Protect your land and property from fraud

Why you should register your home with the Land Registry.

Property fraud is increasing. Properties being sold or illegally mortgaged without the owner’s knowledge or consent, are regularly reported in newspapers.

Despite it being the major asset that many people own, not everyone is aware of how Deeds work or how the Land Registry works.

A mortgage fraud works when a criminal uses forged documents to present themselves as the owner of the property.

It is not unknown for a homeowner to return to their property after a few months working away and find that the house has new owners, the property has been gutted and renovations have taken place. Things then turn costly as the process of recovering the house and the proceeds of this crime often end up in court.

When you have bought a house you can take steps to prevent it being sold fraudulently or being mortgaged.

Some risk factors are:

  • your identity’s been stolen
  • you rent out your property
  • you live overseas
  • the property’s empty
  • the property is not mortgaged
  • the property is not registered with HM Land Registry

Your property will be registered if you bought it or mortgaged it since 1998 - check the register if you’re unsure.

You must tell HM Land Registry if information in the register is incorrect, for example if you change your contact address.

You can track changes to the register or put a restriction on your title if you think you’re at risk.

Hewetts Solicitors recommend you track changes to the Land Register.

You can sign up to get property alerts if someone applies to change the register of your property, for example if someone tries to use your property for a mortgage.

This will not automatically block any changes to the register but will alert you when something changes so that you can take action.

You can get alerts for up to 10 properties - there’s no fee so it makes sense to do it as a warning signal.

You will get an email alert every six months that looks like this;

“Thank you for using the HM Land Registry's Property Alert service. This email contains a six month summary of the activity on your account.

The following properties are currently being monitored on your Property Alert Account:

Property address: 43, Pierces Hill, Tilehurst, Reading, RG31 6RB

Title number: BK554567

There have been no alert notifications issued on this property.”

We are experienced conveyancing solicitors in Reading. Take advantage of our local expertise for your property needs.

For my full conveyancing guide, please reserve your PDF by clicking here.

When you are thinking of buying or selling, or even repaying a mortgage or taking out a buy to let loan, please get in touch with me for expert advice on my Direct Line: 0118 955 9605 or Email: d.sumitra@hewetts.co.uk

Published on 31/01/2022

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