James Duffy, MNAEA MARLA CeMAP, Branch Manager at Callaways Estate & Lettings Agents offers his invaluable advice on Preventing Property Fraud.
"To prevent property fraud, use the Land Registry Property Alert Service. Property is usually our most valuable asset so it’s important to protect it from the ever-increasing risk of fraud.
Land Registry is doing all it can to detect and prevent fraud but no system can be 100% fraud-proof, which is why people should be protecting themselves from property fraud, including signing up for Property Alert.
The service helps property owners and absent Landlords to detect fraudulent activity on their property by sending them email alerts when there is certain activity on the property being monitored, such as a mortgage being taken out against it. The recipient can then decide whether they think the activity is suspicious and act quickly if so.
Property fraud is where fraudsters try to “steal” a property, most commonly by stealing the homeowner’s identity and selling or mortgaging the property without their knowledge. They then disappear with the money leaving the true owner to deal with the consequences!
Since 2009, Land Registry has stopped fraud on properties worth more than £92 million.
How the Alert works:
You can monitor up to 10 registered properties in England and Wales. You will receive email alerts when there is certain activity on the properties you are monitoring, such as an application to change the ownership details.
Although Property Alert won’t automatically stop fraud from happening, it’s a useful early warning of suspicious activity which the home-owner can investigate if they are suspicious."
Sign up to HM Land Registry's free Property Alert service to help protect your property from fraud at https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/