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Law firm support measures to combat property fraud

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As technology and its users continues to become more sophisticated, property fraud is one threat to home owners that is also on the rise.  Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner, explains how the Land Registry has taken steps to minimise the risk of property fraud, a system that is whole-heartedly supported by the firm.

“Property fraud is no different to other types of fraud, with the perpetrator aiming to acquire your property under false pretences,” begins Sarah.  “There are various methods that can be used, but the most common is the fraudster forging the documents of a homeowner and impersonate them with the aim to re-mortgage the property.  The homeowner would have no knowledge of this transaction and would be responsible for any re-payments, while the fraudster absconds with the money.”

There are some who are more at risk of property fraud than others.  Sarah explains, “Those whose house is empty are more likely to be victims of property fraud as are those who are renting out their property or don’t have a mortgage.

“Over the last 5 years, the Land Registry has stopped fraud on properties worth more than £67 million, and one solution of theirs is through Property Alert,” continues Sarah.  “This free award-winning service allows users to monitor up to 10 registered properties in England and Wales, and each time an official search or application is submitted for a property a user is monitoring, an alert is sent.  This means you can identify whether there is any activity being conducted that is suspicious and act immediately.”

Property Alert is not the only way to ensure you’re protected from the risk of property fraud.  Sarah concludes, “There are simple measures that can be taken that should be part of the buying process, such as making sure the property is registered, and ensuring the Land Registry has the owners most up-to-date details.  Property is more than likely a persons most valuable asset so it’s important it’s protected, and Property Alert is an excellent way to do so, and one that we are recommending to our clients.”

If you’re looking to buy or sell your home you can contact Sarah or the Conveyancing Team on 01329 222096 or visit their section of the website here.  For more information on the Property Alert service, call the Property Alert team on 0300 006 0478.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.