Prevent a property you own being sold without consent

Date Added 17.11.21

How to prevent a property you own being sold without your consent is very much on people’s mind at the moment, following all of the press coverage regarding a gentleman of the cloth who had his house sold out from under him.

On the 1st November of this year, the BBC broke the story that the Reverend Mike Hall, who owned a property in Luton, was contacted by his neighbours to say that major works were being carried out at his house whilst he was working away in North Wales (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-59069662).

Needless to say, the Reverend was reported as being shocked to hear this news, as he had not arranged for any works to take place at the property!

We understand from the press coverage that the Reverend was a victim of identity theft which allowed criminals to pose as him and effectively sell the property.

Whilst the criminals here were very sophisticated and had begun the process of defrauding the Reverend by first stealing his identity, they may have been slightly stymied if the property had been listed on the Land Registry’s Property Alert service (https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/)

Whilst this does not necessarily stop fraudulent transactions, it does perhaps add a layer of security for individuals who own property, as the Land Registry’s system will alert them to any “significant activity” 1 taken against the property.  The owner will then need to decide if the activity is potentially fraudulent or not and act accordingly.  If you receive the alert and do nothing, the criminals will still be able to move forward with their fraudulent transaction.

We have previously reported on this very handy tool of the Land Registry and I would suggest that anyone who wants to know more have a quick look at our earlier article, which sets out the details in more depth.  Conveyancing scams – during Covid-19 – Tollers Solicitors.

It is particularly useful if you are living away from the property or have multiple properties which you own, as you can monitor up to 10 properties at a time.

If you have any questions regarding HM Land Registry, preventing a property from being sold without consent and protecting your property…talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 our teams will be happy to assist.

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