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Buying Property and Landownership

Q: I am buying some property and apparently there is a public right of way over it, what does this mean?

A: The public have a right to pass along the route of the path at all times. You must not do anything to obstruct the route or prevent anyone from using the path. There is more information on managing public access here.

Q: How can I find out who owns a property or a piece of land?

A: Each Council holds records only of property they own. Please contact the local Land Registry office for details on land ownership.

Q: I am in the process of buying some property. How can I find out if there are any public rights of way over the land?

A: Your solicitor can do an official search for public rights of way shown on the definitive map and statement through the Land Charges system, although they may not do this unless you ask, as it is optional and incurs an extra charge. It is also possible to see the mapping here but it is strongly recommended that you obtain a full search for property conveyancing purposes. However not all public rights of way that exist are shown on the definitive map and statement. If you suspect that the public are using the land, even though there appears to be no public right of way recorded over it, you should take specialist advice and make further enquiries. Always take advice, never assume anything.