How can I protect my property from fraud?


If your inbox is anything like mine, spam emails "warning" you that your apple ID or Amazon account have been hacked are an everyday occurrence. By now, most people know these are artless attempts to defraud you and get access to your personal information/bank account details, and know better than to be tricked into clicking the links those emails contain. 

It's clear that fraud is still an ever present danger in our society, and this can be a particular problem for empty, unmortgaged properties, or properties that you're renting out. Attempted property fraud has seen a worrying increase in recent years. Often the fraudster may even be the tenant who is living in your property, as they have direct access to intercept post being delivered to the address. 

Most people do not know that there are some really simple steps both individuals and companies can take to safeguard investment properties, including registering a Form RQ restriction against the property at the Land Registry. 

A Form RQ restriction can be registered by an owner where they do not live in the property. The restriction acts to prevent an application being registered by the Land Registry until the conveyancer has provided a certificate confirming that the person who executed the transfer/mortgage deed is the registered proprietor. Thus the onus is on the conveyancer to carry out the necessary checks to ascertain this, and prompt them to consider the possibility of a fraudulent transaction. 

Although an RQ is not fool-proof, it is an extra layer of protection that will make it more difficult for fraudsters to sell or mortgage properties. Oh, and as an added bonus, the application to register an RQ is free!

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"You can take steps to protect your property from being fraudulently sold or mortgaged" HM Land Registry
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