Free land claiming as a practice has existed since the beginning of time. Man has always looked for better land to settle in and once suitable free land was available, communities has settled and thrived on it one the biggest examples of which is America itself.
Did you know that as much as 40% of the total land of England and Wales is not registered? Hence, you should realize that with a little bit of motivation and patience, you could become an owner of a decent plot of land yourself.
The method of claiming free land starts with the first step of property identification .Thereafter, one need to focus on registration check, owner tracing, adverse possession and the like. But keep in mind that the various concepts of adverse possession should be known by you before you start off.
If a plot of land has not changed hands or been mortgaged since the year 1990, then it would not be mentioned in the land registry which means 40% of land is lying like that.
Most people think that if a plot of land is unregistered it is unowned but that isn’t the fact. Any piece of land belongs to someone or the other. However it also doesn’t mean that it is un-claimable.
Your first step is that of property search where you become selective and out of all the plots that you see choose the one that you think would be a free and claimable one. Remember to look for those signs that almost always accompany an abandoned plot of land.
Look around your neighborhood with crystal clear observing eyes and you would have noticed these signs for sure.
An abundant plot of land would usually be accompanied by elements such as overgrown gates and gardens, derelicts, old commercial premises or industrial buildings, bordered up windows shrub lands and the like.
If you drive around, you are sure to miss these not-so-obvious signs. Rather you take regular walks around your neighborhood.
Registration Check is your next step where you attempt to find out the registration status of your said piece of land from the local land registry. The status might be any one from being registered, unregistered or pending first application.
The status of pending first application simply means that someone else has already claimed your chosen piece of land before you and hence it is better to go back to the property identification step.
If it is already registered it might still mean that the owner has died without leaving any relatives or that he has permanently settled abroad. So you still have a chance.
Of course your chances are the highest if the land is unregistered since it translates to it being ready for your claim. But it might also be that there exists an owner and that he hasn’t registered his land yet.
Whatever your registration status, the next step involves owner tracing and this happens to be an extremely important step since you would have to show later on that your tried your best to contact the original owner of the plot of property.
Owner’s whereabouts are best known by the immediate neighbors and hence interviewing them is your best technique for owner tracing.
The local post office, electoral roles, milkmen, landlords are all information sources for you. Contact the probate registry office in case the original owner is dead.
Adverse possession is the next step after owner tracing where you forcefully state your possession on the particular plot of property. So you can put up things like a fence or a ‘No Trespassing’ signboard. One can also record his claim start date by drawing up a document and having two witnesses to sign on it.
Embarking upon activities facilitating adverse possession also facilitates owner tracing since putting up such a signboard eventually drags the original owner back to the plot of land in a hurry. This owner tracing detective work can also be outsourced by you to the various sites and agencies who would do it on behalf of you.
Online websites are there to help you with rules and regulation regarding adverse possession as well as providing form templates, etc. CDs and booklets are also available on the subject.
Author: dancrinchThis author has published 9 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.