In 2012 the Land Registry paid out £5 million in compensation to people affected by property fraud.
We couldn’t find, despite an extensive search, more up to date figures from the Land Registry.
We think for obvious reasons: Property fraud is on the increase.
Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law
This used to apply to title deeds to houses.
You (or your Conveyancing Solicitors or Mortgage Company) had possession of the title deeds to your house or flat.
The Land Registry is the Government Department responsible for the registration of properties in England and Wales.
The Land Registry, when a property changed hands, issued a new Land Certificate where there was no mortgage or a Charge Certificate where the property was subject to a mortgage.
Simple (like most good ideas) secure and very private.
That was until 2003.
Then, the Land Registry went paperless.
How Can Your Property Be Vulnerable to Land Registry Fraud?
Your property can be at risk if it is;
How Conveyancing Solicitors Have Been Duped By Property Fraud
This fraud is relatively new.
The fraudsters pose as law firms – either by setting up an entirely bogus firm or a bogus branch of an established firm – to acquire the sale proceeds.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has so far in 2014 issued 109 ( we received another one today) bogus law firm alerts.
The fraudsters pose as both a seller and their firm of solicitors. Once the purchase monies ( which can include mortgage funds) are released to the “seller’s solicitors” on completion day the bogus law firm disappears with the money.
The Land Registry has started up a fraud hotline (see below) to try to avoid this happening.
Online fraud is increasing and you as an owner have to be vigilant in order to protect your property.
10 Essential Ways to Avoid Being the Victim of Property and Land Registry Fraud
All is Not Lost
Fraud is unfortunately a fact of life.
Property and Land Registry Fraud are just the latest variations.
By taking a few sensible precautions and staying vigilant you have a great chance of avoiding those pesky and cowardly fraudsters who are after your property!
And, if you would like us to, we can help.