A defendant was jailed earlier in July for stealing the identities of landlords and attempting to take out mortgages in their names. This is technically known as ‘Property Title Fraud’ and the fraudster takes out the mortgage against the landlord’s property title, pockets the money and leaves the landlord (the real property owner) with the debt to the mortgage company which believes it has a charge over the property.
There are some simple steps you can take to safeguard your property title. Landlords should have a correspondence address lodged with the Land Registry to ensure they are informed if anyone attempts to interfere with the title of the property.
Landlords may include in their title a restriction requiring the Land Registry not to register any change to the title, including change of ownership or mortgage, without their consent. It is a simple and free service.
If you become a victim of Property Title Fraud unwinding the effects will be very time consuming and potential very expensive. General caution to prevent identify theft can be enhanced with these simple changes to the way your title is lodged at the Land Registry.