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Mon 29 November 2021
You may have read in the press recently of a case where a vicar, who had been living away, returned to his home to discover that it had been sold without his knowledge. His subsequent investigations revealed that his property, which was owned outright, had been illegally purchased by a professional scammer. Properties most at of this risk include empty properties, tenanted properties, and those without a mortgage.
Apparently 99% of property owners fail to take a basic step in preventing the fraudulent theft of their properties and are unaware of HM Land Registry’s free property alert service, where an owner can register up to 10 properties.
I happen to own investment properties myself and after hearing of this successful scam I decided to investigate the alert service offered by the HM Land Registry office. All you need is the property address to create an alert and you will then be notified if anybody approaches the land registry service to make any changes to ownership etc. I did get a shock where it indicated that there had been a recent application to land registry on one of my properties, but I subsequently learnt that this was in respect of a small boundary change a few months ago. But it just goes to show that this very simple task is worth doing.
I recommend that all landlords, second property owners, or people that leave their home empty for significant periods of time sign up to this free service, whether they have a mortgage or not, it is always good to know if there is any activity in respect of a property in your ownership, and ultimately protect your biggest investments.
You can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/protect-land-property-from-fraud
Andrew Granger & Co is an independent property firm with over 30 years knowledge and experience in all areas of property, operating across Leicestershire and beyond from offices in Market Harborough, Leicester, and Loughborough. You can find out more and get in touch at www.andrewgranger.co.uk.