Since 2009, Land Registry has stopped fraud involving properties worth more than £92 million.
Property is most at risk of fraud if it is rented out or is empty or is mortgage free or is not registered with the Land Registry, and this applies whether the property is commercial or residential.
You can monitor properties you own and also those that you do not own, so you can monitor a property owned by others, such as an elderly or vulnerable relatives.
To help protect your property against fraud, we would recommend the following:
Firstly, make sure that your property is registered, because if you are the innocent victim of fraud and suffer financial loss then you may be compensated. Also, when you want to sell or get a mortgage over your property, it will be easier and quicker to complete those transactions if your property is registered.
Secondly, make sure that you sign up to Property Alert, a free service provided by the Land Registry which takes minutes to set up, and can be used to monitor up to 10 properties. Visit the website here: https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk.
You will receive email alerts when there is certain activity on the property you are monitoring, such as an application to change the ownership details or if a new mortgage is taken out against it. The Property Alert email will not automatically stop a fraud from happening, but it is a useful early warning of suspicious activity, so that you can then take action if it is suspicious.
Thirdly, make sure that your contact details held by the Land Registry are up to date. The Land Registry permit up to 3 addresses in the register, including an email address and/or an address abroad. The Land Registry use the address in the proprietorship register to contact you about your property, so if your address is out of date, then you may not get important correspondence about your property.
We can help if you want to apply for first registration of your property or want to update your contact details with the Land Registry. Get in touch with Philip on 01530 266000, or to send him an email click here.