Financial & Legal News

Property fraud is on the rise

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Property fraud is where fraudsters try to ‘steal’ your property by pretending to be you and selling or mortgaging your property and leaving you to pick up the pieces.  It mainly affects residential and commercial landlords. 

You will be at increased risk of fraud if you have property that is:

  • Empty
  • Rented out
  • Mortgage-free
  • Buy to Let property

How to Protect against Property Fraud

  1. Ensure your property is registered with HM Land Registry. Your property will be registered if you have bought or mortgage it since 1998.  Registration gives you some protection again fraud and, if you do become a victim and lose money, then you may receive compensation.  If your property isn’t’ registered then you will not able to make a claim for compensation.
  2. Make sure your contact details are up-to-date.  You can add up to three addresses including an email address or an address abroad so that you can be contacted about any changes to the register.
  3. Use the Property Alert Service. This will ensure you will be contacted if there is certain activity on your property e.g. if someone tries to take a mortgage on it.
  4. Apply for a restriction to prevention forgery.  This gives you an extra layer of security stopping activity on your property such as a transfer or mortgage, unless a solicitor or other professional conveyancer certifies they have checked the identity of the person who has signed the deed.

We can make this application for you to prevent any unauthorised activity giving you peace of mind that your property is secure.

We provide this service free of charge for our portfolio clients.

If you would like any further information or advice on how to protect your property from fraud please contact Victoria Marshall our conveyancing solicitor.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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