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Look after your biggest asset…

4 Dec 2021

Property fraud is on the increase.

Whether you are a landlord with a portfolio of properties or an individual landowner or developer; and whether you live at the Property you own or not, there is one very easy way to make sure that any dealing or purported dealing with your land comes to your attention.

Make sure that your “address for service” at the Land Registry is up to date.

Your address for service is the address that the Land Registry will write to you at if they need to contact you.  If your address in the register is not current, you may miss important communications from them.  It is easy to forget to notify the Land Registry when you or your company move house, office or change your Registered Office address.

Not only could a fraudster deal with the Property without the matter coming to your attention, particularly if you are not in occupation and the Property is not subject to mortgage, but you are also at risk of an Adverse Possession claim against some or all of your land.  If the Land Registry cannot get in touch to notify you of any application made against your title, they will take your “silence” as an indication that you do not object to the claim/application and proceed with the application/dealing in accordance with their published timescales, potentially depriving you of your interest in the property.

You can provide three different addresses, including an email address and even an address abroad.  It is free to update your address at the Land Registry.  As an individual owner of, for example, a buy-to-let property, you can also give yourself further protection by registering a restriction as a non-occupying owner using form RQ.  Doing this can help combat identity fraud by requiring a conveyancer to verify that the person executing the document as the transferor is the same person as the one named in the register.

Jane Bowden

Commercial real estate