New measures to tackle property fraud
A new counter-fraud security measure has been introduced by the Land Registry for companies who own registered property and are concerned it might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage. The new property alert service can be used to monitor any property in England or Wales that is registered with the Land Registry. Once registered, owners or other interested parties will receive email alerts when certain activity occurs on their monitored properties, allowing them to take action if necessary.
According to the Land Registry, tenanted, unoccupied or mortgage-free properties are known to be particularly vulnerable to fraud. Fraudsters can attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using a forged document to transfer it into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner. They can then use this bogus evidence to support a mortgage application. Once the mortgage is completed the offender disappears, leaving the property owner to pay the bill.
Private owners and companies who feel their property might be at risk can have a restriction entered on their title register which is designed to help prevent forgery. Corporate clients affected can register up to three titles free of charge. More than three will cost £45 per title if delivered electronically.
Readers who would like to take advantage of this service should call us for more information.