How do I go about finding property owner information? That's a question that I'm often asked and I'm going to answer in this blog. Now very often you might be out and about and you might see a derelict property, or a property that's been boarded up. You then think "I wonder if there's an opportunity there?", and very often there is an opportunity.
So it's important to be able to contact the owner to understand what's going on for them. They might be interested in selling their property, or maybe doing a joint venture. Maybe they'd love to develop it, but they just don't have any money. You can JV in this way: you can get a funder to come in, which means you're using none of your own money, and the owner put the property in. Pretty cool strategy, right?
Property Owner Information Using The Land Registry
So when it comes down to a property owner information search, the first thing you do, if you have the address, is that you can go onto land registry. You put the details in, pay three pounds, download the title deeds, and that will say who owns the property and the last registered address for those owners.
The next step is to then send a letter to the owner. Don't just send one letter, send a campaign of letters, every couple of weeks. Send them a new letter because they might not get the first letter. They could be interested and just don't get around to responding to you. So don't just try once, you've got to be persistent. This is the first way, finding property owner information using the land registry.
Talking To Your Neighbours
The other thing is if there are neighbours, neighbouring properties, go and knock on the door. Say something like this, "Excuse me, I hope you don't mind me disturbing you. I've noticed there's an empty, or derelict, or boarded up property next you. I know it doesn't look very good. I'd be interested in maybe buying that property and bring it back to its former glory. But to do that, I obviously need to contact the owner. Would you happen to know who the owner might be?"
Now if they've only recently moved in, they may not know. If they've lived there a long time, or maybe they're an older person, they might know everything about the property. They will know about the owner and they might be able to help you to find that person. I'm sure they don't really want to be living next to this derelict, or empty, or burnt out property. They'd be really interested in someone coming and improving that property, because that's going to bring up their value of the whole area and the whole street. So it's in their interest to help you.
Many people are a bit nervous, they don't want to go and knock on the door of a stranger. But you've got to getoutside your comfort zone. If it's really difficult to find the owner, really difficult to track them down, what it means is most other investors will have given up long ago. If you're persistent and find the owner, you've got a pretty good chance of maybe securing a deal, if you can come up with a win-win solution that works for them.
“If you’re persistent and find the owner, you’ve got a pretty good chance of maybe securing a deal, if you can come up with a win-win solution that works for them.”
So first of all, go onto land registry. If that doesn’t show any results, go and look for local neighbours. Also not just the ones immediately next to it. If you’re not finding people in, not getting results, knock around on all the other houses. See if maybe there’s someone there who knows something about it.
‘For Sale’ Signs Outside The Property
The third thing you can do when it comes to how to find the owner of an abandoned property, is a little bit drastic. But if the first two don't give you the results you want, people in the past have put up a For Sale sign outside the property, with their phone number on as a contact number. Sure enough whoever owns that property will somehow hear about it, or see there's a For Sale sign outside their property. They'll call you up and say, "What the hell is going on? Why are you selling my property?".
You then apologise, say, "Well, I'm really sorry, I've tried to contact you. I did this to get your attention. Obviously it's worked. I hope you're not offended, but I just wanted to contact you because I wanted to know if maybe you're interested in selling your property, or renting it. I'd like to maybe add some value to it, and buy your property if that's of interest to you."
So it's all about getting their attention by either writing to them from land registry, contacting neighbours, or drastically putting up this 'For Sale' sign, to see if they come back to you. By finding owners, putting in a little bit of effort, there's some great opportunities.
“All you have to do is take action, contact the owner, see if you can come up with an ethical win-win solution.”
Something To Think About
The final thing I want to leave with you is how many times have you seen an empty, or a derelict property close to where you live? You've often thought, "Oh, I wonder who owns that?" or, "I wonder if something could be done with that?" and you've done nothing about it.
Then maybe six months later, suddenly scaffolding goes up, hoarding goes around it. Somebody is doing something with that project and they turn it into loads of flats and they sell the flats and then make lots of money. Well, that could be you. All you have to do is take action, contact the owner, see if you can come up with an ethical win-win solution.
I hope you've enjoyed this blog on how to find property owner information. I encourage you always to Invest with Knowledge, Invest with Skill.
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