Sign up to free alert scheme which helps prevent property fraud
HM Land Registry launched its Property Alert service back in 2014 to help tackle property fraud. However, it appears the free alert service remains a well-kept secret.
Landlords and homeowners are able to sign up online and register up to 10 properties to be monitored. Email alerts will then be sent to the registrant when HM Land Registry receives an application to change the register for any of their monitored properties. An alert will also be sent if there are official searches carried out for any of the registered addresses. This enables property owners to judge whether the activity is suspicious and if they should seek further advice. There is currently no specific solution for landlords with more than 10 properties to register multiple addresses. However, to circumnavigate this issue, it is possible to register properties in batches using different email addresses.
The Property Alerts are free to use, offering a quick and simple way for homeowners to protect themselves against property title fraud. The service typically takes around three minutes to sign up to and provides an early warning of suspicious activity, allowing property owners to take immediate action.
A recent Freedom of Information request sent to HM Land Registry revealed that the total number of sign-ups to its Property Alert Service since its launch in 2014 was just 275,537. With approximately 29 million homes in the UK, it is probable that fewer than around 1% of property owners have signed up to receive alerts on their property, despite the significant risks of title fraud. The figures follow reports recently that a man in Luton returned home to discover that his house has been sold without his knowledge.
We would encourage any property owner to take advantage of HM Land Registry’s free and easy-to-use service. The following link will take you to the sign-up page. https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/