How To Find Out Who Owns a Property or Land?

2nd December, 2021


Seen your dream home and want to find out who owns it? Want to do your due diligence on a property’s ownership history? There are many reasons you might want to find out who owns a property or piece of land. This guide will help you do just that. We talk through why you would want to find out who owns a house; how you can find out who owns a house or land; how much it costs to find out who owns a property; what unregistered land means; and finally we describe some of the common problems associated with finding out who owns a piece of property or land. Read on to find out more or use the menu below to navigate through easily!


Why would you want to find out who owns a house? 

There are a few reasons you might want to find out who owns a property. We’ve listed some of the most common below. 

  • You want to make an offer. If you’re a cash house buyer and you’ve seen your dream home you might want to offer on a property that’s not even listed on the open market. Finding out the owner’s details could help you get in touch with them to put forward an offer. 
  • You want to confirm the asking price. Finding out a property’s ownership history can help you validate the market value and asking price. For example, if a property has changed hands multiple times in a short period of time then it could signify that there’s some issue with the property.
  • Discover development projects. Doing this research can help you confirm whether there are any development projects in the area that might affect your decision to buy the property. After all, nobody wants to live on a building site!
  • Curiosity. Let’s face it. We’re all a little nosey. Sometimes you might just want to know who owns a property or piece of land for curiosity’s sake. Nothing wrong with that! 

Now we’ve covered the reasons you might want to find out who owns a property or land, let’s find out how it’s done. 

How do I find out who owns a house or land? 

HM Land registry holds records on most property or land within England and Wales. This information has been stored digitally since around 1993. You can find out more information in our blog about Title Deeds. The records stored by the land registry include the title register, plan, summary and also a flood risk indicator. To find out who owns the property of land, you should run a land registry search. You can then either download the documents and view them online or offline. This will give you access to information that will help you to find out ownership. Let’s cover what the register, summary and plan contain. 

  • Title Register. The title register holds information about the property or land and includes the title number, ownership information, price paid for the property, rights of way and whether or not a mortgage on the property has been discharged. 
  • Title Summary. The title summary contains the title number. It shows the ownership information of the property and whether the property is a freehold or a leasehold. If there is a mortgage on the property it gives information about the lender. 
  • Title Plan. The title plan is basically just a map that shows the location of the property. It shows it’s boundaries and rights of way, although boundary information is rarely completely accurate. 

If you are concerned that the property you’re interested in is at risk of flooding then you can download a flood risk indicator. It combines data from the Environment Agency and HM Land Registry and it tells you how likely it is that the property will flood. 

How much does it cost to find out who owns a property or land? 

You’ll have to create an account with HM Land Registry to download title documents with ownership registration. But you’re probably wondering ‘how much does it cost to find out who owns a house?’. Fees are typically £3 for basic title information. However, if you need a flood risk indicator this is slightly more expensive and will set you back £10.80. 

There is a new feature on the website that allows a basic search service. This gives you the headline information of who owns the property, the price they paid for it and any mortgage information. The cost of this search is £3. 

What is unregistered land? 

Unregistered land is simply land that is not yet registered with the Land Registry’s service. Once a piece of land or a property has been registered it is classed as an ‘Official Entry’ and it is assigned a unique number. The most common reason that a property or land is unregistered is because it hasn’t changed ownership between 1925 and 1985. 

Unregistered land is quite uncommon. Around 85% of property or land in England and Wales is registered with HM Land Registry. You might need to do some sleuthing to find out who owns the property. Your best bet in this instance is to ask local residents and business owners. 

Finding out who owns property or land because you’re looking to purchase your dream home? 

If you’re interested in who the owner of a property is so that you can buy it then you will want to be in the position to be a cash house buyer. To get the funds, it’s likely that you will need to sell your house fast. SmoothSale can help. We offer a range of private sale solutions to help you get cash fast for your home. We’ll buy your house for cash in as little as seven days or to a timescale that suits you. We buy any home, in any condition. Get in touch with us today on 0800 368 8952 or get a cash offer!

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How To Find Out Who Owns a Property?
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