Determination of land ownership

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Determination of land ownership

Post by HoardingDragon » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:26 pm

Dear All,

It has proven really hard for me to track who owns what land. For example, does public land ownership lie with the council, or the parish council? And is permission for leased land (for example a farmer who is plouging on council owned land) required from the farmer, the council, or both?

But more importantly, If i have permission from a parish council, how do i know what is public land owned by this council and what is not, and if it is not; how do i track the owner? are there any websites that list ownership? (i searched google in vain)

Another issue; what if the owner can't be tracked? My local council has some issues tracking owners as evidenced by the leaflets stamped to the gate of some fields - i was surprised to see this.. isn't there a register?

sorry for all these question but information is scarce on this and i am pulling out my scales..

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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by JWL » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:35 pm

I don’t know the answers HD but I do know it’s a very good question. As a newbie like yourself (I presume) I’m very interested what the answers are.

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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by THE MOLE » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:39 pm

land registry, but i think its a couple of quid per search. cheaper way is to ask the council if they own it first.

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-abou ... e-register

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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Phil2401 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:17 pm

THE MOLE wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:39 pm
land registry, but i think its a couple of quid per search. cheaper way is to ask the council if they own it first.

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-abou ... e-register

neil
It has its limitations - if you have a post code then fine, but if you've seen a field that looks interesting, the Land Registry website says you can search by grid reference - so I've seen a few fields - easy enough to get the OS grid reference, but then when you use the Land registry site to search by grid reference, it just takes you to the Ordnance Survey website.....no help at all.

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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Oxgirl36 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:40 pm

If a piece of land hasn’t changed hands for a long time it may not be registered with land Registry, but someone still owns it so you can’t detect there. Finding out who owns it can then be problematic and the local pub might be a better source of info than any internet search. Local knowledge will be a powerful research tool.

If a piece of land is tenanted then permission must come from both the land owner and the tenant.

On council land - they know what they own so you could ask them. Remember ‘common’ land does not mean (as often thought) that it is owned by everyone. It isn’t. It will be owned by a specific group of individuals with common rights, or an organisation like a parish council.

If a piece of land looks unclaimed don’t be tempted to just start detecting.

And, whilst not specifically asked here, it’s worth noting that many people think public footpaths are fine to detect on without permission! They aren’t. It is public right of way across land owned by someone. So no permission = no detecting.
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by THE MOLE » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:47 pm

or knock on the nearest doors to it :-O
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Phil2401 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:01 pm

The water is also muddied by the fact that overseas owners or offshore companies do not always need to register their title with the Land Registry.
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Oxgirl36 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:10 pm

Just remembered this resource. It might help with determining some council land....

viewtopic.php?f=131&t=97795
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Saffron » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:34 am

A good set of questions ::g, sadly not all simple answers ;;z

"does public land ownership lie with the council, or the parish council?

It could be a range of ownerships, some "public land" is owned by the parish council, some by the borough council, some by the county council and if "common land" could well be held under the control of a group of trustees, and then there are odd bits owned by other groups.
Frequently there is a sign by "public land" stating the rules / bye laws this will normally have an authorities name at the bottom, in most (but not all) cases this is who owns the land - contact them and even if they do not own it they should know who does.


is permission for leased land (for example a farmer who is plouging on council owned land) required from the farmer, the council, or both?
In ALL cases permission to detect must be gained from the landowner (either council as you are asking about but also applies to privite ownership).
But even if the owner says "yes go ahead" IMHO you are asking for trouble if the tenant does not agree - imagine if you rented land and planted crops on it and suddenly a group of detectorists started digging it up without your consent, would you be happy?.
Most sensible detectorists would never consider detecting on land that was rented out without the consent of BOTH the owner and tennant.

"If i have permission from a parish council, how do i know what is public land owned by this council and what is not
Take a detailed map of the area you are interested in and believe they own and get them to mark exactly what they own.
Like wise for any new permission get the owner to mark exactly where you can detect (and do not expect him to provide the map for you!).

how do i track the owner [of land]
Use the land registry site. It will provide the answer in most cases. Otherwise its a case of knocking on local doors and asking (can be worth trying the local pub in the early evening as a farm worker might pop in after work before heading home).

what if the owner can't be tracked? My local council has some issues tracking owners as evidenced by the leaflets stamped to the gate of some fields
This situation is not uncommon. Land that has been in the same ownership for generations does not have to be on the land registry, but has to be added if it is sold.
So if land has been in the same families ownership for many years and the owners live a distance from it then locals might not know who owns it.
In this case as you can not find the owner there is no way you can detect it.

Evan

Edit: Just seen that Oxgirl36 had said most of this. Having read her post we agree on the vast bulk of our responses.
The one difference is she said "if a piece of land is tenanted then permission must come from both the land owner and the tenant". Legally you only need it from the owner, unless stated otherwise in the agreement between the owner and tenant, but you are asking for trouble if you do not get the tenants agreement as well.
Last edited by Saffron on Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Easylife » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:10 am

Historically, all land in England and Wales was unregistered. Conveyancers would hand write documents transferring property from one owner to the other. These legal documents would form part of the chain of ownership and recite the purchase price, the parties, any conditions or covenants on the land and also all rights. The owner of the land retained a bundle of documents and title deeds to prove their ownership. If there was a mortgage the lender would retain the title deeds. The process became drawn out and risky. If deeds were misplaced or lost it would be difficult to prove you owned the land.

The system was overhauled in 1925 as it was clear there could be significant problems with the continuation of the unregistered system. The traditional system of Conveyancing was overhauled by the introduction of the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Land Registration Act 1925.

Since the 1st of December 1990, all of England and Wales became areas of compulsory registration which means if an unregistered property is sold it must be registered with The Land Registry. The Land Registration Act 2002 broadened the net to include assents, gifts and mortgages as dispositions which trigger a compulsory registration.

The Land Registry contains more than 24 million property titles providing evidence of ownership which covers more than 83% of the UK leaving 17% of land unregistered.
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Phil2401 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:47 pm

Easylife wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:10 am
Historically, all land in England and Wales was unregistered. Conveyancers would hand write documents transferring property from one owner to the other. These legal documents would form part of the chain of ownership and recite the purchase price, the parties, any conditions or covenants on the land and also all rights. The owner of the land retained a bundle of documents and title deeds to prove their ownership. If there was a mortgage the lender would retain the title deeds. The process became drawn out and risky. If deeds were misplaced or lost it would be difficult to prove you owned the land.

The system was overhauled in 1925 as it was clear there could be significant problems with the continuation of the unregistered system. The traditional system of Conveyancing was overhauled by the introduction of the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Land Registration Act 1925.

Since the 1st of December 1990, all of England and Wales became areas of compulsory registration which means if an unregistered property is sold it must be registered with The Land Registry. The Land Registration Act 2002 broadened the net to include assents, gifts and mortgages as dispositions which trigger a compulsory registration.

The Land Registry contains more than 24 million property titles providing evidence of ownership which covers more than 83% of the UK leaving 17% of land unregistered.
All true Easylife, but an increasing amount of UK land is being acquired by offshore / overseas investment companies, but probably confined to the larger estates.

The following quote is from some offshore investment advisor's website -

'By having an offshore company as owner someone searching the Land Registry website can only see the name of the company. A determined enquirer would then have to try to search against the offshore company which is likely to be difficult and indeed, depending upon the jurisdiction of the company and the manner in which it is set up, it should be virtually impossible for someone to find out details of the beneficial ownership.'

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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by liamnolan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:23 pm

Some good sensible advice already given. If I am driving around and spot an interesting bit of land, I might park up to take a closer look and it will not be long before some dog walker, pedestrian or land worker comes along and you can ask some questions. Knock on the door of the nearest house if need be. Getting a land title sorted out may not steer you to the address of the owner, but a chat at the local shop/pub will help. Farm workers can often be found in the local pub at lunchtime and if you buy a couple of free pints you can end up leaving with a nice permission, bring along some detecting finds and that all important map and some pen/paper, Liam ::g
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Rhumours » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:45 am

I'm going to throw another avenue in here. Geocaching. .. if you think detecting has a lot of rules. ... pffffff .... anyway Geocaching (placing of pots on land for others to find basically), requires land owners permission ... even footpaths verges or anywhere else. It has been examined debated ad nauseum for years. But it ha's recently moved away from "tic this box to agree you have obtained land owners permission" to ... please supply a copy of correspondence with land owner confirming permission has been given. As a consequence .... permission has been sought and granted. It has resulted in less Geocaching on private land because of the same issue here ..... people can't track down who owns then land. And the same. Solutions have been mooted .... land checks I believe last time it came up cost £30.00 per search which put people off obviously. However it may be worth looking on the website. You can search for free. If there is a Geocaching ... and there are millions ... in the area you want to search .... contacting that user may provide you with the owners name as they may have had to already find out. They may be the owner as often we place Geocaching on our or friends land and usually geocachers are requires to place them within an area they know well. Simply because you are required to maintain them regularly (replace log books and boxes etc).

It's not a magic bullet ... but it's a fairly passive approach which can be done from a sofa for free.
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Re: Determination of land ownership

Post by Buriedbytime&dust » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:20 am

Phil2401 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:17 pm
THE MOLE wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:39 pm
land registry, but i think its a couple of quid per search. cheaper way is to ask the council if they own it first.

https://www.gov.uk/get-information-abou ... e-register

neil
It has its limitations - if you have a post code then fine, but if you've seen a field that looks interesting, the Land Registry website says you can search by grid reference - so I've seen a few fields - easy enough to get the OS grid reference, but then when you use the Land registry site to search by grid reference, it just takes you to the Ordnance Survey website.....no help at all.

Phil
You can do a "map search" on Land Registry. Just zoom in on the land, in your choice of map or Google Earth aerial imagery, pay the £3, and Bob's your uncle ::g

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