Map Searches

Land Registry Map Search

The use of a built-in land registry map to seek out and identify property that does not have a postal address is one of those recent innovations that we all managed without until a few years ago, but is now an absolute must for anyone seeking to purchase land. Most of the thanks for this lie with Google, who developed it and allowed others to freely use it. Many businesses, including ourselves, have now incorporated mapping technology into their web pages.

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Who Owns the Land Adjoining Mine?

The general way to obtain a copy of the Title Register is to apply online for a Title Register search. To do so, however, you will need either the Title Number of the land, or else a postal address. Land upon which there is no dwelling, shop or office will not have a postal address, and most people will not know the Title Number.

You can obtain a copy of the Title Register, however, by applying for a Map Search. Where an application is made to ourselves, the application form itself contains two types of Map Search, the first being a standard Google based map where you would zoom into the land in question and drop a pin onto it. The map identifies the coordinates of the map pin and adds them to the application form.

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Who Owns a Private Road?

Private Roads (Unadopted Roads)

Private roads have not been adopted by the local authority and are not maintainable by them, but by the respective frontagers. A frontager is the term given to the owners of a property immediately facing a road and who are usually responsible for maintenance of that part they front onto.


Public Roads (Adopted Roads)

When a private road is adopted by the local authority it then becomes maintainable by that local authority and not the frontagers. Adoption of roads is governed by Part XI of the Highways Act 1980. In most cases, roads are adopted and therefore there is a public right of way over them; thus, their upkeep is funded by the local authority at the public expense.

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Common Land Search

All land in England and Wales is owned by a person or organisation and this holds true, also, for common land, despite the general belief that Common Land is owned by the citizens of the country at large. The important aspect of Common Land relates not so much to ownership, but to those who have rights over the Common Land, and the nature of those rights.

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How to Find Out Who Owns Land

Identification of a property, when applying for a Land Registry search, is generally carried out in one of two ways:

  • By Postal Address
  • By Title Number (where this is known)

The majority of people do not know the Title Number, and instead use the postal address.

There are a number of ways to identify a property not having a postal address, but some of these methods have been over-taken by more modern and efficient means.

Older methods involved obtaining a large scale OS map, which usually required a trip to a specialist commercial stationer or map vendor, and attaching this to an application form.

The most efficient way, today, is to use an online mapping utility such as that provided by Google. Although you could print off the map, mark the land you are interested in, and then send it to the Land Registry with an application form, there is now a far more efficient way of doing this.

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