Lessons can be gleaned from a recent high profile case on property fraud.
Landlords (both residential and commercial) should heed the warnings from this case, and consider the guidance provided by the Land Registry in order to protect proprietor interests.
A mother and daughter conspired to commit fraud by acquiring the lease in a residential property and when the landlord died, the mother changed her name by Deed Poll to that of the deceased. The lawyers involved were deceived and documentation was signed to give effect to the purchase of the property, depriving the estate of a substantial part of its assets.
The proceeds of this fraudulent transaction have never been recovered.
Land Registry suggests that to reduce the risk of such fraudulent activities, proprietors should:
Ensure the property is registered
Keep the contact details you hold with them up to date – if you have a different correspondence address since the purchase of your property, complete an application to amend your details held with the Land Registry
Sign up to their Property Alert Service
If you are concerned that you may have been affected by property fraud, contact the Land Registry, and if needed, apply for a restriction on your title.
Land Registry Blog
The recent publicity surrounding the court case of Laylah De Cruz and her mother Dianne Moorcroft highlights the importance of taking steps to protect your property from fraud.