Property Fraud

29 November 2018

The UK has seen a high increase in Property purchases but this has brought about an increase in property fraud.

As the buy to let market has seen a growth it has become vulnerable to criminals who are trying to defraud the system and individuals.

A property owner who is a landlord might have not noticed but the tenant could be selling the house they live in. There has been a number of high profiles cases where tenants have sold a property by posing as home owners

Linked to property fraud is cyber fraud and identity theft. We have become more dependent on technology and properties are usually our largest assets. Solicitors now act for clients not just in their locality but throughout the country, this can also include clients who live abroad but have properties in the UK. Fraudsters might change names via deeds polls and use fake ID.

Those that are an easy target for fraud include landlords who rent out their properties and these properties are not in the same locality. It is harder to keep an eye on your property when you live away from it.

It is also easier to commit fraud on a property that is empty, as no one keeps an eye on the property the fraudsters will pretend the property is theirs

Protection for home owners:

There are simple ways to protect yourself.

Land Registry Alerts:

The land registry has introduced a free and easy way to protect your property. Property owners can now sign up to property alerts, If fraudsters try to make any changes to the ownership of the property i.e they try to sell or mortgage the property then the home owner is made alert.

You can get alerts for up to 10 properties and ther is no Land Registry fee.

Restriction on the Property:

The land registry will allow property owners to put a restriction on the property, this would mean that no sale or mortgage can take place without the property owners solicitor or conveyancer signing a certificate.

For further information on this matter please contact Curtis Law Solicitors and we will be happy to provide further information on this service