Tracing absentee owners

Land ownership is public information, as is the name of landlords


Check the Register of Private Landlords

Ask the tenant for the name of the flat owner.  They may refer you to a letting agent. Contact them. Letting agents in Scotland are required to register and follow a Code of Guidance which says  agents must respond promptly to any appropriate third parties "particularly where these relate to statutory repairing or maintenance obligations or safety regulations.”

Register of Private Landlords

Empty Flats

You can find the name of the current owner in the Land Register.  Note that it may take a few months to update the register after a sale.  You will have to pay a small fee.

You can also search the Land Register for other properties owned by a person.  This may give you a home address.

If your Council has an Empty Homes Officer, contact them for help.

Land Register

Scottish Empty Homes Partnership


You can find the names of shop owners and their tenants through the Scottish Assessors website "search" function.

Search Scottish Assessors

Help from your Council

If you are trying to carry out common repairs, most local authorities will send a message to the person registered as the property owner on the Council Tax Register.  Approach the private sector housing staff for help.

Searching online

Try searching online for the owner if you know the name.  You may come across a facebook page or other reference.  If you contact an owner through e.g. Facebook, this will count as an electronic communication.  Keep screenshots of such communications for your records.

Sheriff Officers and Private Detectives

This may incur a cost but could be worth it if other methods have failed and you have a lot of money at stake.

More about Sheriff Officers