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property fraud

Protect yourself from property fraud

By Mike Riddle

Residential Conveyancing Department

Today more than ever it is important to try and protect yourself and your property against fraud. Fraudsters are becoming much more sophisticated in their methods. In particular they are targeting properties where the owner does not reside at the property (for instance because they are being rented out), those properties which are empty or do not have a mortgage secured on them.

Recently there have been some high profile cases where fraudster have managed to steal the identity of the true owners of the property. The fraudsters have then sold the property to a purchaser without the knowledge of the true legal owner. In order to try and mitigate such risks, HM Land Registry have introduced a free property alert service. Owners can register with HM Land Registry to be notified of any activity regarding properties which they own. This is a completely free service which you can sign up to it in a matter of minutes. Further information on the service can be obtained from www.gov.uk/landregistry by following the link to property alert service.

Using the above scheme you can monitor up to 10 properties in England and Wales. You will receive email alerts when there is activity on the properties you are monitoring. This would pick up such activities as an application to change ownership details or the registration of a charge against the property. It is however important to note that this will not automatically stop fraud happening. It is however a very useful early warning sign of suspicious activity. Properties that are covered are only those which are registered at HM land Registry however.

Lamb & Holmes offer a service whereby clients with properties which are currently not registered can apply for Voluntary First Registration of their properties. This is encouraged by HM Land Registry. HM Land Registry currently offer a reduced fee for this service, which is 75% of the normal fee for providing the service.

If you would like to discuss this service further please contact Michael Riddle at MRiddle@lamb-holmes.co.uk for further information.

 

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Lamb and Holmes Solicitors have offices in Kettering and Corby, Northamptonshire.

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