Property fraud is on the rise. Some properties are more vulnerable (tenanted, mortgage-free and empty in particular) but it can happen on any property. HM Land Registry offers a free ‘Property Alert’ service to help protect property from fraud.
You can sign up to the service via the Land Registry’s website (see link below) by entering the details of the property or properties you wish to protect. Once signed up, you will receive email alerts if an application such as an attempt to register a charge is sent to the Land Registry in relation to the property. For example, the alert will tell you if a new mortgage has been taken out against the property and an application has been made to register it.
The service cannot prevent fraud from happening but it will give you notice of it as soon as an application is received at the Land Registry. If you believe that the application referred to in the email alert relates to fraudulent activity against your property, you will be able to contact the Land Registry with a view to halting the application.
For more information or to sign up to the Property Alert Service, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/property-alert.