Protect your Property Against Identity Fraud
With interest rates continuing to lie at low levels many investors have re-focused their investments in the property market. Despite recent challenges to the buy to let market, property investment remains popular. Unfortunately when you own a number of properties, there is always the risk of property fraud.
So imagine this scenario; you have just returned from a two month trip abroad and you return to the situation where an investment property has been sold and transferred to a new purchaser without your knowledge, or additional borrowing has been fraudulently entered against your property.
This is identity fraud and it still happens.
How do we prevent the above scenario; well luckily the Land Registry now offer the following solutions:
Ensure that the Land Registry holds your current up-to-date correspondence addresses. Up to three correspondence addresses can be placed for each property. It would be an idea to ensure your solicitor’s address is added so that any applications to adjust the title would be brought to the attention of yourself and your appointed solicitors.
Register with the Land Registry to receive property alerts whenever applications such as mortgage are registered on your title. This is free and you can receive alerts for up to 10 properties at any one time. This would enable you to take appropriate action after the alert but please note that it does not block any changes/applications.
Register a restriction on the title to your property e.g. to ensure that a solicitor certifies the application was made by you. This is free for those who do not reside in the property in question and would cost £40 for properties which you actually live in.
Prevention is better than cure. However, if you are a victim of fraud; contact a solicitor immediately and notify the Land Registry on their dedicated hotline:
HM Land Registry property fraud line
Telephone: 0300 006 7030
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm