Property Fraud

Cyber criminals don’t only target internet providers or global companies. In these digital times electronic theft is on the rise.  The focus of this article is provide practical and simple tips for keeping your assets safer from criminals.

By far property is our most valuable individual asset.  So if it is mortgage free, unoccupied, or tenanted it is most at risk.  The criminals could seize the property, mortgage it or even sell it. Recent cases have highlighted older people as a disproportionate percentage of victims, especially ones without access to computers or the internet.

As a specialist private client firm, we regularly handle probate and buy to let properties.  The latter have proliferated in recent times and there seems a myriad of rules and procedures which can become onerous.

Our clients are better protected because we follow the simple rules below. We can arrange to do that for you too.

Action List

  • Seek independent legal advice.
  • Register your property if it is unregistered
  • Put an identity restriction on the title
  • Register the property at your usual UK residential address
  • Check your land registry title information annually
  • Subscribe to a credit or property alert service

Assist friends and relatives who may not be computer literate.

Don’t publish an obituary for deceased relatives unless all of the above are in place.

Set up mail forwarding, if the owner is in hospital or residential care.

Most properties are registered at the land registry.  The information is freely available to anyone on online.  So checking your property’s entry is straightforward in the future.

If you live in the property you are protecting, the land registry fee is £40.  However, if you do not occupy it, the registration fee is waived.  To encourage more owners to be proactive and safer.

Helpful Numbers

If you suspect, you have been targeted please call the Land Registry’s Fraud Unit on 0300 006 7030.  In some cases, compensation maybe available for any fraudulent related loss.

Action Fraud 0300 123 2400 will take the details of your case and report it to the specialist police for investigation.

If you have any comments or queries or would like to know more about our service, contact us on 0800 377 7716 and ask for Sarah Austin