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Did you know? – Registration Fraud

Fraud fact: Just over £5 million was paid out by Land Registry in 2008/9 for 62 fraud and forgery claims, out of more than 4 million applications to change the register

Anyone who owns a property they do not live in, such as buy-to let landlords, or those living abroad may be at increased risk of registration fraud.

Owners can reduce the risk by ensuring that their address in their title register is kept up to date. Up to 3 addresses can be given for service. Up to 2 of these can be email addresses. A none UK address can be given, or a 'care of address'. The care of address could be that of a professional adviser. These are then used by the Land Registry to contact the owner if necessary. In addition, owners may include in their title a 'restriction' requiring the Land Registry not to register any change to the title (i.e a change of ownership or a mortgage) without the consent of a specified person.

Most applications are dealt with by conveyancers who carry out identity checks against their clients and so such applications should carry less risk of fraud for the Land Registry.

Applications however can be made in person. In these cases the Land Registry will serve notice of the application to the registered owner using the address or addresses in the register. In these cases therefore it is vital that the contact details are up to date.

Need more information ?

For more information, please speak to your usual Wards contact, or email Susan Ellis on susan.ellis@wards.uk.com.

This guide is not intended to be definitive or to act as a substitute for legal advice.

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