How to Protect a Property Portfolio against Fraud
Between 2009 and 2017, the Land Registry prevented 254 fraudulent applications from being registered, representing properties valued at more than £117 million.
If you have been a victim of property fraud get in touch with our Conveyancing Solicitors or call the Land Registry Property Fraud Line on 0300 006 7030.
Property fraud is where fraudsters try to “steal” a property, usually by pretending to be the owner and then selling or mortgaging the property without their knowledge – and then disappearing with the money.
You’re less likely to suffer property fraud if you live in your house, but if you have a portfolio of tenanted or empty properties, then you are at risk.
5 Steps to Protect against Property Fraud
- Register your properties with the Land Registry. This can cost between £30 and £680 for a voluntary registration, but this depends on how much your properties are worth.
- If you have registered your properties with the Land Registry, you can then set up a Property Alert Account. This is a free service that lets you monitor up to 10 properties. As a result, it could be especially useful if you have a portfolio of buy-to-let or investment properties.
- Make sure the address registered on the Title at the Land Registry is your postal address, rather than the address of the properties you own. With that in mind, it’s very important to let them know if your name, address or any of your contact details changes at any point, so any correspondence regarding your properties will come to your attention.
- The Land Registry will get in touch with you if there is an application to register something that relates to a property you own, for instance, a mortgage. So if you believe the application is fraudulent, you can contact the Land Registry to let them know.
- Register a Restriction against the property title at the Land Registry. With this in place, the Land Registry won’t be able to register a sale or mortgage on your property unless a Conveyancer or Solicitor has certified that you were the person who made the application.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Southport.