Property fraud is on the rise, and if you own your property outright, have an empty property or rent your property out to tenants, then you are most at risk of fraudulent theft.
What is Fraudulent Theft of Your Property?
Property fraud comes in many shapes and sizes, but the fraudulent theft of your property involves someone claiming your property as their own and selling it without your permission. This, unfortunately, happened to reverend Mike Hall whose identity was stolen and then used to sell his house. You can read more about that case here.
While we’d like to say that this was an isolated incident, it is not as uncommon as you may think, and so it is important to protect yourself and your property if you want to lower your risk.
How to Protect your Property from Fraudulent Theft
If you only own one property and are currently living in it, then it is much harder to fall victim to this scam. However, property investors, landlords, second property owners and those who leave their homes vacant for long periods of time should take some extra measures.
By far, the easiest way to prevent the fraudulent theft of your property is to sign up for the HM Land Registry’s free property alert service. This service will notify you if anyone approaches the land registry to make a change of ownership or tries to make alterations to your property boundaries.
How to Sign Up for the HM Land Registry Property Alert Service
Signing up for this free service couldn’t be easier, which is why it’s something we recommend all of our customers do.
To sign up, head over to https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/ and create an account. Once you have an account, you will be able to set up alerts for up to 10 properties.
Once you have alerts set up, you will be notified whenever an official search or application is received against one of your monitored properties. If this activity looks in any way suspicious, you are then prompted to take immediate action.
Things to Know About the HM Land Registry Property Alert Service
- You will need an email address to sign up.
- You can register for alerts on up to 10 properties.
- You do not need to own a property to set up an alert.
- Multiple people can monitor the same property.
- You can use this service without access to the internet by calling the Property Alert team on 0300 006 0478.
Protecting your Property From Fraud
For more information about protecting your land and property from fraud, visit https://www.gov.uk/protect-land-property-from-fraud. If you're at all worried about property fraud during the buying or selling process, then please get in touch with us at Paul Stripp Estate Agency, Battle.