Are you at risk of property fraud?
If you own a property which is empty, there is a chance that you are open to the risk of property fraud.
Using forged documents and basic acting skills, it isn’t too difficult for an experienced fraudster to take control of and illegally sell your empty property. The risk of this happening is greater now that title to property is stored electronically at the Land registry without paper title deeds.
Elderly property owners in residential care, executors of estates including property, those who live for long periods of time outside of the UK and property investors with multiple properties are particularly at risk.
The Land Registry has encouraged owners of property likely to be empty for long periods of time to add a sale Restriction to the Title Register.
This Restriction will protect you by making it impossible to register a sale of your home or other property unless a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer has certified in writing that the person selling the property is the person legally entitled to do so.
Adding this Restriction is a very prudent course of action for those at risk of property fraud.
In an effort to persuade more people to take this action, from the 1st February 2012, the Land Registry abolished the fee payable for adding the restriction to the Title Register for empty properties. A £50 fee is still payable for owner occupied homes.
Should you have a property you are concerned about, contact BRM’s George Thomson on 01246 564047, or email him using our contact form.