Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
Recent years have seen a worrying increase in property fraud. An extremely alarming trend has been highlighted in a recent article by Max Hastings in the Daily Mail :
Fortunately, this particular type of property fraud is avoidable. Alongside the usual due diligence and stringent identity checks that we property professionals carry out as a matter of course for every client we represent, the Land Registry has introduced a new alert scheme designed to give peace of mind and security to property owners:
Land register scheme
The alert scheme is provided as a free service to private individuals, who are able to sign up to e-mail alerts for up to ten properties in England & Wales. All you need to register are a valid e-mail address and the postcode or title number of the property you wish to monitor. Once signed up you will receive an e-mail alert from the Land Registry if any applications are made to the Land Registry for these properties. This means that you will be notified of any unusual activity affecting your property at an early stage together with advice as to who you should contact in relation to the attempted fraud.
While this alert service cannot replace the requirement for conveyancers and letting agents to be vigilant and cautious, the hope is that this will provide peace of mind to property owners while providing an extra layer of security to protect property owners and purchasers from becoming victims of these fraudsters.