In the wake of a number of high profile property fraud cases, the Land Registry has recently introduced a new, free service for monitoring activity on properties. This service, developed to aid with fraud prevention, will alert you by email whenever certain activities such as searches or applications are made to the register of a property. These activities are part of the standard conveyancing process when selling a property, and would be a strong signifier that a fraudster is attempting to sell or alter the property. In the recent case of P&P Property Limited v Owen White & Catlin LLP the owner of a property only discovered that his property had been fraudulently sold by someone impersonating him when he walked past the property to see building works taking place. With this new service the Land Registry will inform the owner before this happens, adding an extra layer of defence for this type of fraud.
Fortunately the service is simple to set up and can be done from start to finish in about 15 minutes. With the service you can register up to ten properties on a single account, which can be added and removed as your portfolio changes. The Property Alert Service is of particular use to small landlords with several properties that they may not be able to monitor on a day to day basis, however it is still of great value to the owner of a single property as this type of fraud can take place without any physical presence on the property. The simplicity and ease of the service makes it worthwhile for all property owners and can afford peace of mind that you will not be caught unaware by any untoward or fraudulent behavior.
If you would like to discuss this service or any other property requirement please telephone Piers Meadows