Identifying private landowners

For a long time it was not possible to easily find out who owned land and buildings. This situation has changed considerably since 2000 when the Land Registry became the main source of information on the ownership of land and buildings.

Once a site or building has been identified it is possible to search to see if it is registered with the Land Registry. This is possible to do with a post code or via a map search. For a small fee it is then possible to get the entry to the register which contains information on who owns it and whether there are any restrictions on its sale or use. These are shown on the register as “charges”. These may include restrictive covenants which affect the land and charges taken over the land as security by banks or other lenders.

If there is no entry on the register it may be necessary to contact the local council who may have information on ownership via fulfilling its planning responsibilities in producing a local plan or considering planning applications. Planning application records are available to the public.

Alternatively a route to find out ownership may be via adjacent users of property or any existing tenants.