How to Locate the Owner of an Abandoned House

There are several methods of locating the owner of abandoned property.

abandoned house

Firstly, consult with neighbors in the area. If this is unfruitful, contact the Land Registry to determine ownership. The local county clerk’s office may be contacted as well.

Alternatively, a listing with property and owner details may be purchased for a small fee.

There are several reasons why a person would want to find out who owns abandoned buildings or properties in their neighborhood. A derelict property and unmaintained garden can be an eyesore in a suburban neighborhood. It poses a health hazard, could devalue other properties in the area, and maybe a hive of criminal activity.

On the other hand, you may be interested in finding abandoned properties to purchase as an investment. In both cases, you may first need to locate the owner of the abandoned property.

Check out this article on how to take ownership of an abounded house.

Consult with neighbors

consulting neighbors

If you are interested in purchasing the property, then consult with neighbors in the area.

Firstly, neighbors may know whether the property is occupied or abandoned. In either case, there is a possibility that one of the neighbors may still be in contact with the property owners and may be able to assist with contact details.

Leave contact details

leaving contact details

If the property seems like it has been abandoned for quite some time, chances are that the neighbors may not have the necessary contact details. Especially if most of the neighbors are new to the area themselves.

This may seem like a long shot, but it is still worth a try. Leave a note on the front door or slip it underneath, referencing your contact details and a request to be contacted by the owners.

Consult with the Land Registry

land registry

The Land Registry may be a rich source of information. For a small fee, you may be able to access this information. Things you may find in the Land Registry include:

  • Is the property registered
  • Owner name and contact details
  • Property boundary lines
  • Individuals with a financial interest

Consult with the Local Authority

local authorities

The Local Authority has several divisions which may be able to help trace the owner of the property. These include the housing department or the empty homes department.

Employ a tracing agent

agents and detectives

If all avenues have failed and you are willing to spend money on the process, then employing the services of a tracing agent or detective may be the next logical step.

Both have extensive experience in the industry and have the relevant resources to track and find property owners.

Think outside the box

thinking outside the box

Some areas employ a neighborhood watch. These organizations are usually quite organized and may be familiar with most of the property owners in the area, including the owner of the abandoned property.

Alternatively, they could provide information regarding any activity at the property in the recent past or may be able to tell you how often the owners frequent the property, for example, once a month or once a week, etc.

Other resources

other resources

There are other resources to consider. Most people are registered on the electoral register to vote. The owner’s name may be registered along with the property details.

You should be able to access this information and obtain the contact details of the owner.

Real estate agents

real estate agents

Consult with the local real estate agent in the area. They are another rich source of information with many of their own resources.

The real estate agent may be in possession of a residential list and/or real estate list. Both of which will have information regarding the property, the owner, as well as additional information such as the selling history of a property. This could answer the question: how much did that property sell for?

In addition, the real estate agent may be in possession of foreclosure listings for the area. But this is something that the local bank would also be able to provide.

How to get an abandoned house

If you are in the market to purchase an abandoned house as an investment, then there are a few options available to you. These types of properties are usually on track for foreclosure but the banks may not yet have initiated the process.

getting an abandoned house

The first step is to find the owner and determine if there is currently someone living there if it is listed for sale or on a foreclosure listing, or simply an unclaimed abandoned property.

The best solution would be to contact the local county clerk’s office. The owner is most likely paying taxes on the property.

If this is the case, you should simply get the details, contact the owner and make an offer. If the property is on track for foreclosure, chances are that it will either go up for auction or may be listed on a real estate agents’ listing. Contact the local real estate agents to find out.


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