property-fraud-legal-news-beaconsfield-2019We all know the sad truth in the modern World that fraud in general is on the rise but not everyone is aware yet of property fraud, and the Land Registry wants that to change.  Your property is often your most valuable asset, so it is important to protect it.

Fraudsters target properties by pretending to be you so that they can try to sell or mortgage your property and the tactics they use are ever more sophisticated.  The Land Registry advise that you are most at risk if your property is:

  • Rented out
  • Empty
  • Mortgage-free
  • Unregistered

There are a few simple things you can do to minimise the risks.

  1. Make sure your property is registered at HM Land Registry.  It should be already, if you bought it or mortgaged it since 1990, but if it is not then you can apply voluntarily for first registration.
  2. Keep your contact details up to date with the Land Registry, including an email address or an address abroad.  This is particularly important if you do not live at the property and have moved since your purchase of it (landlords with buy-to-lets often overlook updating their rental property contact details when moving home themselves).
  3. Sign up to the Land Registry Property Alert Service  It is free of charge and the Land Registry will notify you of certain applications affecting any property you are monitoring (for up to 10 properties).

I would encourage everyone to follow these basic steps and to speak to any solicitor about what they can do if they have any concerns.  As with everything, with knowledge and understanding the fraudsters can be foiled.

Janine Heil, Partner, 

Leigh Duncan Solicitors 

Janine qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and set up Leigh Duncan in 2016 with her husband Ingmar. She has been acting in the sale and purchase of property for over 15 years, the last 10 of those have been based in Beaconsfield. If you have any questions, feel free to pop in and speak to Janine, Ingmar or any of the friendly team next time you are passing