A client recently made us aware of the ability to protect your land and property from fraud. You can take steps to protect your property from being fraudulently sold or mortgaged. This only takes a couple of minutes to put in place and if you own rental properties or properties with no mortgage then it’s really important. Remember to think about family members you could pass this information onto.
You’re more at risk if:
• your identity’s been stolen
• you rent out your property
• you live overseas
• the property’s empty
• the property isn’t mortgaged
• the property isn’t registered with Land Registry
Your property will be registered if you bought it or mortgaged it since 1998 - check the register if you’re unsure.
You must tell Land Registry if information in the register is incorrect, eg if you change your contact address.
You can track changes to the register or put a restriction on your title if you think you’re at risk.
Track changes to the register
You can sign up to get property alerts if someone applies to change the register of your property, e.g. someone tries to use your property for a mortgage.
This won’t automatically block any changes to the register but will alert you when something changes so that you can take action.
You can get alerts for up to 10 properties - there’s no fee.
Put a restriction on your title
You can stop Land Registry registering a sale or mortgage on your property unless a conveyancer or solicitor certifies the application was made by you.
Fill in a request for a restriction if you’re a company owning property.
Send your application to the address on the form - there’s no fee.
If you don’t live at the property
Fill in a request for a restriction for owners not living at the property if you own the property privately - there’s no fee.
If you live at the property
Fill in an application for a restriction. It costs £40.
Send completed forms to the Land Registry Citizen Centre.
PO Box 74
Land Registry will tell you when they add the restriction.
If you’re a victim of property fraud
Contact Land Registry property fraud line if you think you’re the victim of property fraud.
Land Registry property fraud line
Telephone: 0300 006 7030
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges
You can also:
• get advice from Citizens Advice Bureau or an independent legal adviser
• report it to Action Fraud