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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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I have extensively searched for the owner of a piece of land

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I have extensively searched for the owner of a piece of land I would like to purchase. The last registered owner listed was in 1875. Can you please tell me how I can go about legally buying this piece of land?
the land is abandoned and no one is interested in doing anything with it. I have been told to just move in and take over it but I would rather do it legally.
Thank you for any advice.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Are you saying this land is registered with Land Registry, but that the records are well out of date? Also, I see you've put "other" for the system of law - please confirm you're in England / Wales.



We live in the Isle of Man so 99% of the law is the same. I have been told by several people just to move in but I would rather do it legally.


The land is registered in the museum as a field. there are no ongoing registered owners we have extensively searched the deeds office, left notices at the property and knocked on doors around the area. It therefore appears that the last owner was in 1875. However we have also been told that a piece of land that is not registered can be registered but has to be done by a lawyer.


thank you

wingrovebuyer : On the assumption the law is the same, in England and Wales you could claim the land but only after 12 years of exclusive occupation of it. This is adverse possession. You can't register land just because there isn't an obvious owner unless you've had this level of occupation. This is probably why people have been telling you just to take it over.
wingrovebuyer : I suggest you take occupation and ensure the land is fenced off and any gate padlocked when not in use. I wouldn't spend too mch money on it just in case the paper owner emerges.

Thank you for your response. This is the information that I found and unfortunately you have now confirmed the same as we thought.


If only there was a way of tracking the owner :(


Thank you for your help.

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