Land Registry urges Landlords to register for their Property Fraud Alert Service

The Land Registry service alerting homeowners to fraudsters targeting their properties is attracting an increasing number of subscribers. Residential landlords are a high risk group and the Land Registry is encouraging them to sign up and protect their properties against fraudsters attempting to sell or mortgage properties without the owners’ knowledge. Particularly at risk are empty properties and homes with no mortgage.

Once signed up, the Land Registry sends email alerts when it receives applications to change the register or for official searches. The owner can decide whether the activity is suspicious.

More than 29,000 homeowners have signed up for the service since its launch in 2014. In a recent case, fraudsters pocketed £50,000 by selling an empty home they didn’t own. The fraud was spotted before it was registered but the criminals are still at large.

Alasdair Lewis, Director of Legal Services at the Land Registry, says “Property is usually the most valuable asset people own. It can be sold and mortgaged to raise money and can therefore be an attractive target for fraudsters. Property fraud is where fraudsters try to “steal” your property, most commonly by pretending to be you and selling or mortgaging your property without your knowledge. Since 2009 the Land Registry has stopped the registration of fraudulent transactions against properties worth more than £80 million.”

For more information and to sign up to Property Alert visit the Land Registry on https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk.

 

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