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  • Legal FAQs

    Land registration law

    I have been trying to find out who owns a piece of land. Land Registry reveals that it is not registered. However, there is a 'caution' against the land (shown in the Land Registry records). The lady who registered the caution states that the land is owned by her husband and it's basically a way to declare her interest in the land in the event of their divorce.

    I have carried out research and found that the husband died in 2012 and that they were still married at the time. According to my research: Land changing ownership after death, where land is gifted rather than sold, became compulsorily registrable in April 1998. Why then has this not been transferred in this case?

    I have reason to believe that the lady in question is fairly elderly and isn't quite the full ticket and I'm equally convinced that her children aren't aware of the land's potential value (or even it's location)! Despite searching hi and low, I can't seem to find an address for the owner.

    Can anyone suggest a valid reason why this land has not been registered? Can I force the issue by writing to Land Registry and making them aware? I can't seem to find an address for the owner.

    The land is potentially extremely valuable and it has no evidence of anyone 'looking after' it. I'm not trying to fleece anyone, I'm happy to pay the going rate but if I can't open dialogue, I can't move forward.

    I'm equally sensitive to the fact that the owner may have a personal attachment to it, or, is holding it for conservation interests (which is fair enough) but parcels of land like this, with nailed on planning potential, don't come around too often.

    But back to the main point of my post. Should this land, by law, be registered?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    KR

    Rob West

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    When he died, the solicitors may not have been aware of the piece of land to include it for probate and thereby getting it re registered in her name 

    You have her name and the area she lives therefore get solicitor to engage someone to find her

    In my experience of very old people in good financial circumstances, there is usually a family member very protective of their possible inheritance ...
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    Hi

    Thank you for the reply and apologies for the delay in responding.

    Yes, that's a very good point you make and that may well be the case in this instance. I can imagine the scenario going something like...….the owner is aware of it's existence but simply doesn't have the capacity/inclination to engage in dialogue (be that with family members or developers) but, as you say, the numerous family members may well be keeping a close eye on it.

    I have been told that the owner doesn't want to sell and gets upset when the subject is raised.

    In theory, is this possible? The owner dies and her relatives are aware that there is some land somewhere but unaware of the location of the land. The land is not actually registered to her (only a caution lodged) and this therefore might make it difficult to connect to her. If the solicitor is not aware of her interest (and can find no record), could that land just sit there for years, unclaimed?

    Possessory title springs to mind!

    I appreciate that this is beginning to sound like the start of a Sherlock Holmes novel but it is rather curious.

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    Use No-Find,  No-fee  Tracing Agents,  most economical I've found is  Vilcol

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I do however know where one of her children live. I might just go down the route of approaching him again (but, apparently, he is pretty dismissive/unwilling to talk about the whole thing). All I want is to open a dialogue to find out what the situation is and to see if they would sell (either now or in the future).

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