Guarding against property fraud: What is property fraud and am I at risk?

Fraud is now the most prevalent crime in the UK with the Office for National Statistics recording over three million cases annually. Property fraud in particular should concern homeowners.

Property fraud commonly involves a fraudster impersonating a property owner in an attempt to obtain funds by either selling the property or securing debt against the property.

You may be at particular risk from property fraud if:

  • Your property is empty
  • Your property is tenanted
  • You have been a victim of identity theft
  • You live overseas
  • Your property is mortgage free
  • Your property is not registered with the Land Registry

Concerned homeowners can use Property Alert, a free service from the Land Registry, to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of property fraud. Once a homeowner has signed up to Property Alert they will be contacted by the Land Registry should any one of the following applications be received:

  • A property sale
  • A change of name and/or address of the registered owner
  • A re-mortgage
  • A repayment of an existing mortgage

The alert will enable the homeowner to take appropriate action should the application be fraudulent.

In addition, the Land Registry will allow a homeowner to monitor up to 10 registered properties. This means that not only can a homeowner protect their own property but they can also help safeguard properties belonging to vulnerable friends and family members.

For more information about protecting yourself and your property against the risk of fraud, please contact our Conveyancing team on 0113 264 4414 or email conveyancing@emsleys.co.uk.

Mark Laird

Written by

Mark Laird

Conveyancing

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