I've been looking to go slightly further out of town and today I saw my dream cottage, but it's boarded up and obviously needs a lot of renovation. There's a note on the door with the details of the website for The National Estates Council, so I've emailed them about my interest.
The thing is, from their own website, they sound like they just take over empty properties and then rent them out if they can't find an owner. I don't want to rent this cottage, I want to buy it, renovate it and live out my golden years there . I don't want to pay a company that don't actually own it and then have some distant relative with a will in their pocket that states ownership, turn up at my/their door when I've done all the work.
Never heard of them but look up the cottage's address on the Land Registry website (costs #3) to see who owns it and investigate from there. Is it isolated or are there any neighbouring properties whose owners might know who it belongs to? It sounds as if it is either part of a disputed will (several feuding family members trying to decide what to do with it) or it belongs to an institution that can't see a useful purpose for it and has left it to fester.
I wish I hadn't registered my interest with them now. The next neighbours are about 300 yards on either side. I'm going to try the LR website, but I don't have a name for the house and I doubt it will have a number because the rest of the lane are all named.