Land Registry launches service to fight property fraud

The programme, called Property Alert, allows homeowners to reigster up to three properties to be monitored.

Fraud can arise in several different forms, with some fraudsters acquiring ownership of someone else’s property through forgery or identity theft and the mortgaging the house to raise money before leaving the actual owner to face the repayments.

Land Registry’s Counter-Fraud Unit is coordinating the new scheme with the police and other agencies, with whom it already works. Indeed, between September 2009 and January 2014, Land Registry stopped fraud on properties worth more than £62 million.

Once signed up, Property Alert will send homeowners emails when Land Registry receives an application to change the register as well as for official searches. Homeowners can then judge whether or not the activity is suspicious, giving them a head start on seeking advice and investigating the application.

Alasdair Lewis, Director of Legal Services, said: “Following a successful trial of Property Alert, we hope that many homeowners will want to sign up for this new free service to help them protect what is probably their most valuable asset.”