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Accountants in Practice

Property Fraud

By Laurence Vogel

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Following a pilot, a counter-fraud security measure has been introduced by Land Registry for companies who own registered property and are concerned it might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage.

A similar facility is available to individuals to register up to ten properties.

Why would a property owner want to take advantage of this service?

In this electronic age identity theft is becoming more common. In certain circumstances the stolen data is used to raise money against property. Once the mortgage is completed the offender disappears, leaving the property owner to pay the bill.

All advisors will have clients that own one or more properties and the Land Registry “Property Alert Service” is free. As noted above an individual can register up to ten properties in this way.

Once registered, owners will receive email alerts when certain activity occurs on their monitored properties, allowing them to take action if necessary.

Full details of the Property Alert Service for individuals can be accessed at https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/

Corporate clients affected can register up to three titles free of charge. More than three will cost £45 per title if delivered electronically. Details of this service can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-free-counter-fraud-measure-from-land-registry-for-companies

Isn’t this a new service that you could provide your clients? To be offered on a complimentary basis to enhance goodwill, or for a small fee. We would hazard that clients and prospects would be more than impressed with this approach. Over to you...

Published March 2015