50,000 people have signed up to the Land Registry anti property fraud Alert.

Private landlords and second home owners among others, may be interested in a relatively little known service from the Land Registry designed to combat property fraud.

The Property Alert service helps people to detect fraudulent activity on their property by sending them email alerts when certain activity is detected on the property they are monitoring. This includes applications to take out a mortgage against the property, or to change ownership details for example. If the activity is suspicious and unknown to the owner, they can alert the Land Registry using a dedicated property fraud reporting telephone line or email address. Whilst the 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.

Property fraud is relatively rare but the consequences of falling foul of fraudulent activity targeting one of your properties can be difficult, time consuming and costly to rectify. 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.

Whilst any home owner can potentially become a victim of property fraud, you are more at risk if you have suffered identity theft or live abroad or your property:

  • is rented out
  • is empty
  • is mortgage-free
  • isn’t registered with Land Registry (Properties most likely to be unregistered are those that haven’t changed hands or been mortgaged since 1990).

For more information on the Land Registry Property Alert service click here.

to chat