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zsuzsanna

Trying To Buy And Empty House

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Looking for some ideas from you folks. I have found an empty property. Did the Land Registry search which came back with one owner registered at a diffrent address in the UK where he does not live at. The Local Authority has no info on it either where the owner lives. The name of the owner is not British it is Chinese. Any ideas how can I try to track him down? I have even considered a private detective :)

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Looking for some ideas from you folks. I have found an empty property. Did the Land Registry search which came back with one owner registered at a diffrent address in the UK where he does not live at. The Local Authority has no info on it either where the owner lives. The name of the owner is not British it is Chinese. Any ideas how can I try to track him down? I have even considered a private detective :)

No idea but I would personally avoid as it sounds like a world of grief potentially anytime in the, um, rest of your life.

Someone might crop up 20 or 30 years from now saying "I own that!".

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No idea but I would personally avoid as it sounds like a world of grief potentially anytime in the, um, rest of your life.

Someone might crop up 20 or 30 years from now saying "I own that!".

Do you think that could happen. Even with the solicitor involved?

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LOL I send my kids :)

It is a good idea, squatting in it.

You can make up a notional 'rent'. Use that amount each week to do the place up and make it nicer, so long as the original owner doesnt show.

If he or she does show, great, you can negotiate a price, which will be all the lower seeing as how they have squatters.

And if they dont show, then I think after about 3 years it becomes yours, for free.

Seek legal advice by the way.

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It is a good idea, squatting in it.

You can make up a notional 'rent'. Use that amount each week to do the place up and make it nicer, so long as the original owner doesnt show.

If he or she does show, great, you can negotiate a price, which will be all the lower seeing as how they have squatters.

And if they dont show, then I think after about 3 years it becomes yours, for free.

Seek legal advice by the way.

That sounds interesting about the "3 year and one owns it "bit. I wouldn't do it but is this true?

Edited by zsuzsanna

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It is a good idea, squatting in it.

You can make up a notional 'rent'. Use that amount each week to do the place up and make it nicer, so long as the original owner doesnt show.

If he or she does show, great, you can negotiate a price, which will be all the lower seeing as how they have squatters.

And if they dont show, then I think after about 3 years it becomes yours, for free.

Seek legal advice by the way.

You no longer get ownership from squatting, the law changed a few years ago.

However squatting is a very sensible idea.

Get advice from squatters organisations, make sure you pay all your utilities, council tax, etc. Getting you out legally will take time and you can probably negotiate a good deal if the landlord does turn up. If he doesn't you just keep staying there rent free.

I would normally take a very dim view of people taking other peoples property for free, but buildings that have been empty for a while are a different issue. If the house is beginning to run down then you would actually be doing the landlord a very big favour, empty houses go derelict very quickly.

Just don't start thinking that it is yours, and if you are there long term, make sure you invest the equivalent of rent as savings towards a bid deposit for your own property. You don't want to find yourself homeless and without investments in twenty years time.

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Do you think that could happen. Even with the solicitor involved?

All things are possible, especially when a lawyer can sniff a fat fee.

Someone, hypothetically, could even turn up and cause you stress and grief years from now... and cost... simply to get money off you for you to go away.

Or what if this Chinese chap is in huge debt and his assets get sold on to an individual or a company who, again, turn up years from now wanting their property.

Sounds like getting involved in potentially so much legal stress IMPO. I would personally walk away.

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Did the OP hear the BBC R4 programme on empties this week? There's a thread on here.

Somerone is collecting and forwarding post from that empty house. Council Tax etc.

Who are they?

Edited by juvenal

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You no longer get ownership from squatting, the law changed a few years ago.

However squatting is a very sensible idea.

Get advice from squatters organisations, make sure you pay all your utilities, council tax, etc. Getting you out legally will take time and you can probably negotiate a good deal if the landlord does turn up. If he doesn't you just keep staying there rent free.

I would normally take a very dim view of people taking other peoples property for free, but buildings that have been empty for a while are a different issue. If the house is beginning to run down then you would actually be doing the landlord a very big favour, empty houses go derelict very quickly.

Just don't start thinking that it is yours, and if you are there long term, make sure you invest the equivalent of rent as savings towards a bid deposit for your own property. You don't want to find yourself homeless and without investments in twenty years time.

kagiso,

are you sure that you cannot obtain ownership through squatting?

I felt that this was a very good law, after all, if someone is denied something by someone else who is not using it themselves, then society as a whole is worse off. We are not talking about a squatter moving in whilst someone has gone to walk their dog or anything.

Squatters rights was one of the most enlightened laws I had come across. Use it or Lose it.

I hope it hasnt gone.

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You no longer get ownership from squatting, the law changed a few years ago.

However squatting is a very sensible idea.

Get advice from squatters organisations, make sure you pay all your utilities, council tax, etc. Getting you out legally will take time and you can probably negotiate a good deal if the landlord does turn up. If he doesn't you just keep staying there rent free.

I would normally take a very dim view of people taking other peoples property for free, but buildings that have been empty for a while are a different issue. If the house is beginning to run down then you would actually be doing the landlord a very big favour, empty houses go derelict very quickly.

Just don't start thinking that it is yours, and if you are there long term, make sure you invest the equivalent of rent as savings towards a bid deposit for your own property. You don't want to find yourself homeless and without investments in twenty years time.

kagiso,

wikipedia agrees with you regarding changes to the law on squatting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting

I can help feeling sad about this though. If a property has been abandoned, then all it does in exclude people from its use, and there may be many who would wish to use it. I would distinguish this from aggresive squatting where people break into a home in actual use.

As for the OP, it might well be worth having a go at squatting. If the original owner isnt at the address that the Land Registry have for the property, then in 10 years time when LR write to the owner, they wont get a reply. So it appears to be a 12 year wait rather than a 3 year one. Still, that is ownership 13 years earlier than you can manage with a standard mortgage, and 25 years less payments.

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kagiso,

are you sure that you cannot obtain ownership through squatting?

I felt that this was a very good law, after all, if someone is denied something by someone else who is not using it themselves, then society as a whole is worse off. We are not talking about a squatter moving in whilst someone has gone to walk their dog or anything.

Squatters rights was one of the most enlightened laws I had come across. Use it or Lose it.

I hope it hasnt gone.

Somebody took the 'adverse possession' laws up to the European Court of Human Rights, who, very wisely, pointed out that arbitary confiscation of wealth is against all human rights conventions.

At the end of the day stealing is still stealing.

The sensible way for property like this is for the government to impose sensible taxes on unused property. If the taxes build up, and the government can't find the owner through all reasonable means, then the government should take over the property, auction it off, and deduct the taxes owed. If the owner turns up, then the residual money plus interest could be returned. It would be easy enough for the Land Registry to keep a record. The tax would then be a useful way of discouraging property being left unused, and would, as you say, ensure that society as a whole benefits.

Adverse possession was just a lottery that gave windfalls to the agressive and cheeky.

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Somebody took the 'adverse possession' laws up to the European Court of Human Rights, who, very wisely, pointed out that arbitary confiscation of wealth is against all human rights conventions.

At the end of the day stealing is still stealing.

The sensible way for property like this is for the government to impose sensible taxes on unused property. If the taxes build up, and the government can't find the owner through all reasonable means, then the government should take over the property, auction it off, and deduct the taxes owed. If the owner turns up, then the residual money plus interest could be returned. It would be easy enough for the Land Registry to keep a record. The tax would then be a useful way of discouraging property being left unused, and would, as you say, ensure that society as a whole benefits.

Adverse possession was just a lottery that gave windfalls to the agressive and cheeky.

I dont see how changing ownership of an unused property affects anyones human rights. If they are not using it, then how can they miss it. And I mean, 12 years as well, that isnt just being cheeky, it is being stoic. Giving the dispossessed a means to acquire property, and getting somewhere to live seems right. And in some ways, the human right (which I dont think is in the European one, but is in the UN one), means that those who have managed to get property such as this can deny it to others whilst not using it themselves. The phrase 'Lording it' over someone else reflects this unjust situation completely in my mind. I am sure that this too abuses someone's human rights in some way.

And I certainly wouldnt call it stealing. It would be if you barged in and took a house that someone was using, but being unchallenged somewhere for 12 years is a different kettle of fish entirely.

I do agree though, your idea of taxing unused properties more heavily, and redistributing the income, is a great way of ensuring that land and housing ownership cannot be used to abuse the lives of others.

The objective should be to make people's lives better. I doubt if anyone ever squatted in a house just to take ownership of it.

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I dont see how changing ownership of an unused property affects anyones human rights.

It doesn't. It's the confiscation of the value that the problem.

LAs still have the right to resposess long term empty properties and sell them on to someone to live in, but if the owner turns up the proceeds of sale belong to him

tim

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Looking for some ideas from you folks. I have found an empty property. Did the Land Registry search which came back with one owner registered at a diffrent address in the UK where he does not live at. The Local Authority has no info on it either where the owner lives. The name of the owner is not British it is Chinese. Any ideas how can I try to track him down? I have even considered a private detective :)

hi there, zsuzsanna,

i know exactly how to locate this person as i have a experience in doing so. chinese people are usually the hardest due to obvious reasons, numbers etc. but you'll be surprised at how easily it can be done.

i am new to the site and don't really want to give out details publicly, so can you tell me how i can get in touch.

yours lozzer.

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Adverse possession is a useful part of English land law, allowing pieces of land where the owner has been lost over time, to come back into known ownership.

It is still possible to acquire land by adverse possession but the Land Registry makes it easier now for the registered owner of the land to take remedial action (where possible).

My advice to the OP is to write to the Land Registry to ask for the details of the solicitor acting at the time of purchase together with his case reference. This solicitor may have up to date contact details.

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Birminghanm council have been bringing many empty properties to auction recently and selling them theirselves so must have been seizing them, also putting an extra charge of £1k on the sale price to cover their legal costs, maybe the LA can help you.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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