. There is a highways sign at the entrance to the passage showing how wide it is ( a van could get part way along the passage). The Vendor was a large figure in the local community, what was a rural area had become a Mill town (North West - bit of a give away) and I have found that our local Heritage Library do have records relating to his family business from the 19th to late 20th century if I feel the urge to look. It might be best if I check to see if the land is registered, if that is the case what is the process?

    Reply
    • Replies to Alan Burrows>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Alan - I'm replying as Adam is currently unavailable. You may able to check if the land is registered online via our Find a Property service - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

      Select the Map enquiry option. Use a nearby road and town name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Birds Eye View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available.

      Once you decide on the information you require you can click Purchase to get a copy of the title register for £3 giving the registered owner.

      It is possible that you may not be able to refine the online search enough to get a result just for land in question or there is no info showing for the land in which case it is likely to be not registered. In either case you may want to consider lodging a postal Search of the Index Map application with a suitable plan showing the extent of the land searched to get confirmation. We would then confirm whether or not the land is registered and if registered, provide the title number. Please see our guidance for more info - https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-index-map .

      Reply
  23. Comment by ElizaH posted on

    We live down a country lane that is part BOAT (byway open to all traffic) and then becomes a bridleway. The access to our home crosses the bridleway (which is also a route used regularly by many vehicles to a light industrial site). This therefore renders our access illegal. We understand that you can apply to the highway agency(?) for a change of use of the bridleway. Is there any way of doing this in the absence of any record of ownership of the bridleway?

    Reply
    • Replies to ElizaH>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      ElizaH - not something we deal with so I'd contact the Highways Agency and/or Local Authority for assistance

      Reply
  24. Comment by Lesley Davies posted on

    Hi, we own a terraced house in a row of four. A lease dated 1903 for a period of 800 years covered all four properties. In Jan 2003 before we purchased the property the freehold was purchased and we hold Title Absolute deeds. Our neighbours purchased their freehold in 2002 and also hold Title Absolute deeds BUT also hold Title good leasehold. Why would it be that we only have Title Absolute deeds please? What would we need to do to also hold Title good leasehold - would we need to establish the current owner of the lease and if so would their be a way of tracing this back through the title held by our neighbour as it relates to the same original lease? We are experiencing difficulties in selling the property because the Charges Register on our Title Absolute makes mention of this lease.

    Reply
    • Replies to Lesley Davies>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Lesley - I note that you have also contacted us using our online contact form and provide specific details. Our support team will consider your emails and respond as appropriate

      Reply
  25. Comment by David Round posted on

    Hi I am having a dispute with the highways agency vegetation is growing on our boundary we have no right of access to remove it and they are now refusing to remove the vegetation from the estates fence the vegetation is destroying the fence and subsequently there is Japansese knotweed there also they are now arguing because there is a 10mm gap between our fence and theirs they won’t do anything to remove the vegetation! Now they have warned me I will be trespassing if I attempt to remove the vegetation!! What can I do! Initially they also said they didn’t own the land then I asked for the original copy of the ownership and they suddenly changed their mind!!!! I feel I am being stiched up here!

    Reply
    • Replies to David Round>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - it's legal advice you need here. If you are looking for wider online comment or suggestions then online forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources but it is very much legal advice you need as to what rights you may have

      Reply
  26. Comment by Sue O posted on

    There is a strip of land opposite our house, which is in a terrace, where we and our neighbours keep our bins. This has been going on for at least 22 years without any problem until recently, when we have had letters from the Town council asking us to move them. The latest letter says that they have had complaints from neighbours saying that it makes the street look untidy, but we think it is one neighbour whose house has just gone up for sale, and also the reason for missed household waste bins not being emptied (which previous contractors never did). This is the third explanation for the letter. A neighbour queried the first letter with the council and they said to ignore the letter as it was aimed at one particular house, but could not single them out. When we received the second letter it mentioned that their contractor was unable to cut the grass and strim hedging, which was being carried out in behalf of the landowner. When asked who the landowner is they admitted they didn't know who it was, this strip of land hadn't been signed over to anybody, and couldn't do anything to make us move our bins. When I phoned regarding the latest letter and requested who the landowner is they said it was the developer still owned the land, and they have written to them asking if they can take it over. The name of the developer she gave me appears in the map, but in the deeds it gives another company's name. During the conversation I felt the person I was speaking with was making comments that did not ring true, e.g the number of bins out, and the contractor strimming, as it has been witnessed them doing what bits they want to do. A couple of us have tidied our little areas up. Please advise on our position.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sue O>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sue - you mention <em>'The name of the developer she gave me appears in the map, but in the deeds it gives another company's name'</em> - I assume that means it is registered or you know that the land was retained by the developer after the houses were sold off.
      We can only provide the registered details so if there is an issue over who owns/maintains the land or whether you can place your bins there then it is legal advice you really need

      Reply
  27. Comment by Anna Smith posted on

    Our house is the penultimate property in a cul-de-sac and is reached via a small joint access way.
    On the far side of this, opposite my house, is a patch of shrubs and a cherry tree, approximately 2m square in area. If anything, the tree is closer to the end of the cul-de-sac, than to our property.
    In the past couple of years the cherry tree has bolted and is starting to overlap into the boundaries of properties in a different street.
    The neighbour at the end of the cul-de-sac has caused trouble by telling the others that it is our responsibility to maintain this patch of land and they are all now being downright rude to us.
    I have checked our Title Deeds and the land is not shown as being part of our property, so I’m not sure why the neighbours think it belongs to us?
    The Council has stated that the land is ‘privately owned’ and therefore is not it’s responsibility.
    Am I just being ignorant and should I be maintaining this land? I have got a quote for £140 to trim back the tree, but it’s a lot of money to spend on just placating a horrible bunch of people, especially as the land is not highlighted on our Title Deeds.
    Please can you advise me what to do?

    Reply
    • Replies to Anna Smith>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Anna - you are not being ignorant. If you are an adjoining landowner you may have rights to lop branches for example or to take action but I am not aware that those rights then make you responsible for maintaining the land

      Reply
  28. Comment by Louise posted on

    There is land in front of my house with a very large tree growing on it. The tree overhangs my wall. I have been told the land is owned by the crown and the tree has a protection order on it. Who would I contact about having the tree trimmed/cut as it is going to damage my wall if left to grow?

    Reply
    • Replies to Louise>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Louise - if there is a TPO against the tree then you should contact the local authority to confirm

      Reply
  29. Comment by Iain F posted on

    Hello! WE are hoping to buy a house with an unregistered no-through path next to it. The current owners have applied for adverse possession. Their initial application was turned down and they have appealed. If adverse possession is granted does anyone have a right to come along and contest it in years to come? Do we have the right to turn it into full possession later? Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    • Replies to Iain F>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Iain F - there is nothing to stop someone contesting it but very much something to discuss with your solicitor as the law around adverse possession is a complex one. It is not a law we can advise you re what your rights or that of someone else might be.
      If possessory title is granted then it can be upgraded at a later date - see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/upgrading-the-class-of-title

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Iain F posted on

        Thank you Adam, I really appreciate you responding.

        Reply
  30. Comment by Jacqui posted on

    Hi I wonder if you can advise. We are trying to buy a property that has a separate garden. The garden is just over a narrow lane in front of the house behind a stone wall. The garden came with the house when the current owners bought it 40+ years. Many years ago the local farmer gave the owners an additional piece of land to the front of the original and it was added to the title deeds. The current owners have now been using this land for nearly 40 years. However when the title plan was sent to us to sign we noticed that a strip of land that has a stream running through it between the original piece and the piece the farmer gave them was not included in the title plan. We queried this with our solicitor and she contacted the land registry and was told that the strip was not registered. Not sure how we proceed. Solicitors seem to be taking ages to come up with an answer and it is holding up the sale. Would be grateful for any advice.
    Thanks
    Jacqui

    Reply
    • Replies to Jacqui>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Jacqui - I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties that you are experiencing. The solicitors acting are best placed to consider how to deal with this. Where an owner is effectively not holding legal title to land that they claim to own, the legal and registration process to resolve this can be quite involved and sometimes there are unavoidable delays.

      Given the matter is holding up a sale, you may want to check with the solicitors acting that it has been requested that any application pending with us is prioritised / expedited. Each request is treated on its merits and solicitors can generally apply for this electronically via our business e-services.

      Reply
  31. Comment by Alan Harford posted on

    Hi there,
    I am in the process of purchasing a house. The searches have flagged up that there is an area of land which is used by the property but not registered to it. The area of land gives access to the properties courtyard garden through the rear, giving access and off-street parking.

    It's believed this land is not owned by the next door neighbour and the previous owner. We can't tell who amended this and if the property was sold like this to the previous owner as they are no longer alive.

    How can I find out who owns this land or where this area of land may or may not be registered.

    Any help would be great

    Reply
    • Replies to Alan Harford>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Alan - Hi. You mention searches - would these be the pre-completion searches submitted by conveyancers, such as solicitors? In which case they would best placed to make enquiries and advise how to proceed.

      If you wanted to make enquiries yourself, you may be able to get information online if the area of land is registered with us. Go onto our Find a Property page - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry and as your search relates to a piece of land, I would suggest you select the Map Enquiry option. Use a nearby road name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Birds Eye View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available.

      Once you decide which one you require and click Purchase, you will then need to register yourself as a new user. You will require a valid email address and a password for this.
      Register yourself as a user and then follow the process for payment. Once the payment has gone through, the title register giving the registered owner that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      Otherwise you would need to make a postal application with a plan for a Search of the Index Map - https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-index-map .

      If the property is not registered, we would not be able provide any information as to the ownership.

      Reply
  32. Comment by Helen posted on

    Hi - our solicitors are currently trying to sort out an issue on a part of a garden which appears to be unregistered but we have had in the family for 45 years (fenced and maintained) - the Land Registry have said they need to carry out a survey - I'm not sure exactly what this entails but as its holding up a sale could you tell me what it consists of, why it is required and how long it takes for this to be done as we are selling the house and we can't do anything until we have an answer of what the outcome is?

    Reply
    • Replies to Helen>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. It appears that the application is on the basis of Adverse Possession, commonly referred to as 'squatter's rights'. I should mention as this point that the term ‘squatter’s rights’ conjures up a certain image, but for our purposes this is merely a way of applying (by adverse possession) for ownership of land based on occupation rather than title deeds. Applications for registration based on adverse possession are one of most complex types of applications that we deal with, requiring the consideration of senior staff and the process involves a number of stages.

      It is normal practice for us to ask Ordnance Survey to carry out an inspection of the area(s) which the applicants wished to register. This is required as we need to assess that the statements made in support of the application to demonstrate possession of the land give the complete picture. So therefore, we arrange for a surveyor to inspect the land and to see their report before we can assess the application further. It is difficult to put a timescale on this process but it does involve notifying the parties concerned, before the visit takes place.

      What it important is to ensure your solicitors contact us, if they have not already done so, to give details of the dependent transaction and ask that the application be expedited / prioritised. This will ensure that the application is progressed through each stage as quickly as possible.

      Please also be mindful that there may be there may unavoidable delays in processing the application. For example, we will normally need to give notice of the application to any person who, from the information available or from our local knowledge, may have an interest in the land. We then have to wait for the time period relating to the notices we have served to expire. We may also need to raise queries with the solicitors lodging the application and wait for their replies.

      I hope this information is of some assistance to you.

      Reply
      • Replies to ianflowers>

        Comment by Helen posted on

        Thanks Ian - more information in this than I'd been able to find out - one question I do have is if the land is unregistered will there be anyone to serve notice on? We did buy the side plot in 1973 and have a conveyance for this (deed etc) and we put a fence where we were told after the application went through - unfortunately when we've come to sell there is a wedge which Land Registry inform us is unregistered and we've signed a statutory declaration - agreed wording with Land Registry/solicitors which I presume will be used alongside the survey? The fence has always been in the same position for 45 years and there are no properties which border the land.

        Reply
        • Replies to Helen>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          You're welcome. As mentioned, the way these types of application are considered can be quite complex, but generally speaking, the statutory declaration is the basis of the application and then a survey is generally required to assess the position on the ground to ensure that the statutory declaration gives the full picture. Where notice is served this is usually on adjoining or adjacent owners who may have interest. In the circumstances you describe, it seems unlikely we will need to serve notice, but the decision is made at the time the application is considered and processed so I am unable to give any confirmation or guarantee at this time.

          Reply
  33. Comment by ShaunR posted on

    Hello. We are having a problem with a piece of land to the front of our house. We bought the house in 2001 and our then Solicitors advised that the front yard (the land in question) wasn't registered and we should apply for adverse possession. They completed all of the necessary statutory declarations from neighbours saying it had been occupied by the previous owners for the necessary 12 years. 17 years on, looking to sell the house, we discovered that the Solicitors in question never actually registered the land (despite us having an invoice saying we paid for it to be done). This is now causing us serious delays in our sale as our buyers insist on having absolute title (which we could have applied for had the adverse possession been registered in 2001 as we have continued the occupation for 17 years). We are now being advised that the 'clock was never started' for claiming absolute title and the best we can get now is an application for just adverse possession. Is this right?

    Reply
    • Replies to ShaunR>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      ShaunR - that is correct in so far as any application now is very likely to result in a possessory title being awarded. It is possible for absolute title to be awarded but it would be very rare, normally only when your registered title surrounds the land being claimed for example

      Reply
  34. Comment by ShaunR posted on

    Thanks Adam....the annoying thing now is our buyers are a tad miffed at the time needed for/uncertainty around the process (12 weeks?!) and annoyance for us as we paid to have it registered for possessory title all those years ago. No surprise our original Solicitors went belly up...they couldn't renew their indemnity insurance!

    Reply
    • Replies to ShaunR>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      ShaunR - it's not a quick process as the details provided have to be checked to confirm that they are legally sufficient to support the claim; a site visit is then needed to check for ourselves what is being claimed' and we may need to notify others/make wider checks as appropriate. Whilst it can be done quicker than 12 weeks you need everything to align perfectly and it to all be in order. As you already appreciate if it had been done way back when then........but the only option now is to submit the application, supply the details of the confirmed purchase and ask us to expedite the process. If you don;t do that then our current backlog of work would mean you would add a further 7/8 weeks to that best case scenario as there would be a wait time between receipt and that initial consideration

      Reply
  35. Comment by MickyM posted on

    Hi!
    Is there a way to be alerted on change of property ownership? There is a derelict retail unit nearby; former owners in administration. We would like to be alerted when it is sold.

    I suppose we could repeatedly obtain a register copy, until it finally lists a new owner. But that would be tedious, haphazard, and expensive over time.

    Is there something like a 'caveat' that can entered at the Registry, which would warn when ownership change occurs? Other government registries - e.g. the Probate Office - already utilise the legal 'caveat' device. As, apparently they do in some overseas property registration authorities.

    Does the UK Land Registry offer a similar 'alert' facility, please? Or is there an alternative mechanism?

    Thank you for your attention!

    Reply
  36. Comment by Laura Petts posted on

    There is a piece of land between 2 terraces, our house attached to this piece of land.
    I have searched to find out the registered owner of this land - unfortunately it is unregistered.
    From my research I believe the land was probably owned by a coal company which has long since dissolved, the land was then passed on an estate company, this also dissolved a long time ago.
    Currently some people from the area will use the land occasionally as a walk way, however they do not maintain the area, and allow their dogs to foul there and not clean it up.
    I don't know what more we can do to try and locate the owners, what should our next step be?

    Reply
    • Replies to Laura Petts>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Laura - it reads as if you have established who the owner may have been so if it was a dissolved company then it can pass to the crown. Research the term 'bona vacantia' and get legal advice on what your options are. If you have a reason for trying to find the legal owner then discuss that with the legal adviser as well to see if other options exist

      Reply
  37. Comment by RobertA posted on

    A paved public footpath, with street lamps, runs along the boundary of my house, separating my house and my neighbours house from heath land. The heath belongs to the City of London but neither they nor the local council accept ownership of this path. The footpath is therefore likely to be unregistered land. How can I establish who is responsible for maintaining this footpath?

    Reply
    • Replies to RobertA>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      RobertA - I'd suggest following the advice in the blog article and see what local knowledge exists and who built the houses and presumably the footpath. As it's unregistered finding the legal owner is very much down to your own detective work

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by RobertA posted on

        The houses were built over 200 years ago and there is no information available as to who built them or whether the footpath was constructed at the same or a later time. There is no relevant local knowledge. I am happy to do some detective work but where do I start?

        Reply
        • Replies to RobertA>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          Difficult to say what may be the best place to start - possibly contact your local authority again as given there are street lamps, it would appear to indicate that the LA have, or have had, some involvement, albeit that they may not have information on the legal owner.

          Other sources are mentioned in the blog such as local and national record offices / archives and also possibly local libraries.

          Reply
  38. Comment by Sue posted on

    Hi. We have an alley at the back of our property with access via our back gate. It used to lead to allotments but in the 1960s a school was built on the allotment site. So the school fence is one side of the alley and our, and our neighbours, on the other. The school says they don't own the land. Neighbours who've lived here for 30 years plus say no one has owned the land. Us and our neighbours keep the bushes trimmed and nettles cut down as the alley gives us access to the field and woods beyond the school car park and building. The local council don't know who it belongs to either! Some neighbours have already taken the alley as theirs and extended their back gardens. Can we do this? This alley doesn't show on the deeds of our property or OS maps.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sue>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sue - land can be claimed and our PGs 4 and 5 explain the registration process. But it's really legal advice you need on the legal complexities re such claims and how they are treated by the law. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Sue posted on

        Thanks Adam. First approach to a solicitor we were advised we needed a surveyor. The problem is that official documents don't show the alley at all! It looks like the school boundary goes right up to our residential boundaries so officially there is no land to transfer!!

        Reply
        • Replies to Sue>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Sue - hence I assume why a surveyor was recommended as they should be able to look at old/current plans and match them with the current layout to provide you with a reported outcome explaining their survey. That should assist you with regards next steps also

          Reply
  39. Comment by Helen posted on

    We are currently going through an adverse possession request with Land Registry and an Ordnance Survey Surveyor will need to visit the property. This is fine as we were advised of this when applying.

    We have been advised that Land Registry are under an obligation to enter the value declared for the property and our solicitors have asked us to provide them with an estimated value of the Land - what exactly do they require? Is it the whole property of just the value of the land which is being questioned - the land has been fenced in since 1973 so I'm not sure how we go about this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Helen>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Helen - I imagine it is a valuation with regards the land that is being registered, which is needed. The statement as to the value doe snot have to be by anyone other than the applicant but it's important to be as accurate as possible so you may need to enquire of a land agent or surveyor for example as a guide

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Helen posted on

        Does the valuation have to be what the value is today - the land was bought 45 years ago and was paid for and the builders marked the boundary where the fence was put - part of the garden appears to be registered but there is a section which is what the adverse possession request is for - can I give the price paid in 1973 as I have the paperwork/bill?

        Its approximately 1/8th of the plot which we could use to value it today if required after discussing with various on-line sites?

        Reply
  40. Comment by Helen posted on

    thank you very much

    Reply
  41. Comment by Anita Simmonds posted on

    What if it is a derelict house on a suburban street?

    Reply
    • Replies to Anita Simmonds>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Anita - we register the land so you can still search for registered details online or make a postal search of the index map instead

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Anita posted on

        Thanks for the reply. This is a house that appears to be unregistered with yourselves.

        Reply
  42. Comment by Emma smethurst posted on

    Hello my parents bought a house approx 8 years ago, in order to access the house you have to cross a small gravel car park. They are currently in the process of selling the house and right of way has been brought up by the prospective buyers solicitors. Frustratingly it wasn't picked up by my parents solicitors when they bought the property. The house was only built within the last 15 years so Eoukd right of way had to be sought in order to get planning permission? Or how can we find out who owns the land? There is a village pub across the road and the landlord seems to think it might belong to him? How can we beat find out? The council have said it isn't their land despite them maintaining upkeep of the fence around the car small area. Any help is gratefully received thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Emma smethurst>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Emma - these sorts of enquiries would normally be made by your parents' solicitors as part of the sale process. But if you wanted to check the ownership yourself, if the land is registered with us you may be able to do this online via our service on Gov.uk - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

      As your search relates to a piece of land, select the Map enquiry option. Use the nearby road /town name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Birds Eye View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available. Once you decide which one you require and click Purchase, you will then need to register yourself as a new user. You will require a valid email address and a password for this.

      Register yourself as a user and then follow the process for payment. Once the payment has gone through, the title register (giving the current owner) or title plan that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      If the land is not registered we will not have any information as to the ownership.

      Planning permission and the registration of rights and interests in land are separate and distinct and so this issue may not have arisen when permission was granted. But further enquiries can be made with the local authority involved.

      Reply
  43. Comment by Tim posted on

    Hi there,
    This is a great guide and I have found the registered owners using a search for a planning application for the local council.
    To be specific, the owner of a property has cars/skips that block the rear of the property and deny me a right of access to my home. I need to check both Land Registry and the Title to see what it says about the use of the land.
    But the thing is, I've identified the owner and now what? I still can't get the info I need as there is nothing registered so I'm in limbo, or is there anything else I can do? How can things like right of access/rights of way be drawn up now, rather than seeing what the historical rights are for the property? It's a catch 22 as far as I can see!

    Thanks for any help,

    Tim

    Reply
    • Replies to Tim>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi Tim. Thank you for your kind comment about the guide. As I understand it, the property//land over which you need access is unregistered. In which case, as you've said, we will not hold any details of any rights or other interests in relation to that property. Presumably, you have already checked your own property's title as this may assist in determining what rights your property may hold over the land.

      There may be a need to discuss the situation with the parties involved on the ground if this is possible. You may also want to consider seeking independent legal advice, for example, from a conveyancer, such as a solicitor, who will be able to advise as to the legal position and the options open to you.

      Reply
  44. Comment by IMuzz posted on

    I have just purchased my next door neighbour's property to prevent the over development of the small lane I live in by a local developer. There are three houses in our lane, mine being the middle one. The recently purchased property is at the "dead end" of the lane/track. It has been fenced up to the entrance to it and exclusively maintained since the 1960's but I have been told by my conveyancer it is actually an unregistered parcel of land and outside the marked boundary of the property. We have lived next door for 12 years and our other neighbour for 33 years so can verify it's sole use. The original owners niece also has been visiting the property for over 50 years and confirms it's sole use and maintenance over those years. I guess I am asking if this can be the basis of an application to register the land and incorporate it into the plot of the LR boundary?

    Reply
    • Replies to IMuzz>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      IMuzz - you're are referring to claiming land by possession rather than title deeds, commonly referred to as 'squatter's rights'. This a very complex area of the law and a number of issues come into play. It's something you may want to consider getting independent legal advice on if you're unsure how / whether to proceed.

      Reply
  45. Comment by Figo posted on

    We recently purchased a property, that was inherited and registered for the first time in 2015. The previous owners purchased and lived in the house from 1958 to 2015. There is a garage on a plot of land about 100 yards from the property which a close relative of the previous owners has told us was used by the previous owners. The garage has clearly not been in use for many years. As the purchasers of the house assuming the previous owners of the house did actually own the garage, does the garage now belong to us even though it is not mentioned on the title deeds? How can we confirm who the owner of the garage and plot it sits on is as it doesn't seem to be registered?

    Reply
    • Replies to Figo>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Figo - if you've not already done so, the first step would be to check the title deeds / paperwork from when you bought the property. If the land on which the garage is situated isn't registered, as mentioned in the blog, we won't hold any information on the owner and you'd need to try the alternative sources mentioned. If you do not hold any deeds showing title to the land, then another possible option would be to look into the claiming the land by adverse possession, commonly referred to as 'squatter's rights'. This is a very complex area of the law and if you're unsure how to proceed, you may want to consider getting independent advice, for example, from a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      Reply
  46. Comment by Cath posted on

    Beside my house there is piece of land beside a river. There is a path along the land that has been used for generations for access to my cottage and another cottage. I thought that my neighbour had bought the land right up to the river when he built his house about 15 years ago. He has recently informed me that he registered land only up to a boundary wall which he rebuilt at the time. Although he thought he had purchased the land right up to the river, is not currently registered to him or anyone else. Who is responsible for the land and therefore the river bank and the trees on it? Who would pay the costs if, for example the wall along the river bank collapsed or the trees fell on neighbouring properties. My neighbour is proposing that we register it jointly but I do not really want to take on the financial cost of maintenance or any legal responsibility. Is it possible to prove that he owns the land, and therefore the responsibility, as the previous owners had maintained it and used it. Will I, and another neighbour, still have right of way and access across the land if either he, or no-one, owns it?

    Reply
    • Replies to Cath>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Cath - As mentioned in the blog, if the land is unregistered then we will not hold any information on who the owner is. In respect of registered land, we register with general boundaries, meaning that the exact position of the legal boundary line is left undefined. This may come into play here as previous court judgements have shown that general boundaries can account for surprisingly large areas of land. Rivers also come with their own particular ownership rules and responsibilities - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/owning-a-watercourse .

      Any formal rights that currently exist run with the land and would therefore continue whoever the owner is. If you are unsure about the legal position concerning the private rights or access that you may have over the land, then you may want to consider seeking independent legal advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or from a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      Reply
  47. Comment by Cyndi Yeoman posted on

    Behind my building is a section of cliff that is unregistered. The local Council have ownership of the cliff either side of the section that is directly behind my property. The cliff is in urgent need of attention (acknowledged by a council engineer who completed a recent report on the area) to prevent it sliding down and hitting my property. My deeds clearly show that this area is not registered to my dwelling. The council are refusing to take ownership.
    What are my rights here? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Replies to Cyndi Yeoman>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Cyndi - As mentioned in the blog, we would not hold any information on the ownership of unregistered land. As a registration authority with essentially an administrative role, we also wouldn't be able to advise as to any rights / responsibilities in connection with this. We can only suggest considering seeking independent advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or from a legal professional.

      Reply
      • Replies to ianflowers>

        Comment by Ms Cindy Yeoman posted on

        Thank you Ian. I am appreciate your reply. We are pursuing a legal channel.

        Reply
  48. Comment by Jay posted on

    I have just undertaken an index Map search on a small parcel of land. The SIMR returns a result:

    Plan reference: N/A,
    Title number: (ST######)
    Registered Estate or Caution: Freehold

    What does it actually mean to be Freehold?
    Does anyone 'own' this land? Is the owner identifiable?
    Is it 'registered' ?
    Can others have or make claim to the land?

    Quite confused by the jargon

    Reply
    • Replies to Jay>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Jay - The SIMR indicates the land is registered under title ST####### and therefore owned by the person showing on that registered title. Freehold is one of the main ways of owning land at law - the other is for a fixed term of years (commonly called “a lease” or “leasehold”). Freehold continues for an indefinite period without any payment in the nature of rent. The nearest approach to absolute ownership of land – the Queen being the only person to own land absolutely.

      You can get title details for ST###### for a fee online via our Find a Property service - via the 'detailed enquiry' which will allow you to enter the title number - https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices/FindAProperty/view/DetailedEnquiryInit.do .

      We essentially have an administrative role in registering ownership and other interests in land based on the applications made to us and cannot advise as to whether a third party is in a position to claim land. Generally speaking, any claim to ownership not based on deeds would be by adverse possession, commonly referred to as 'squatter's rights'. This is a very complex area of the law, and if you are unsure of the position, you may want to consider getting independent advice from a legal professional.

      Reply
  49. Comment by Jay posted on

    Thank you Ian. I was missing the significance of the ST number. I have used it in the 'detailed enquiry' Very helpful 🙂

    Reply
  50. Comment by Susanne posted on

    Hi
    Our neighbours have recently put their house up for sale and have come across a problem with the sale due to the rear garden. Apparently when the houses were first built in the 1960`s all the owners on our side, extended the gardens taking about 3ft each of unused land that was owned but not used by a local builder.
    As the builder went bankrupt the Crown now own the land and they have offered to sell the garden land to our neighbour ( 4 houses in total) with various stripes of unused land not even in our road, such as small kerb side verges and tiny useless bits of weedy land beside garages. Also included is an adopted road that leads up to a cal- de-sac with 20 houses at the back of our property built by the bankrupt builder- that we never drive up or use.
    Our neighbour has been refused to just buy the land in his garden and told he must buy the whole lot so he has decided, he will just fence off his garden so it doesn't include the extra land.
    We bought the house 20 years ago and this problem was never picked up by our solicitor. We have since taken a closer look at the deeds and it does show a gap behind all the gardens but as small, narrow grass path runs behind the houses and all the gardens are the same length we would have never questioned that the whole garden wasn't ours. Nothing could be built on the land even if the crown took all the land back form all of us as houses are build directly behind and in front so there isn't an access apart from the narrow path so it would probably end up as a dumping waste land.

    We are willing to buy our garden as are our neighbours but do not want to own the other bits- and certainly not a council adopted road so what can we do?? Any help or advise please.

    Reply
    • Replies to Susanne>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Susanne - not something we can advise you on I'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need. If you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend

      Reply
  51. Comment by Colin Calderwood posted on

    A plot of land alongside a much larger plot at the rear of our house has always been unregistered. A new owner has bought the larger plot and others neighbouring it, and is in the process of transferring it all into one title.

    However, it appears (via a map search) the new owner has included the unregistered plot in the transfer, despite there being no evidence he has purchased it. He has not restricted access or fenced it in any way. He does not appear to be claiming ownership through possession.

    What proof of ownership would he have needed to have provided for you to include it in a transfer like this?
    There appears to be no mechanism for reporting to Land Registry or providing information that may be of use to you. As you say, someone owns the land, and we'd rather they were at least paid for it.
    What action could a third party take if they felt a claim was dubious or even made in error?

    (I'll add, as a side-note, the larger land has been a mess in past. A possessory title was granted by Land Registry on a similar plot nearby, without it ever being fenced or having access restricted. Many of us walked over it regularly. It was only the actual owners registering it that removed the possessory title. Also another plot had its boundary re-registered to include neighbouring unregistered land - no need to go through the long-winded process of possessory titles if the Land Registry doesn't guarantee boundary lines!)

    Reply
    • Replies to Colin Calderwood>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Colin - in light of your questions and the possibility that it may lead to further and specific enquiries I have replied to you by email so that we have a proper record whilst also enabling you to submit specific details as appropriate and if warranted

      Reply
  52. Comment by Mark posted on

    Last year we moved into a house with a passageway to the street behind. We have since been visited/welcomed to the area by our local councillor, who advised that the passageway is not owned by anybody and is slowly falling into disrepair. He hinted that if the passageway was blocked off and no protests lodged, then the land could become ours eventually. How much effort is involved in this and how legal is it to do so? Our new neighbours at the rear seem keen to close their end off and we'd happily do the same if there are no legal comebacks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mark - that's not something we can advise you on I'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need as to what the legal options are and how much effort might be involved. Our PGs 4 and 5 explain the registration requirements but they come after the legal requirements and what 'effort' might be needed. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
      If you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend

      Reply
  53. Comment by Stuart Pilkington posted on

    I live next to an alleway which acts as garage and rear access to a number of propertys in the 3 abutting roads. When I moved in it was impassable and I cleared it and built my garage and I have maintained it on my own ever since.
    I've done some research and it seems that it might be owned by a Trust formed form the builder of the estate (late 1930's) but I can't find any leagl documentation to prove that. It is mentioned on my deeds and it states that each abutting property has a right of way and responsibility to maintain it (they don't) and only 3 houses use it for garage access.
    How do I find out who owns it and if it is possible to purchase it?

    Reply
    • Replies to Stuart Pilkington>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Stuart - I assume you have already checked and confirmed that it is unregistered and each property has a right to use it etc. As such follow the advice in the blog article re trying to identify the legal owner, if that is what you wish to do, as they would be the seller.
      If you think that it's still the builder/or an associated trust then identifying the current legal owner may prove tricky. As such I would suggest that you seek legal advice as to what other options might be available to you. One option may be to claim the land but that's a complex area of the law so please do get legal advice

      Reply
  54. Comment by Claire Basnett posted on

    On my street there are houses set back with a piece of grassland in front of them so the house are in a 'U' shape from the road. The residents of these houses cannot park outside their house so often block the front of other houses on the street. They have contacted the council previously to try and get the piece of land turned into parking as at present it is just a waste piece of land but the council say they do not own it, could anyone else own this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Claire Basnett>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Claire - all land is owned so the simple answer is yes. As the blog article explains it's your own detective work really to try and identify the owner but if all the houses and road were built by the same builder/landowner it is possible that they still own it.
      I'd suggest seeking legal advice as to what you/the residents as a whole might be able to do and what risks there are if you should do something with the land yourselves

      Reply
  55. Comment by Al posted on

    Hi,
    We purchased a house about four years ago and after dealising that a small triangular portion of the garden was not registered we obtained the title deed for this area also to make our garden complete and legal. Now our garden has a public footpath that runs along the back of it with a railway track running alongside that. This path has been closed by the council for many years I believe because of the neighbours complaining of burglaries and antisocial behaviour along it in the past. Our neighbour on the left told us that he was under the impression that if this path was not opened soon then we could attempt to claim it and extend our garden a little. Our neighbour on the right also wished to do the same. So about a year ago I wrote to the council who told me that I would never be able to do this as they may one day open it. Since then it has become a flytipping area. Now my neighbour on the righthand side has built wooden fences and structures to extend his garden and has now built a wooden overhang over the path at the back of his other neighbours house. They may be happy with that I don't know but I do not want him doing the same to the section we would like to obtain if possible lawfully. All we want to do is probably plant some fruit bushes we haven't room for. So we need to know really are we legally entitled to claim that land within a certain amount of time of the path being closed or do the council still own it anyway? If our neighbour puts structures behind our garden on this path is it permissable for him to do. He doesn't appear to have blocked the right of way. Also in addition I have only seen the council cut back the vegetation on this path once a couple of years ago and since the. The railway have added a new fence the other side of the path. Not sure if any of that makes a difference to the situation or not or what part if any the council had in that work. Thanks in advance for the advice.

    Reply
  56. Comment by Freya posted on

    Hi,

    would anyone be able to help, i looking to find the "owner " of a property that has been uninhibited for many years. the property isn't on the Land registry, what would be my next step to see if this is owned by the the crown etc?
    Freya

    Reply
  57. Comment by Bryan D posted on

    Another question. I live in a cottage part of a row of three cottages, from a converted hall house circa 1570. At the end of our gardens behind a wall is a private allotment, initially I was under the impression this was owned by a company whose yard backs onto the opposite side of the allotment. The business has been there for generations, and they use this allotment, however someone in the business albeit not the owner made comment that no one knows who owns the land, and they have always just used it as an allotment. Looking on land registry plans, the whole area is a blank, its even blank half way up our gardens. Currently I have no issue , my concern is if the business sells up there is a very strong likely hood the yard will be turned to housing, and this could include the allotment. So it would go from a lovely green space, to potentially having housing dominating our back gardens. If they own the land I guess they can do as they please, but if ownership is unknown then we would want it to remain a green space. How could we protect it use as a green space. As my property was at one time the only property in the area, it seems the surrounding land would including the allotment have been part of the hall house curtilage, functioning as a farm and over time land has been parceled off for building.

    Reply
    • Replies to Bryan D>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Bryan - we don;t register 'protected green space'. The local authority would be your point of contact to see if land can be designated in some way so as to protect it from building etc

      Reply
  58. Comment by bryan d posted on

    Thanks for the response, I think that answers the second part of my question, but the first part is who owns the land, the land has just been there forever and used, but I cant find information on who actually owns it.

    Reply
    • Replies to bryan d>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Bryan - the blog article answers that part for you. All down to your own detective work if it is unregistered

      Reply
  59. Comment by brennan white posted on

    I’m trying to find out who owns a lane next to my property. There’s been fly tipping in the lane but Bristol city council are saying it’s a private lane that joins into a bcc lane so they won’t clear any rubbish and suggest I find out who owns the lane.
    How do I do this?

    Reply
    • Replies to brennan white>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Brennan - you will find information under search for property information from Land Registry. https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
      You can use the Map enquiry option to search for registered details online. But you can also apply by post for a search of the index map which allows us to complete the search for you. Please do read the full guidance before searching and/or buying any information

      Reply
  60. Comment by John Harvey posted on

    Bryan D

    Something known as an "allotment" could be a grant made under a Commons Enclosure Award to compensate a resident for loss of rights as a commoner.

    Ask your County Arcivist and local historical society if an award was made for the area and where a copy can b inspected. Some are at the National Archives

    Reply
  61. Comment by Angela M posted on

    I am trying to buy a house. The title deeds show the boundary extends to the road side of the pavement. The vendors didn't know this and had no knowledge that the pavement was built on their land. Is it possible to get the boundary changed to relinquish ownership of the pavement land? Our solicitor thinks this is tricky. But surely it's the local authority or land registry mistake. The 2nd option is to get public liability insurance but the insurance company we asked has gone silent on us and it seems we'd be paying for something that's someone's mistake. Does the council not take ownership of land when they create a pavement?
    Angela

    Reply
  62. Comment by Geoff B posted on

    We are looking to buy a house which has absolute title, but the rear garden was as some point extended by absorbing some severed land to the rear of the property. The extra land to the rear is unregistered land. The sellers are registering the land and have been told by HMLR that, at best, they will likely get possessory title even though the land has been part of their property for decades. This is because HMLR say they have not been made aware of other claims to the extra land and they do not want to bar other claims unintentionally. My questions are - 1) if we buy the property, will we ever be able to obtain absolute title, say after a minimum period? 2) If we cannot identify alternative claimants, will the land be classified as possessory title for ever? Thanks!

    Reply
  63. Comment by KAREN LE ROUX posted on

    interesting my fathers house is unavaible on the land registory hes been trying to sell it. he left the house to live in charity bungalow. does this mean were aren't his childern ?
    I Have been underpaid all my life, and i suspect while the church in wales conned us to be happy with next to nothing. his childern have had any and everything.

    Reply
    • Replies to KAREN LE ROUX>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Karen - if it's unregistered we do not know who owns it. You'd need to investigate what happened when he moved out for example to see if he sold it to the charity perhaps?

      Reply
  64. Comment by sarah jones posted on

    How would i go about claiming no mans land woods? in denbigh? is this possible??

    Reply
  65. Comment by Dave posted on

    Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere. I live off an unadopted road and am trying to find who owns the road - and also whether it is a single or a multiple owner(s). When using the online feature it refers to a specific piece of land eg land SW of X property. Could I request info on the whole lane approx 500m long.

    Reply
  66. Comment by jams posted on

    suppose i know of a house that i believe was bombed in ww2 and left in ruins... how do i go about claiming that?

    Reply
  67. Comment by jams posted on

    thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

    Reply
  68. Comment by Ryan posted on

    Hi.
    I contacted our local council as I am interested in a small piece of overgrown land between a small brook and the turning area where the residents park. They told me to contact you to see who owns it first.
    Nobody locally seems to know who owns it, all like me assume it is the council.
    The search tools on here didn't seem to bring up anything either although I'm not the greatest with technology.
    What is the best thing for me to do?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Ryan>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ryan - you would need to make a postal application to search the index map to confirm whether it is registered or not https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-index-map

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Ryan posted on

        Hi Adam.
        Thanks for the advice.
        I sent a plan in with the form and it has come back today that you have no registered estate or records regarding the land.
        Where do I go from here? I would like to purchase it, but how can I if there is no registered owner?
        Thanks.

        Reply
        • Replies to Ryan>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Ryan - the blog article explains how you may be able to identify the legal owner but there are no rules to doing so and of course even when you do they may not respond/confirm. So purchasing it may not be an option for you/

          Reply
  69. Comment by Nanou posted on

    We want to buy a small piece of land which is registered with the Land Registry, but from doing some checks we think the owner died intestate 25 years ago and the land may have gone to the Crown. The land is near to but not attached to our property. What should we do: go to the Treasury Solicitor?

    Reply
    • Replies to Nanou>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nanou - if you want to buy it then yes. Research the legal term 'bona vacantia' and I would also recommend seeking legal advice/assistance

      Reply
  70. Comment by Nanou posted on

    An update: we found that the deceased owner of the property had a female relation who survived him. It appears that she barely knew the owner and wanted to have nothing to do with him or his little piece of land, then or now. But Bona Vacantia won't deal with it either as there is still apparently some kin alive. What can I do if the relation doesn't want to get involved? Does the land fall into some kind of perpetual limbo?!

    Reply
    • Replies to Nanou>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nanou - if the land formed part of the deceased's estate then the ownership passes to his beneficiaries.

      Reply
  71. Comment by DonnaB posted on

    We live in a small row of detached / semi detached houses which are set back from the main road. Our son owns the semi adjoined to our property. There is a grass verge and an access road separating the main road from the boundaries of the front gardens. Most residents park on their own driveways but those of us with more than one vehicle (we have a business vehicle as well as our personal car) have to park one of our vehicles at the bottom of our front gardens on the access road, this works very well most of the time but when there are events in our town or the residents of the flats next door have visitors, we find that they park outside of our houses and we cannot park when coming home from work. With this in mind, we were keen to find out who actually owns the land with a view to enquiring about purchasing the parts in front of our 2 properties to enable us to mark the parking area as reserved, this would not impede anyone needing to drive past our property as the access is wide enough for parked vehicles and passing ones, we are at the end of the access road and the 2 access points are before our property anyway. How can we find out who owns the land, would it be worth asking our local authority?

    Reply
    • Replies to DonnaB>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      DonnaB - I assume you have checked that the land is unregistered and if so the blog article explains possible routes of enquiry to try and identify the legal owner. The local authority is one option to check if they own it.

      Reply
  72. Comment by Natasha Adamson posted on

    Hello,
    We live in a new build home and have some extra land that belongs to us next to our car park spaces.
    This is fenced off and has been since we moved in 20 months ago. We have been asking the home builders to allow us access onto our owned land but nothing is being done. The land is next to an old sub station which we have been informed needs a security fence putting around it but this has also not been done. There has also been rubbish dumped on our land but we can’t get to it due to the fence. Do you have any advice as to the steps we can take next?

    Reply
    • Replies to Natasha Adamson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Natasha - not something we can advise you on I'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need. If you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend

      Reply
  73. Comment by shaun posted on

    can anyone answer my question please? we have just moved into a new build and at the bottom of our garden is fenced off leaving a metre and a half gap in between us and the people opposite we own the gap! happy with that but outside our property is a car park which has a fence at the bottom but the guy opposite has claimed the land and took down his hedge and built a wall behind the fence claiming the piece of land. so he’s extended his garden at least by a meter and half. can he just do this without questioning who the land belongs too?

    Reply
  74. Comment by Mark posted on

    I’ve recently moved into a property. My rear fence backs onto a bit of land that is access for four garages.
    I’ve heard from one of the owners of The garages that ‘the crown’ owns that bit of land.
    So do I have a right to have access to the rear of my garden via that access road.

    There is an old car parked no tax/insurance/MOT on the land also.(right behind my fence) so in legal terms can that be left there?

    Reply
    • Replies to Mark>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mark - not something we can advise you on I'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need. If you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend. If you want to check whether the land is registered and if so to whom then you can do so online/by post as appropriate https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land

      Reply
  75. Comment by Mike posted on

    I'm keen to take over an overgrown alleyway that runs down the side of my house. It hasn't been used for years - there's an AlleyGate (security gate) but no one has the key.
    I paid for and checked with the land registry and they don't have a registered user, and i spoke to my City Council who confirmed the same.

    On the city map its just shown as a grey line on the map with no owner.

    How do i go about finding the owner is - if there's no owner how do i go about subsuming the alleyway in to the footprint of my house...?

    Reply
  76. Comment by MO patel posted on

    Hello

    i see my propert & land on land registry

    but behind my land/yard is more woodland and some to the right of my property

    how do i identify if this is council land? etc

    how do i go about claiming or buying extra land around my land

    please advise

    Reply
  77. Comment by Erika Lambert posted on

    A strip of land approx. 12' x 100' adjoining our land is not registered to us. This used to be part of our field when this was a farm but most of the field was sold to a developer in about 1963 but as I understand it this strip was not purchased. As it isn't registered to anyone how do I go about proving that it is and always has been a part of our land as we'd like to put a couple of small buildings on it now?

    Reply
  78. Comment by BRIAN TURNELL posted on

    we have a line of trees on a strip of land opposite are house that are beginning to look a bit overgrown and dangerous, the council have now said it is not their land even though through the 40 years of living here when we have had a problem with the trees the council have always sorted them out. The land does not have an address so how do I find out who owns the land? Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Replies to BRIAN TURNELL>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Brian - If the land has been unoccupied / unused for 40 years it may well not be registered with us and there is not likely to have been a sale or mortgage triggering registration. If this is the case, then as mentioned in the blog, we will not have any information on who the owners is. If the land is registered, you may be able to get ownership information online - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

      As your search relates to a piece of land, I would suggest you select the Map enquiry option. Use a nearby road and town name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Aerial View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available. You will be then be prompted register yourself as a new user and then can obtain a copy of the title register for £3 giving the current registered owner.

      The title register or title plan that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      I hope this helps.
      -

      Reply
  79. Comment by Richard Hab posted on

    Don't be fooled by this office. Common land does exist. Always challenge claims where the so called Crown tries to claim land.

    Reply
  80. Comment by Kathryn H posted on

    I am trying to help my elderly neighbour, who purchased a very small piece of land many years ago (20+ Years). After completing recent checks the land is registered but a small area which gives access to the land is not. Herself and her late husband have used the unregistered access land for the 20+ years to drive over to the registered land to park their car and believe it belongs to them. Nobody else needs to use; or has used; or knows anyone else in the area who could possibly own the unregistered area. The neighbour, her son and another neighbour with land adjoining, can confirm they have used the land for 20+ years. How does she go about registering it as hers with no documentation or claiming the land?

    Reply
  81. Comment by Paula posted on

    Hi there
    I need to find out who owns the allotments and garages (not council owned or maintained) that are behind my house. I've asked my neighbours to no avail. What is my best approach please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Paula>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paula - Our online guidance explains how you can search for registered details online for both land and property or make a postal search of the index map. https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
      The online option is called Map enquiry and will reveal details of registered land or property only.
      If the online service does not reveal any details then to confirm it is unregistered you would need to apply by post for a postal search of the index map
      Please do read the full guidance before completing an online or postal search

      Reply
  82. Comment by Nasir Mahmood posted on

    Hello I have bought some land with a garage on it and the neibour has excavated his yard and the level is about chest high compared to my garage and is halfway roughly against my wall on his side and his gone to the back against my wall there, also his building excavation waste is in my yard. What do I need to check exact boundry lines because I was told theres a maintenance gap that needs to be left between my garage wall and his boundry. This is causing damage to my garage and police are a useful as a chocolate fire gard it seems. So what do I need to do to find out exact boundarys for both of us. He seems to be sombody who is a nuisance neigbour. Thank you, any advise will be appreciated

    Reply
    • Replies to Nasir Mahmood>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Nasir - Please see another one of our blogs which deals with the way we prepare boundaries - https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/27/drawing-the-line-on-boundaries/. It explains that, in most cases, we prepare general boundaries, which means that the exact position of the legal boundary line is left undefined. At the end of the blog there is a link to more guidance on property boundaries which refers to some of the steps to identify the boundary line more precisely, but these invariably need the agreement of all the parties involved.

      The blog also refers to some of the independent sources that may be able to assist, such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors helpline. Discussion forums such as Garden Law may also be of interest. Ultimately, where no agreement can be reached, these issues may have to resolved in other jurisdictions such as the courts which obviously can be expensive for all those involved.

      As to the reported damage to your garage, this is a legal matter, which you may want to consider taking legal advice on, for example, from Citizen's Advice or from a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      Reply
  83. Comment by Kerrie Simkins posted on

    Hi. I bought my house 4 years ago. There is a small unadopted road that leads to the back of my house. The road was made so that 5 housing association properties could be built. I can access my garage at the rear of my property using this road. There is a charge against the road which is put on my garage and the 5 houses but i’ve no idea who the money is owed too or how i have become responsible for it?
    The council said they would be adopting the road verbally and charge removed but nothing ha happened. Any advise?

    Reply
    • Replies to Kerrie Simkins>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Kerrie - it's very much legal advice you need here and we can't provide that I'm afraid. They will be able to explain how the charge impacts and how it might be legally extinguished for example.

      Reply
  84. Comment by Nicola posted on

    There is a Very small piece of land with a tree and grass between the public footpath and my garage wall. I've checked my deeds and it's not my land and although I have seen the council maintaining the grass area and this tree they are saying it isn't their land. How do I find out whose land it is? The tree itself has caused damage to my garage and I need to establish the landowner.

    Reply
    • Replies to Nicola>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Nicola - you can try our Find a property service to check if property ownership information is available online: https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

      As your search relates to a piece of land, select the Map enquiry option. Use a nearby road / town name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Aerial View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available. The title register gives information as to the current registered owner.

      Once you decide which one you require, click Purchase, you will then need to register yourself as a new user. You will require a valid email address and a password for this.

      Register yourself as a user and then follow the process for payment. Once the payment has gone through, the title register that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      If the land is not registered with us, we will not hold any information as to the owner. In that situation, you may want to make further enquiries with the local authority.

      Reply
  85. Comment by Jamie posted on

    What can you do if a land is registered but the company no longer exists. We have areas in the neighbourhood where the council will not maintain for it does not belong to them. When you attempt to find the owners the company no longer exists. These are alleyways and shubbery areas.
    Can the community group claim it as they are the only ones that maintain it?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jamie>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jamie - if the legal owner is a company and they have ceased trading then our PG 35 explains what can happen re their land ownership. If you are looking to claim it then PGs 4 and 5 can apply. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
      In both cases the PGs explain things from a registration perspective so I would strongly recommend also seeking legal advice as to how the law views such matters also

      Reply
  86. Comment by Margaret Fiddes posted on

    Who owns which bit of our car park? About 10 years ago Barratts built a housing development alongside our houses and as part of the deal they were obliged to provide a car park for our little street of 12 houses which had previously parked on the empty land bought for the housing estate.
    The car park has 12 spaces and each house was allocated a space. However at no point did any of us get any formal notification that a space belonged to us.....until..... A new neighbour moved in about 3 years ago and began getting very territorial! She says her deeds specify which space is hers. How did that happen? None of the rest of us have had any notification that we own a space.
    I have looked up the land on the registry and it appears but there is no title number on it so where do we go from there? Can those of us who have had our houses for a longer period in some way claim our space?
    Any advice gratefully accepted!

    Reply
    • Replies to Margaret Fiddes>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Margaret - the online service will only provide information on registered titles. Have you checked her title or your own for example to see what they refer to? What's the evidence she has to show that she owns it or does she have a right to park there only? If the spaces have been used by all I can;t see how you could now claim sole use/possession of them but that would be something to get legal advice on.
      I'd suggest asking her to provide her evidence to prove ownership/sole right to use; check the registered details; and seek legal advice as appropriate depending on what you discover

      Reply
  87. Comment by Margaret Fiddes posted on

    Thankyou! Will do

    Reply
  88. Comment by Raymond posted on

    I am seeking first registration of a piece of unregistered land after 22 years. There are two cautions connected with a bankruptcy.

    In unregistered land, what happens to a caution placed by the Official Receiver 22 years ago, when the bankrupt has long been discharged? This bankruptcy is dated 1997.

    Also, an IP also has a caution on this unregistered land but is no longer practising. What happens to his caution after 20+ years?

    Reply
  89. Comment by Raymond posted on

    Thank you, AdamH. I have today spoken to the Insolvency Service Office dealing with this, now closed, case. Is it appropriate to ask the office how they will react to the application? I do not want to acknowledge unwittingly any claim. I have drafted a message specifying that it is without prejudice but not sent it. I am minded to proceed with a FR1, but should I wait for clarity from the Insolvency Service and apply to Land Charges Dept first?

    I have searched the name of the IP but nothing came up.

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Raymond - I would recommend that you clear up the Insolvency/Land Charge first

      Reply
  90. Comment by Raymond posted on

    AdamH, thank you. I don't suppose the bankruptcy will now apply but of course a Land Charges search must confirm. I then submit a copy of the search to LR as evidence with the FR1?

    In relation to the IP, I submit a copy of the Companies House record that he has ceased to trade? That right?

    My main issue with the Insolvency Service is whether they still see a Caution as appropriate after 22 years. I speculate not. I remain hesitant over any written enquiry as I cannot acknowledge any claim. I will of course study the LR guide as suggested.

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Raymond Yes and then No. Ceasing to trade does not always mean that the interest has ceased along with the company. We can't advise you on the legal aspects involved in such matters so you may have to seek wider advice

      Reply
  91. Comment by Raymond Goff posted on

    IP has no current appointments at Cos House, is 72 yrs of age and I would think he is now retired.

    Reply
  92. Comment by Raymond posted on

    AdamH, the IP's caution is in his own name, not that of a company. The address for correspondence is, on a Google map search, a commercial premises, so I suspect that it has not been updated since his supposed retirement. Given these uncertainties, will it be in order to submit the FR1 application and await any objection from these two cautioners, if any?
    If none, the matter would at least be proceeded with? If the application is still rejected, is there any period which has to elapse before it can be resubmitted? Thanks for your assistance.

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Raymond - entirely up to you. We will deal with all interests as appropriate once the application is considered. We can’t advise you on what considerations we would make above and beyond what’s in PG1

      Reply
  93. Comment by Raymond posted on

    AdamH, thanks for answering my enquiries today. I do find the LR service first-class and the guides - even the highly technical ones - are superbly written.

    Reply
  94. Comment by Raymond posted on

    Practice Guide 34 states:

    ''Note 1
    Unless it is renewed, a registration of a bankruptcy petition or order ceases automatically at the end of the period of five years from the date on which it was made (section 8 of the Land Charges Act 1972).''

    In view of this rule, in the case of unregistered land, what is the purpose of carrying out a bankruptcy search against the name of a discharged individual after 5 years have elapsed since the date of the order? Is it solely to ascertain that there has not been a renewal?

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Raymond - If you're referring to making an application for first registration, the requirements to make searches in Practice Guide 1 relate to Land Charges searches in general, not specifically those relating to bankruptcy.

      Reply
  95. Comment by lal masood posted on

    there is an unregistered land ten square metre at the back of my back garden how can I register it and then buy it. thanks
    dr lal masood 76 kings avenue green dord ub6 9 db.
    phone 07763809888

    Reply
  96. Comment by lalmasood posted on

    I want to buy this land at the back of my garden the land is unregistered
    my mobile is 07763809888

    Reply
    • Replies to lalmasood>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      lalmasood - The land adjoining the back for your garden is not unregistered, it forms part of number 74 Kings Avenue. If you wanted to confirm the ownership position, you can normally do this online via our Find a Property service - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

      Once you are on the Find a Property page, as your search relates to a piece of land, select the Map enquiry option. Use the road / town name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Aerial View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which will then list details of land / property information available.

      Once you decide which one you require and click Purchase, you will then need to register yourself as a new user. You will require a valid email address and a password for this.

      Register yourself as a user and then follow the process for payment. Once the payment has gone through, the title register or title plan (showing the general extent of land in the title) that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      Reply
  97. Comment by Raymond posted on

    Ian, re first registration applications, when all deeds to unregistered land are lost, is a Land Charges search appropriate and if so whose names would be searched?

    Reply
  98. Comment by Raymond posted on

  99. Comment by Raymond posted on

    I have located very old deeds on large format parchment with references to the land I am seeking to register in my name. These are historical documents and difficult to copy with normal scanning equipment. I do know that the Land Registry now scans originals and destroys them. Obviously that is not appropriate here as these originals are valuable historical records as well as . relevant documents of title for registration purposes. What would you propose when I submit the FR1?

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Raymond - we do not destroy them. If you refer to the Practice Guide 1 you will find guidance on what has to be submitted.

      Reply
  100. Comment by Raymond posted on

    Adam, thank you. This is a case of adverse possession of unregistered land. The PG5 guide states: ''In line with our document handling policy only certified copies of form ST1, form ST2, statutory declarations and other evidence should be lodged. If any originals are lodged they will be scanned and destroyed.''

    I take it that 'other evidence' does not refer to valuable and historic deeds of title such as the ones referred to in my previous post? Sorry if I'm missing something here.

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Raymond - if you are claiming title then you wouldn’t be lodging original deeds. The reason you are claiming title is because you don’t have deeds to prove it. Your evidence is provided in your statement of truth

      Reply
  101. Comment by Julia posted on

    Under the United Nations sustainable development rules it says 'land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social injustice'. This is quite a worrying statement. Does it mean that private land can be seized from its owners?

    Reply
    • Replies to Julia>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Julia - you’d need legal advice as to how land might be ‘seized’ as we do have laws which allow compulsory purchase in certain cases

      Reply
  102. Comment by Mike posted on

    Does HM Land Registry hold information about adopted land? Or is that information held solely by local authorities?

    Reply
    • Replies to Mike>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mike - the term 'adopted' in this context tends to relate to public roads and as such the local authority manage such matters. We do not register 'adopted land'

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Mike posted on

        Many thanks for the very quick reply.
        Just to clarify this... “ We do not register 'adopted land'”
        Do you mean land that is ‘adopted land’ may be registered as privately owned (ie. not owned by the local authority) but HM Land Registry doesn’t record its adopted status?

        Reply
        • Replies to Mike>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Mike - apologies as I was not clear with my comment. We don't use the term 'adopted' as land is land. Local authorities manage land use and if for example a road has been adopted. And I am unaware of the term being used for anything other than a road

          Reply
  103. Comment by Neil Morris posted on

    In the village where I live there is a plot of land between two cottages, probably big enough to put another cottage on. The Parish Council took control of it 15 years ago. They have an idea who might own it or at least have a claim to it, someone who is overseas, but the land is not registered to anyone. The parish council fear that the plot might afford access to developers for a field behind, so took control of it and rent it out as an allotment garden. I am unclear as to what power the parish council has to do this. They do not qualify to have the general power of competence, and as far as I can make out parish councils can only acquire land "by agreement" and in this case there is no agreement, and in fact may be a risk that the true owner asserts their rights at cost to the parish council. can anyone help me and steer me towards what authority or duty they are exercising please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Neil Morris>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Neil - it’s legal advice you’ll need here and we can’t give you that. If you are looking for wider online advice then online forums such as Garden Law can be helpful resources

      Reply
  104. Comment by Paul Dyson posted on

    Hello, My query is from 2 Deeds made in September 1960. One deed from our property files gives 60 years access to a piece of land approximately 44’ X 18’.
    There is then a further deed to the tenant for exactly the same duration for the land measuring 44X18.
    We understand the land is unregistered.
    Although we have provided our deed copy to the tenants we have tried to obtain a copy of the deed from the tenants but they have refused on the grounds they are tied with data protection knowing they relate to other parties. We would like to know if the data protection is correct, and if the deeds are registered then we would be able to see if the owner of the supposed unregistered land can be traced.

    Reply
    • Replies to Paul Dyson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paul - we can't advise you on the law. If the land is registered then you can check the details online/by post but if it's unregistered then we will not have any details as explained by the blog

      Reply
  105. Comment by Paul Dyson posted on

    Hi, We reside in West Yorkshire and wish to write to the appropriate registry to submit documents and details that we have collated in our search for a unregistered portion of land that abuts our property and to which we have a deed of easement for access until 2020 The address details to which we should write very much appreciated Kind regards P & M

    Reply
  106. Comment by steve posted on

    hi

    i have identified a run down piece of land that none of the adjacent farmers are using. I contacted the nearest homeowner (on the other side of the river) and he said that originally (over 40 years ago) when he bought his property, he thought it was included in his deeds. But it was legally 'unclear' and the land has since been left. He said that nobody appears to have claimed it and the council couldnt identify the owners. There was an old ruin on it and one day a load of travellers turned up and took all the stone. Nobody could stop them because he said it was 'no mans land'. The land is not currently registered.

    How can i proceed since the land is not registered?

    Reply
  107. Comment by Marlon posted on

    what can i do if our land was title of not officially owner in which we had an updated declaration that this land is ours, can we claime it?

    Reply
  108. Comment by PAUL ARNOLD posted on

    Can anyone help. We own a piece of land above a steep bank which is unregistered. There has been a rock fall from the bank on to an unregistered lane which is also a footpath and vehicle access to several properties. Who is responsible for maintaining the unregistered bank to ensure the Lane and its users are safe.

    Reply
    • Replies to PAUL ARNOLD>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paul - we can only advise on the ownership of register land and it appears you need to try and establish who owns the unregistered land and the blog article explains how that may be achieved, although with no guarantees.
      I suspect you are concerned re your own land and the impact of the rock fall and as such would recommend you seek legal advice as to what you may be able to do yourself in such circumstances.

      Reply
  109. Comment by Paul Ballantyne posted on

    I have established that a strip of land adjoining my property is not registered with HMLR. It is basically a driveway/lane that serves the three properties behind mine. It unadopted by the council.
    Only the two houses either side of this driveway, and the three behind, need to use it. However, one neighbour says its private and that I should be asking his permission to use it. I have also established that none of the 5 properties around this driveway actually own it, their boundary lines do not extend into it.
    Do I have the right to use it for vehicles? Can I register a claim to it? Can I buy it, and if no-one seems to own it, who am I buying it off?

    Reply
    • Replies to Paul Ballantyne>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paul - it's really legal advice you need here to establish what legal rights you have to use or claim it and what rights anyone else might have to do the same or prevent you from doing either.
      If the land is unregistered then we do not know who owns it. But unregistered does not mean unowned but there is no central record of who that owner is
      If the neighbour is claiming that you need his permission to use it then best to ask him why
      Our PG 5 deals with the registration of a claim as to ownership. And PG 52 deals with registering a claim as to a right of way/use for example. But it's the law you need to clarify and understand before trying to register either claim as that comes first.
      https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides

      Reply
  110. Comment by Angie N posted on

    Hi
    Hoping someone can help. where we live there is no vehicle access. but the original builders put in parking areas. on the deeds you can clearly see that all the houses have a garage and drive. and all the bungalows have a parking space and garage in a block.
    There are only 75 houses in the street. the problem is that people who have houses with drives and road parking insist on parking in the parking places which were meant for those with no vehicle access to their house. however although this was the intention it was never put into the deeds, this causes problems. the original builders of the estate went out of business not long after the houses /bungalows were built. We know that someone owns it possibly the crown. however how do we find out? as its parking areas, as the council seem not to want to know anything about it. can we make a claim on this small plot so we can park our car many thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Angie N>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Angie N - if it's unregistered then we do not know but as the article explains the registered information may offer clues. I suspect you have already done that research hence the thought that the builder owned it and that as they have stopped trading then it has passed to the crown. That may be the case.
      Claiming the land may not be an option as so many people are using it but it's very much legal advice you need here as to what options you may have. They may be limited so if you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend

      Reply
  111. Comment by Claude Young posted on

    Hi
    I am looking at finding out more about a plot of land that seems to be Bona Vacantia. I think a larger plot encompassing this smaller plot was sold by the local Parish to a developer who built properties on this larger plot and subsequently went into liquidation. None of the current deeds for any surrounding properties are showing ownership of this smaller plot. Where could I get the title deeds/plans for the original purchase from the parish (60+ years ago)? can I get this info online? thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Claude Young>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Claude - if it is registered then yes but if you can't confirm that it is registered online you should apply by post for a search of the index map https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-index-map

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Claude Young posted on

        thanks Adam, I was not sure whether it might include all previous deeds to the area. Also is there an online option for submitting an HC1 in this case (rather than an OC1 I assume?) the fees schedule says there is but I can't see a link
        thanks

        Reply
        • Replies to Claude Young>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Claude - if it is unregistered then we won;t have any details. HC1 is used to apply for historical editions of the register for example. But if there is no register then it would not apply. HC1/OC1 are postal only

          Reply
  112. Comment by Stuart Fowler posted on

    I have located a badly rundown house in urgent need of repairs. It is unregistered. I have spoken with neighbours who believe That the owner passed away years ago. The property has not been lived in for possibly 20 years or more.
    It had outline planning permission granted In 1977 and again in 1983 but the work was not carried out on the property. No applicant details for the planning permission are published.
    I would like to buy this property but as I can’t locate the owner then what can I do about it? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to Stuart Fowler>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Stuart - not something we can advise you on I'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need. If you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Money Saving Expert can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend to understand what can happen to the legal ownership when an owner for example dies intestate

      Reply
  113. Comment by A, linn posted on

    Hi, I live in a 1930's semi detached that has access behind the properties that allows garage access. I was told that the access was a gentleman's agreement. Does this mean that any of the property owners can then decide to break that agreement and consequently stop access? Non of the garages have been used for over 5 years.

    Reply
  114. Comment by A, linn posted on

    The land registry letter I have says ... property register A 1&2
    No2 says "together with all easements rights privileges and quasi-easements now used and enjoyed by the said properties or which would have been used and enjoyed had if such be the case the said properties and adjoining properties not belonged to the same person or company but excepting and reserving and subject to the easements rights and matters.
    Please what does this mean?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Replies to A, linn>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      A Linn - that’s where your legal advice would come in. It relates to general, not specific, rights so would not generally relate to rights if way/access

      Reply
  115. Comment by Mr Ball posted on

    Land Registration, land ownership, registration of land, unregistered land is a costly minefield. BEWARE.

    Local councils believe they have the ultimate right in most land arguments, they believe that they can use public funds to exhaust arguments in court against anyone who dares to question them and in my view over a period of a number of years, they will make up stories, coerce local residents and stop at nothing to present their own side of matters to courts or tribunals to get their own way.

    They believe truly they are a law unto themselves.

    Whilst it is of course only right and fair that in any court proceedings both sides should have the opportunity to state their case, I am in the process of being taken through the courts by the council. After exercising my rights using lawyers to file a defence and counter claim, the council now want to subvert the laws and in the process accuse the same court/judge that he has no jurisdiction over the matter claiming it is for the Land Registry only. One feels why did they waste money mon going into court in the first instance.

    Beware these civil servants in suits who use YOUR tax money for purposes of vendetta's. Also beware what advice you receive from government websites because in my view (Somewhat Qualified over the years) .......they work together to try and close of loopholes in their favour on any given outcome........always remember......laws should be reasonable and equitable on both sides of the coin including legal disputes.

    Nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of Agenda 21 policies and land ownership, adverse posession of unregistered and registered title has been made so abundantly double minded in order to prevent the common man from winning a true scenario it is blatant, obvious and against thousand years of principles.

    Yet we tarry on to the end because the fight is good. Expensive but GOOD.

    Reply
  116. Comment by z posted on

    im keen to take over a piece of land in the countryside next to a main road,
    ive check the land registery and its registerded but its run down and overgrown. what advice can people give me on using the land and possibly claimingthe land.
    so far ive gathered that if i put signs up on the land wiv my number on there and nobody contacts me i can clean the land up and rent it out.

    Reply
    • Replies to z>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      z - not something we can advise you on I'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need. If you are looking for wider online comment then public forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources but it's still legal advice we would recommend
      I should also stress that this is a blog rather than an online forum so it would be unusual for anyone other than us, the blog author, to respond here

      Reply
  117. Comment by Rebecca posted on

    Hi. I am trying to find out whether a small piece of land, fenced off and backing onto a garden shared by a block of flats, is registered, and if so, who owns it. According to an (old) map provided by the Land Registry, this piece of land is not visually picked out separately from the garden mentioned previously. This has led me to believe it is considered part of this garden. I assume the best next step is to request the Title Plan and Title Register through the Land Registry for £45+vat to confirm this. Is this the right next step to take, and if the land in question is indeed considered part of the garden mentioned previously, will the documents tell me if the garden is split up and owned by different people, and also who these different people are?

    Reply
  118. Comment by Brian Jardine posted on

    I recently paid for a registry search on a small section of road that is the only access from the main Rd to mine and 3 other properties. The tarmac on the road is in need of repair and the council informed me it is a private Rd. I found the title deed number from the title map.
    The search came back as title owned by the crown, St James. I used the contact section on the crown estates website, and the response was from a firm of solicitors.
    Burges and Salmon. I only want to know who is responsible for maintenance of the Rd.
    Is there a reason why this legal firm would want to contact me.

    Reply
  119. Comment by David posted on

    Hello, I have a piece of land that borders my garden. I have searched and searched as to who owns it but have found nothing. Im assuming its a pocket of land that has been missed over the years as new properties have been built. I have searched the land registry and nothing. So a few years back I started using the land and nobody has complained. Can I now look to refgistering the land as my own? Cheers

    Reply
  120. Comment by michael weston posted on

    hi I bought my house 15 year ago my neighbour who is elderly said she owned the top of my garden because her dad used to take care of the land and he bought it of the previous owner. just after I moved in her father died so she was gifted the house. the top of my garden has a big bank on it which I started looking after because she was unable and the rest of the garden keeps getting over grown I have asked about purchasing it back but she keeps saying no but she will think about letting me have the bank. having been in touch with the land registry who say it has never been registered it is making me wonder if in the past it was all done on a hand shake every time I ask to see her paper work for proof of the registered land she just keeps saying I will sort it. i have tried all ways to try and find out about the land which I say is directly at the bottom of my garden but I keep coming up empty handed my neighbours the other side say it was no man's land for years the man who lived he previously built four houses next to each other including mine which he lived in and sold the other three registering land on the others but not this 1 or my neighbours hope you understand what I'am trying too say many thanks Mick

    Reply
    • Replies to michael weston>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Michael - it’s legal advice you need here. We can provide registered information but that is all. If you believe it is your land and/or she has no right to it then it’s the law you need to consider

      Reply
  121. Comment by mick posted on

    ok many thanks for your quick reply it looks like unfortunately i will have to go down that channel.

    Reply
  122. Comment by JOANNE BIRT posted on

    Hi, there is an unregistered pot of land around 1/4 acre opposite my house. It floods regularly as part of the boundary to it banks along a tidal drainage reen which flows to a main river. It was fenced off from the road side by an a company who wouldn't state under who's instructions several years ago but the gate is unlocked. Natural Resources Wales periodically clear the land and and the drainage ditch to prevent flooding which would otherwise block the road. NRW also put up notices of intention to complete the works but they say that the 'owner' has never responded so they have no record of who they are. A neighbour recently did a little bit of work on the land clearing trees etc and was then sent a solicitors letter from another neighbour saying that they owned the land and to stop works and put it back in the original state (all overgrown with unruly trees and 6ft weeds!) I am concerned that this person will try to claim this land via the adverse possession route and will then try to obtain planning permission for housing as I really cannot see that there would be any other reason to possess it. Can you advise as what I could do to get more info regarding this plot of land other than local knowledge and land registry searches? TIA

    Reply
    • Replies to JOANNE BIRT>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Joanne - I’m afraid not. The article offers ideas only so it is very much local enquiries or legal advice you need here

      Reply
  123. Comment by Pip Baty posted on

    How is it possible to establish the owner of an unregistered long leasehold property?
    The freeholder has a name of who they think the owner was (he is now deceased and probate has not been sought) but in terms of serving notices (eg for forfeiture of the lease), how can they prove that these were served on the correct person as there is no copy of the assignment of the lease to the presumed owner and therefore no documented evidence that he was the tenant under the lease? Land charges searches have not produced any results. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to Pip Baty>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Pip - it’s legal advice you need here with regards not only the process around forfeiting the lease but also what happens to the deceased’s estate. It’s not something we can advise you in I’m afraid

      Reply
  124. Comment by Alan posted on

    Hey so my deeds say that we own the land 6 feet away from this solid concrete floor but there is a large fence separating 2 roads my road and another road 9 feet away from the concrete floor is that 3 feet of land owned or what and what can we do because we have owned this house since 1956 and we still don’t know if the land is unowned, ours, some person who doesn’t even know they own it or what.

    Thanks

    -Alan

    Reply
  125. Comment by Shamus posted on

    Im currently in the process of buying a house that is unregistered, which has an additional strip of land also unregistered within the property boundaries, the title plans show- plan 1 just the house and plan 2 the house and the extra land, would we have any issues registering? As 1 title etc

    Reply
    • Replies to Shamus>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Shamus - a Q for your conveyancer but if both are unregistered then there won’t be title plans for either.i assume you mean they have different deeds/plans for each part. If so then that can happen and there are no issues but that’s very much for you to consider and decide upon

      Reply
  126. Comment by PK17 posted on

    There is an entryway to the side of our row of houses which is used for vehicle access for us residents but also to access a bridge over some railway tracks, it is in constant use but there is a worsening fly tipping issue here, the council have advised the land is unregistered and does not belong to them, and National Rail have also advised that the entry way does not belong to them.

    I am trying to determine whether or not the residents have the right to gate off the entrance either side of the entryway to stop the fly-tipping as i am not really getting anywhere with the council to try and implement some sort of deterrent.

    If it is not the Councils land or National Rails, and is unregistered, is it best to try and get the deeds to my home and figure out who built it and take it from there? I'm guessing they would no longer exist and it then likely falls under the crown?

    Reply
    • Replies to PK17>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      PK17 - if it’s unregistered then we don’t have a record as you clearly appreciate. We can’t advise you on what’s best in such cases and I’d recommend you seek legal advice.
      If you are looking for wider comment then try public forums such as Garden Law. This is a blog so others are very unlikely to read and respond to someone else’s comment

      Reply
  127. Comment by NKB posted on

    Hi, How do I find out if a piece of un-demised land (communal garden section of a block of flats ) reverts to share of freehold or could be claimed by a third party?
    The land is not registered on land registry and is assumed as freeholder owned but we are looking for evidence to show to the freeholders.

    Reply
    • Replies to NKB>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      NKB - evidence of what? If it’s unregistered then the owner has not registered it. Any evidence of ownership would rest with deeds/documents or a claim as to ownership as appropriate. I’d suggest you seek legal advice as you are either trusting to prove and/or protect yourselves against something

      Reply
  128. Comment by Winny posted on

    There is a narrow unregistered lane that runs along the back of our terraced house gardens that used to run the length of the whole street. Past owners of the house next door extended their garden across the lane, which blocked it, but still retained access by putting a gate across the lane. Every householder maintained the section of lane at the end of their garden which I still do. There weren't any problems until the present owners started leaving rubbish in the lane across the width of my garden and they have used it as a drain to dispose of dirty water etc. On the other side of the lane is an old stone retaining wall which is also a boundary wall between a pub car park. The car park is about 4 feet lower than the lane. The brewery erected a higher metal fence on their side more than 40 years ago and the next door neighbours have persistently filled up the gap in between the wall and fence with waste from their house and garden. They now want all of the old wall demolished, I suspect they are running out of space for their 5 large bins and I think that if the wall goes they'll start leaving their bins out there in full view of my garden, The wall is fine apart from the section nearest their gate. When they demolished the section of wall across their own garden, they didn't secure the end in the lane, so the weight of rubble they have dumped there, and water they were draining from a washing machine out of their garden into the wall have affected it. They can't see the wall from their garden and only use the lane to put their bins out, whereas I enjoy watching the birds etc out daily from my garden. The most recent land registry map shows the boundary of the pub up to the fence not the wall . What can I do to protect the wall? Thank you for any advice.

    Reply
    • Replies to Winny>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Winny - I’m sorry to read of the issues you are facing but it’s very much legal advice you need here. If you are looking for wider comment/advice then online forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources

      Reply
  129. Comment by Nikkie posted on

    There is what I believe is a turning space in the garage block behind my house which makes maneuverability easier. The neighbor has his caravan parked in this space and claims that the land is his. How am I able to verify this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Nikkie>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nikkie- we provide the registered details re ownership and rights. If you have a right to use the land then it’s legal advice you need on how to protect your rights

      Reply
  130. Comment by Emma posted on

    Hopefully just a simple question, but I tried to find out who owned a piece of land near my house as I wanted to try to buy it from the owner. I contacted landregistry to find out who did own it and it came back as unregistered and was advised to put in a first registration. Subsequently an elderly neighbour has produced land registration documents for the land (with the same reference) as her husband and her were interested in it some years ago (20+). A quick internet search showed that the registered owner has died. My question is why would land registry say it was unregistered? Is it just an admin mistake? The first registration process is still going on.

    Reply
    • Replies to Emma>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Emma - if you did a search of the index map (form SIM) and the land was unregistered then the result at that time would confirm that. If there was a pending application to register it at the time then that would be revealed too.

      Reply
    • Replies to Emma>

      Comment by Kate Jenkins posted on

      Emma did you complete any forms to find out the land was unregistered. If I do a search on my property will it inform you who owns the land to the side of it?

      Reply
  131. Comment by Gareth Lewis posted on

    I am attempting to obtain a copy of title deeds for a local bowls club, the local authority claim ownership, however, the Land Registry has no records for the title of the property. am I entitled to a copy of the deeds that say the local authority owns the land as I believe there may be a restrictive covenant governing its use

    Reply
    • Replies to Gareth Lewis>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gareth - if it’s unregistered then the owner has the deeds. We won’t have any details.

      Reply
  132. Comment by Kate Jenkins posted on

    I’m looking to find out who own a strip of land Dow. The side of our house and the road. When we purchased the house we were told that we didn’t own the land and wouldn’t be able to build or extend onto it. We have had a hedge around the boarder for 14 years and recently removed due to it causing subsidence on our house. We have since erected a picket fence there. Can we apply for adverse possession? How do we know who owns it. It isn’t a registered piece of land.

    Reply
  133. Comment by SimonP posted on

    Dear Adam,
    Can you tell me if it is possible to register the land that we own?
    The absence of a red line around it is causing ongoing difficulties with neighbours who would like it to be ‘shared’ because they see it as ‘no mans land’.
    The property we own is a house and the land adjoining it, but the only part that is registered is the house. So the red line on the registered documents is the footprint of the four walls of the house. The land adjoining is described, as you have written at the top of this page, as ‘other land’ and there are other documents filed with the Title Document at Land Registry. These documents are sworn declarations that refer to the original deed of transfer for the ‘other land’ and state that the ‘other land’ was included as part of the same estate as the building. The actual deed no longer exists.

    We have tried using adverse possession to claim the land, but we have been declined on the grounds that we cannot prove exclusive use of it. This we cannot prove because our neighbours have a right of access across our land which they use to gain access to the rear of their own properties. The right of access is written on our title documents, and also mentioned on the title documents of the neighbouring properties. I think that adverse possession is probably not the correct method for us anyway, because we already own the land.

    Please can you tell me if there is a way for us to have the red line re-drawn to include the ‘other land’, and point me in the right direction to get it done?

    Reply
    • Replies to SimonP>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Simon - if you’ve made application(s) already then there’s nothing I can usefully add here other than to signpost the PG 5 which no doubt you have already referred to and then gett8ng wider legal advice.
      The key re any claim of ownership is satisfying the legal requirements so if we’ve rejected your application we will have explained why and it’s that position you need to consider from a legal perspective.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by SimonP posted on

        Hi Adam,
        thank you for your reply.
        Please could you tell me if it is possible in principal to achieve what I want?
        i.e. Is there a way for me to register the 'other land' when I do not have the original deeds, only sworn statements that refer to the deeds.

        Reply
        • Replies to SimonP>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Simon P - it’s all a Q of wha5 the basis of your application is. If it’s ‘lost deeds’ then it’s PG2 guidance. If it’s claiming the land as you have taken possession if it then it’s PG5

          Reply
  134. Comment by Sug posted on

    Next to my parents house is a small plot of land that for years my dad has attended and used as an allotment.They have owned the house for 48 years until 5 years ago when I brought it from them,they still Iive with me at said house. My dad has recently passed away so would like to put the land on my deeds.I have checked land registry and it doesn't exist on there, what will be my next option etc etc?

    Reply
  135. Comment by Terry Thompson posted on

    I am currently in the process of purchasing a house in a private cul de sac. A search has highlighted that the communal land in the cul de sac is unregistered. In the title deeds I am liable for a share of the maintenance to the roads and pavement, however I am struggling to determine how this would work if I cannot establish who the owner is...?

    Reply
    • Replies to Terry Thompson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Terry - it’s your legal advice you need to rely on here. Much may depend on who else is also responsible and how. If there are several and each paying a share then it may be that you all maintain it as a group so who the owner is may not impact. But that’s for your conveyancer to explain and advise on

      Reply
  136. Comment by Caroline McMillan posted on

    I am in the process of purchasing a Victorian mid terrace and the deed plan has come back with the area between the back door and about of a quarter of the way up the garden not being owned by the house. It has two outdoor WCs, one of which is owned (red outline) the other not. All other houses to the left own their entire gardens. But no one seems to own that area on my property in the row of houses as I have reviewed their title plans. All houses seem to have been sold by a property company in the 1970s. Could it be that neighbours would historically have a right of way to use the WC? I have right of way along the back of their house to presumably put my bin out etc. How do I find out who owns the land? The company has since been dissolved.

    Reply
    • Replies to Caroline McMillan>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Caroline - as a buyer you’d put the questions to your seller to resolve/explain. Trying to identify the unregistered owner is not the best option at this stage and best to focus on what the seller is able to confirm/provide. For example if they've been there for some time then they may be able to claim the land as their own.
      Suggest you speak to your conveyancer first rather than try to investigate and trigger interest/wider events that may complicate the sale/purchase

      Reply
  137. Comment by James posted on

    How would I find out who owns an unadopted road outside of a development I am buying a flat in? Is there a way for searching for road ownership on the land registry?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to James>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      James - you can search online using the Map Enquiry Service. This will only provide registered information so please do read the full guidance before searching
      https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
      If no information is available online or you are unsure then please make a postal search of the index map instead which will also confirm if unregistered

      Reply
  138. Comment by Dave posted on

    Hi

    I live in the middle of a block of 4 terraced houses with a 10 foot wide lane behind and then a wall around a field. Our whole road is unadopted and our house is freehold. How can I find out who owns the lane behind our houses please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Dave>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Dave - follow the advice in the article. Check if it’s registered and if not start the detective work as highlighted.
      But before you do perhaps ask a different question, why do you want to know and does it matter who owns it?

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Dave posted on

        Hi AdamH. Land Registry shows my boundaries to the back wall of my yard, the lane behind is a grassed area about 12’ wide. I would like to extend my yard to give me more space. No details for the area are shown on the registry.

        Reply
        • Replies to Dave>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Dave - many thanks. Trying to identify, locate and then confirm the legal owner can be tricky in my experience and perhaps impossible as nobody says (and proves) “Yes, I own it” for example.
          The reason “Why?” can be relevant is that the law can allow others to take possession of land - see our PG 5 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-1-unregistered-land-and-2-registered-land
          I’m not advocating that people do such things but it is a legal possibility and does happen. It may be something to consider and get wider legal advice on as it’s the legal requirements that come before the registration ones.
          Otherwise if you prefer to find the legal owner and buy the land then it’s really down to your own detective work. The only caveat there is that such investigations are likely to complicate the legal position should the claim option be pursued

          Reply
  139. Comment by Alastair Parsons posted on

    Hi AdamH.

    I have a question around Common Land. My detached house is partly surrounded by common land, including the verge where my driveway gets to the road, I can find no title or registration for the common land. There are two sections in reality; To the North of my property is a triangle of about 0.1 Acres bounded by the road to the North and East, a stream to the West and ending at my boundry to the south. This then runs as a verge down the front of my property (about 2m depth between the road and my boundary, through my drive and then there is another 0.1 acre Triangle to the South. The previous owners have made use of both sides, for a log shed and composting, no-one else uses it.

    Is it possible to add this land to my property through the fact that the property is from 1840 and the land has have usage by only the owners of the property for the last 20 years? I appreciate this may be a legal question, but how would I go about finding more information on the land?

    I have found a reference in the Common Register that may refer to it but can find no maps or other information.

    Any Help would be appreciated

    Reply

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