Reducing the Risk of Property Fraud


Overview

In our modern world we enjoy the benefits of digital technology. Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of this by exploiting new methods to commit fraud. Instead of stealing from our homes they are now stealing our homes.


Steps to take to Reduce the Risk of Property Fraud

There are four things you can do to reduce this risk:

  1. Apply for an up to date Title Register and Day List.
  2. Sign up for a free Property Alert.
  3. Update your Contact Address and Adding More Contact Addresses.
  4. Apply to the Land Registry for a Restriction to be placed in your Title Register.

 

1. Title Register and Day List

An up to date copy of the Title Register will alert you to property dealings that you are unaware of. When an application is made for registration of a new purchase or mortgage, while the application is pending, an entry is made in the Land Registry’s Day List. This will state if there are any applications awaiting registration. When you buy a Title Register from us we check this list and if there are entries we send you a copy with your Register. If an application appears to be suspicious, e.g. an application is pending to register a mortgage that you have not applied for, you should immediately contact the Land Registry’s Action Fraud department, as per the details at the foot of this article.

Example of the Land Registry Day List that we send with each Title Register request (where there are entries)

Application Enquiry

Application list
Enquiry time: 26 Oct 2022 at 12:28

Title Number XXXXX
Discharge Activity

Dealing 15 Mar 2022
Customer Reference: 20202202
Transfer of Part 01 Mar 2022. New Title 3223232222
(Plot 7) 6, The Rawlings
Customer Reference: 3030303

The Day List provides brief details of all Pending Applications affecting the Title, as shown above. You can see immediately if any of the applications are unexpected. A Dealing is an application to re-register the property, following a sale or mortgage. The Transfer is the legal document giving rise to the application for registration.

2. Property Alert

You can sign up for a free property alert and will thereafter receive an alert from the Land Registry whenever certain activity which could affect your ownership is detected. The alert will state the type of activity, e.g. an application to change the ownership or add a mortgage. It will also state by whom it was made and when.

3. Updating your Contact Address, and Adding More

Each registered owner can have up to three separate contact addresses, which may include an email address and an address Abroad. So if there are two owners you could have up to six separate contact addresses. The owner’s contact address is shown in section B of the Title Register. It should be updated whenever you move out of your address, so that the Land Registry can contact you if there is suspicious activity.

4. Restriction Requiring a Certificate

An application to Register a Restriction can be made by your solicitor or conveyancer to prevent the sale of your property without a certificate from that solicitor. Application is made using Land Registry form RX1.

It would be in the nature of:

(02.07.2017)   No disposition of the registered estate is to be registered without a certificate signed by the registered proprietor’s solicitors.

A purchaser’s solicitor or mortgagee’s solicitor will always check the Title Register before proceeding with the purchase or mortgage of a property. They will look in Section B to ensure there are no Restrictions that would inhibit a sale or mortgage from proceeding. Once your Restriction is added to the Register the solicitor acting for the purchaser or mortgagee would immediately contact the vendor’s solicitor to ask for a certificate, without which he would not proceed. Without the Certificate the Land Registry will refuse to register the purchase or mortgage, protecting you from the intended fraud.

f you have also registered a property alert, such an alert would be sent to you, upon receipt of which you should contact the Land Registry’s Action Fraud department.

Their contact details are:

Email: reportafraud@landregistry.gov.uk
Tel: 0300 006 7030.


Title Register

The Land Registry Title Register holds data relating to the property ownership, purchase price, mortgage, tenure, covenants, rights of way, leases and class of title.

£19.95

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Title Plan

The Title Plan shows an outline of the property and its immediate neighbourhood, and uses colours to identify rights of way, general boundaries and land affected by covenants.

£19.95

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Conveyancing Deeds

Deeds creating Restrictions, Covenants, Easements, etc. are often kept digitally by the Land Registry and made available for sale due to their invaluable detail and content to assist in further understanding the Restrictions, etc.

£29.95

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