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Property Fraud – It's bigger that you think

by Michael Bailey | 2 February 2015

I was recently reading about the Land Registry's 'Property Alert' function that is designed to help combat property fraud.

Surprisingly, fraudsters are able to "steal” your property by pretending to be you and selling or mortgaging your property without you ever knowing. Once they have the money, you deal with the consequences when the bank is looking for their money back; or when someone turns up to your door step with a moving van.

Is it really that easy for them? Apparently so; the Land Registry since 2009 has stopped £67 million in property fraud. Most at risk are empty houses, houses without mortgages, rental properties, when your identity has been stolen or if your property is not registered.

The service is very simple. You can monitor up to 10 properties, you need a valid email or postal address and the address or title number. The idea is that each time a search or application is received, you will get an alert, you can then determine if it is specious or not.

One simple change to stop so much fraud? Only time will tell, ultimately is is up to you if you own a property. You must keep the Land Registry updated with your updated information, register any unregistered properties and use this new function.

What do you think of the new Land Registry Property Alert service? Have you experienced property fraud or identity theft? We would love to see your comments below.