Currently, more than 85% of land in England and Wales is registered at the Land Registry.
The Land Registry is working hard to encourage landowners to register their land, and has committed to registering 100% of land in England & Wales by 2030.
While this will assist in establishing ownership of land easily by way of downloading the registered title of a property from the Land Registry’s online portal at the cost of £3.00 per document, it is a relatively cheap way to also impersonate the owner of a property by doctoring documents to fraudulently sell a property.
While it may be less likely to happen if you live in your property, many unoccupied investment properties and holiday homes are proving to be golden opportunities for fraudsters to strike.
How do you protect yourself against fraudsters? I cannot offer you a bullet proof solution, however, I would strongly recommend that you consider registering for the Land Registry’s free property alert service which sends an email alert each time there is significant activity on the monitored property, for example, a new mortgage is taken out against it or a prospective buyer has applied for an “official search” against the property. This will enable you to act quicker in the event a fraudulent transaction is taking place.
Trust me, it will take you the same amount of time as brewing a cup of tea and could save you a great deal of hassle. Click here to sign up.
If you have any queries regarding property transactions, please contact any member of our property team on 01494 521 301.