ALERT ALERT! Protect your Property Against Fraud

Property fraud is on the increase and HM Land Registry calculate that they have prevented 205 fraudulent applications being registered, representing properties valued in excess of £123.3 million.

Property fraud can come in many different forms such as impersonating a homeowner to take out a mortgage over a property (which is at the time not mortgaged) and then ‘pocketing’ the mortgage advance and leaving the property with a charge over it,  or impersonating a seller of an unoccupied property to sell the property and steal the sale proceeds.              

It is possible to set up a property alert on registered property with HM Land Registry. You can monitor up to 10 properties and also set up property alerts on properties you do not own, to help protect a relative or friend.

Setting up a property alert is easy and you can follow the steps given by HM Land Registry at It involves: –

  • Signing up to Property Alert and creating a Property Alert account
  • Once your account is verified, you can then add the properties you wish to monitor. To do this, you just need to have the address or title number of the property(ies).

Once the property alert is created, HM Land Registry will send an email each time there is significant activity (such as a mortgage) on the property(ies) you are monitoring. The alert will give details of: –

  • the type of activity;
  • the applicant;
  • and the date and time it has been received.

As property alerts do not automatically stop fraud, when an alert is received, the recipient would still need to decide if the activity on the property is potentially fraudulent and if it is, the alert email would give details of who to contact if fraud is suspected.

Land Registry give an example of Mr Mills who rented out his property in England while he lived overseas.  As an absent Landlord, he was aware that his property was more at risk so he used the Land Registry’s Property Alert service. Land Registry explain that “Sometime later he received an alert email informing him that someone had made an application to register a mortgage on his property worth over £300,000. As Mr Mills wasn’t expecting this, he contacted our property fraud line. As a result of Mr Mills alerting us to the fact that the mortgage request was suspicious, we investigated and prevented the application from being registered once we realised it was fraudulent. As Mr Mills’ contact details were out of date, we advised him to update them so that if we needed to contact him in the future, he would be sure to receive our emails or letters.”  transaction.

In addition to using the Land Registry’s Property Alert, you can also protect your property by: –

  1. Registering a Form LL restriction which states “No disposition of the registered estate by the proprietor of the registered estate or registered charge dated {date} referred to above by the proprietor of that registered charge is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer that that conveyancer is satisfied that the person who executed the document submitted for registration as disponor is the same person as the proprietor”. The restriction aims to prevent fraud where a fraudster obtains identity documents in the registered property owner’s name and then uses them to persuade a buyer or lender that they are the true owner of the property, as they would need a certificate signed by a conveyancer to be able to dispose of the property;
  2. Ensuring you update your address for service at the Land Registry. This is the address the Land Registry will use to contact you about the property. The Land Registry can hold up to three addresses including an email address, and keeping these details up to date is free;
  3. Properly vetting all tenants if you are a Landlord. This can be done by carrying out additional identity checks, including electronic verification;
  4. Inspecting empty property from time to time to check for post and/or unauthorised entry.

For further information on Land Registry Property Alerts, please contact Emma Faunch, | 01543 420053 in Keelys’ Real Estate department.

Copyright ©2024 Keelys Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved.

Keelys LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with SRA No. 490684. | Registered number: OC337482.