Nowadays we are constantly warned about identity fraud and how to avoid it but how about Property fraud. You may say I don't think this is very likely after all the deeds of the property are in my name so how could this happen.
Your property is probably the most valuable asset you own. That's why it's important you do whatever you can to protect it from the risk of fraud.
A clever fraudsters will often target people who own properties where there is no mortgage or the owner lives elsewhere. They will attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using forged documents to transfer the property into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner.
Obviously if you are living in your home then you have greater control, but a fraudster is clever and usually only targets the vunerable. When reading this you need to consider whether you come under the category of one of the groups who would be considered to be vulnerable to the possibility of property fraud
- has your relationship broken down
- Is your property empty or has been bought to let
- Are you spending time abroad or are absent
- Are you becoming infirm or are you or a member of your family in a nursing or care home
- Is your property mortgage free
You can ensure that keep the name and address of the owner of the property up to date. This is simply done by clicking on http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/2574/updating_contact_form.pdf
and sending the completed form to :-
If your property is not registered and 20% of all properties owned in England and Wales are still not registered then you may have a bundle of deeds. These form the documents of title. If the land/property is mortgaged, your lender will normally hold these deeds as security for their loan, however some people do choose to keep these documents in their home. To avoid someone taking them and using them fraudently REGISTER YOUR PROPERTY IMMEDIATELY for full details of how to do this go to http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/faqs/how-do-i-register-my-property
If you do not live at the property enter a RQ Restriction at the Land Registry There is no charge for entering this restrict and you get a little more peace of mind. So just fill in the appropriate form that can be found at http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/RQ.pdf and send it to:-
Woodside Ferry Approach
Owner occupiers who do live at their premises can also request a restriction using form RX1. The Land Registry have created a special restriction for those who believe they may be at risk. This Form LL restriction makes sure that the Land Registry will not register a sale or a mortgage, unless a solicitor or other conveyancer has certified that the person who has signed the deed is the registered owner. This is likely to prevent a fraudster forging a signature. There is a £50 fee for this service and the wording of a restriction is very important and should read as follows:-
"No disposition of the registered estate by the proprietor of the registered estate is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer that the conveyancer is satisfied that the person who executed the document submitted for registration as disponor is the same person as the proprietor"
We think that £50.00 for peace of mind is a very small price to pay.
For fuller details of how your can prevent property fraud go to http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/property-fraud
THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY