Who owns this piece of land?
Coming home to find your neighbour has built a new shed that’s stretches one meter into your garden would probably cause you a great deal of anxiety. As homeowners we are kings of our castles, spending the weekends at DIY or home stores, looking for the next big thing to wow our family and friends with. Humans are naturally very territorial, the invasion of our private space can create conflict and stress which is why it is of the upmost importance to register your property and land to ensure there is a public record of you owning it.
The governments land registry register is where you can add the details of your home, irrespective of whether you:
- Purchased it
- Inherited it
- Was given it
- Have mortgaged it
- Received it in exchange for other property or land
Just as you are proud of your space, others feel the same way about their property or land. Gating alleyways and planting bulbs in green spaces all have a positive impact on the community, but knowing who owns the land and getting written permission from them before you start the project is an essential requirement. If you go on to land without the owner’s permission, you are trespassing unless there is some right of access for the public, or for you specifically. For example, if you have been granted a ticket to a concert on private land than you are lawfully allowed to enter that space, but if you cause a disturbance and you refuse to leave the premises, this can be considered trespassing.
Sometimes it can be confusing, if a public park closes at dusk and visitors are asked to leave the space, but continue to remain they can be considered to be trespassing. Even on public land the public does not have a right to be on it at all times. If you are planning to host an event on land that is not owned by you, always seek the owner’s permission, by carrying out a land registry check.
Carrying out a Land Registry Check
Completing a land registry check is simple, information on most registered properties can be found on the web, for as little as £3 you can get the following:
- name of the owner
- price paid for the property
- a plan of the property’s boundaries
Once you have established who owns the property you can write to the owner asking them for written permission to use their land. Be absolutely clear as to what you intend to do on it and ensure you have their permission in writing, this can be a letter or an email.
What if the Council owns the land?
Council land tends to come under the management of one of four services:
Most public carriageways and footpaths are managed by the councils highways team, in some instances small green spaces close to footpaths can also be linked to highways. If you need their permission, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are thinking about hosting a family fun day or a sports day at a local green space its best to get in touch with the councils events team at email@example.com. Please note for some parks and open spaces there will be a hire charge.
There are lots of community spaces, alleyways and highways based on housing land, but not all housing is owned or managed by one organisation. If a property is owned by a housing authority sometimes known as a housing association, you can normally find their details via the internet. For properties owned by the council, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Not all schools are responsible for the management of their property, outside of term time or even after school hours. To receive permission from the responsible authority contact the school, if they cant give you permission they will point you in the right direction.
Don’t plan until you have the green light!
When you want to do something on land that you don’t own, getting the right permissions is absolutely vital and should be done before considering any other element of your project. The time it takes to rally volunteers or organise tools and equipment for an alleyway clean-up will be time wasted, if you find out days before the event that the landowner is not willing to grant you permission.