The Land Registry have recently highlighted the importance of taking steps to protect your property from fraud. This follows the publicity surrounding the court case of Laylah De Cruz and her mother Dianne Moorcroft the mother and daughter who were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. They duped professionals into enabling a fraudulent application for a £1.2 million bridging loan by impersonating the registered proprietor.
You could be at risk if:
The title is not registered at the land registry
The property is rented out
The property address is the only contact address for the owner
The property is mortgage-free
Your property is of high value
Do any of the above apply to properties you own?
As the Land Registry point out no system can be 100 per cent fraud-proof but there are steps you can take to protect your property from fraud.
How to protect yourself to reduce the risk of fraud:
Make sure your property is registered. We can apply for first registration for you. Once registered the title is stored electronically by the Land Registry and there are no concerns over losing title deeds.
Make sure your contact details are up-to-date. You can have up to three addresses which can include an email address and an address abroad.
Sign up for the Land Registry’s free Property Alert service. With this the Land Registry will send an email alert when there is certain activity on a monitored property. You can judge whether the activity is suspicious and seek further advice if you are concerned
If you feel your property might be at risk of fraud, you can have a restriction entered. This is intended to stop certain applications unless notice is served on us (as your nominated solicitor). We can then confirm if the application was made by you or not.