Imagine scrolling through Right Move and finding your house is up for sale without your knowledge. This is what happened to Mr To of Stockport after fraudsters had stolen his identity and transferred his property into their name! The gang involved had stolen Mr To’s mail from his mailbox in order to steal his identity. You can read full details of this case on the BBC News Website
According to Gov.uk, you are more at risk from property fraud if:
- your identity’s been stolen
- you rent out your property
- you live overseas
- the property’s empty
- the property isn’t mortgaged
- the property isn’t registered with Land Registry (your property may be unregistered if you bought it before 1998 and haven’t re-mortgaged)
What can you do to protect your home?
- Land Registry Alert Service
Property Fraud is on the increase and in response to this, the Land Registry have launched a Property Alert Service. You simply register with them and choose the property you wish to monitor (you can monitor up to 10 at any one time). This service will not prevent any activity such as transfer of ownership, etc but will alert you to any activity on your property at the Land Registry. You can sign up for property alerts for free at www.propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk
- Put a restriction on your property
You can put a restriction on your title which will stop the registering of a sale or a mortgage on your property without a certificate from a Solicitor confirming that it is in fact you who have sold the property or have obtained a mortgage.
If you are a business owner and own a property as a company, you can apply for a restriction for free by completing this form
If you own a residential property but do not live in it, you can apply for a restriction for free by completing this form www.gov.uk/government/publications/restriction-by-owner-not-living-at-property-request-registration-rq
Finally, if you wish to place a restriction on a property you live in, you can apply by completing this form. www.gov.uk/government/publications/enter-a-restriction-registration-rx1. There is a fee of £40.
What to do if you are a victim of property fraud?
Contact the Land Registry property fraud line.
Telephone: 0300 006 7030
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm