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23rd November, 2018 by Tessa Haskey
Property owners are at risk from fraud. There are lots of horror stories about fraudsters impersonating property owners; selling or mortgaging those properties and disappearing with the cash.
This type of fraud is less likely where you live in your own home, but if you have a portfolio of properties which are tenanted or empty you are at risk. Property fraud is often linked with identity theft. A fraudster might change his name to yours, or pretend to be you, and then seek to sell or mortgage a property which you own. That risk can increase further if you have no mortgage or your property is unregistered. As a separate point, it is always best to apply to register unregistered land as you are protected in a number of ways, and we can help with that.
There are steps you can take to protect your property assets:
You don’t need to be the owner of the property to set up the alert. I have set up alerts for the homes of my parents and my mother-in-law via https://www.gov.uk/guidance/property-alert. It was very easy to do: you just need the address of the property (not the Land Registry title number). My parents and mother-in-law are elderly and have no mortgages. If they have to go into sheltered accommodation, and their properties are empty for a time, I will get an alert if anyone tries to mortgage or sell.
The Land Registry has also produced a really good video which highlights the risks, which can be accessed here: