Land Registry acts against property fraud

| February 20, 2008 | 2 Comments

The Land Registry is alerting property owners to the dangers of fraud.

Land and buildings are attractive targets to sophisticated fraudsters who have been known to sell or mortgage them, despite not having ownership.

Two new guides have been published by the Land Registry, giving advice to members of the public.

Public Guide 17, entitled “How to Safeguard Against Property Fraud” explains the steps that can be taken to help prevent fraud or forgery.

For example if a property isn’t registered the owner should consider applying for voluntary first registration (which offers a 25% discount in cost). It is also important for property owners keep their names and address up to date on Land Registry data.

Public Guide 20 focuses on identity checks and provides guidance on when evidence of identity must be lodged in support of an application for registration.

Cases of property fraud usually occur when a solicitor or conveyancer is not representing an applicant.

With this in mind, the Land Registry is widening the types of application where evidence of identity is required.

From March of this year, identity checks are being introduced to cover situations where parties to transactions are not legally represented.

The evidence of identity will be required when an application is made to register a transfer, lease or mortgage, and also for the discharge of a mortgage.

The guides are available at no charge from all Land Registry offices and are also available on the Land Registry website.

Comments (2)

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  1. john says:

    i wish to report a matter that needs to be investigated regarding the property 215 chamber road, oldham ol8 4dj -this property was sold in the late 1990′s without the knowledge and consent of the owner fraudulently and i am bringing it to your attention-and i believe you should fully investigate the matter as to how the current owners obtained it and you should conntact the owner of the property around 1996 who has no knowledge whatsoever that the property has been sold without their knowledge up to this day-please forward this matter to the relevant bodies for further investigation if you are not the correct people to investigate the matter-thank you

  2. Simon S says:

    If you want to protect your property against property fraud then there a number of actions you can take which may help. 1. If your property is unregistered then it is would wise to arrange for a conveyancing solicitor to register the property at the Land Registry as the deeds of your property would electronically stored with Land Registry. 2. A property owner could certainly consider adding a standard form restriction on their title register, particularly where their property is not subject to a mortgage (the existence of a mortgage and the usual accompanying restriction hopefully reduces the risk of fraud involving a mortgaged property). The aim of the restriction would be to prevent the Land Registry from registering a transfer of the property without a solicitor certifying that, for example, the transferor is indeed the registered proprietor. 3. If you are concerned that you are, or may become, the victim of property fraud, consider property fraud prevention by having more than one address for service. For example, you might want to have not just the property address, but also the address that you are now living at.

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