If your property is registered, you should consider signing up to HM Land Registry’s free Property Alert service to help protect your property from fraud.
Property fraud is where fraudsters try to “steal” a property, most commonly by pretending to be the legal owner and selling or mortgaging the property without the owner’s knowledge.
Since September 2009, HM Land Registry has prevented 254 fraudulent applications being registered, representing properties valued in excess of £117m.
Using this service a property owner can monitor their own registered property, or even the property of a relative (you do not have to own a property to set up an alert) and can choose up to 10 properties to monitor.
Anyone registering with the service will receive email alerts when there is certain activity on the properties they are monitoring, such as if a new mortgage is taken out against it. The alert will confirm the type of activity (such as an application to change the register or a notification that an application may be due), who the applicant is and the date and time it has been received.
Obviously, not all alert emails will mean fraudulent activity and signing up to the service will not automatically stop fraud from happening. However, anyone signing up to the service will obviously have a head start in preventing potential fraud from taking place if they act quickly enough.
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