Leading solicitors encourage property investors to protect themselves from fraud
One of London’s leading mid-tier law firms Mackrell Turner Garrett is warning property investors to step up their efforts to protect themselves against fraud.
Recent anecdotal evidence collected by the firm suggests that the number of property frauds committed in the UK remains significantly high, particularly with the emergence of easier to access information online.
In several cases people have attempted to invest money in a property with a third party, only to find that the individual had stolen the homeowner’s identity to pass of the property as their own.
In other cases investors have found that scammers have attempted to transfer the title of the home into their own name using forged and fraudulent documents.
In fact, a report produced last year by the University of Portsmouth Centre for Counter Fraud Studies* showed that there were nearly 25,000 reported cases of Property Fraud, amounting to around £108 million worth of activity.
With this in mind, Mackrell Turner Garrett is encouraging landlords and investors to review their process and make use of the Land Registry’s free Property Alert system where appropriate.
Nigel Rowley, Managing Partner at the Savoy Hill-based firm, said: “The award-winning system produced by the Registry is ideal for anyone who feels a registered property could be at risk from fraud.
“Using the free service investors will receive email alerts when certain activity occurs on your monitored properties, allowing you to take action where necessary.
“We are encouraging many of our own clients to use this system alongside there other checks to protect their investment and offering advice on protect a property from fraud to many other owners.”
He added that it is clear that property owners would need to do more in future as fraudsters employ more and more complex methods to obtain money from properties they didn’t lawfully own.
If you would like to learn more about the Land Registry’s Property Alert System, please visit propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk