Scammers seem to be an unavoidable part of modern life, but what steps can we take to protect ourselves against the worst of these ? the ones who target our homes?
Your home is usually your biggest, most precious asset, so what can you do to prevent somebody from fraudulently raising a mortgage against your home ? or, worse, trying to sell it?
Some factors can put you more at risk. These include:-
- If you?ve already been the target of someone stealing your identity
- If you rent out your property
- If you live overseas
- If the property is empty for any reason
- If there is no mortgage on it
- If it?s not been registered with H. M. Land Registry
So what can you do?
If your property was bought or re-mortgaged since 1998 it will be listed at the Land Registry, and your name will be on it as proprietor. So your first step is to find out if it?s there. You can ask your solicitor to search online for you, or you can do it yourself, on payment of a small fee. At www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry you will find out how to check.
If your property is there, it?s a simple matter to sign up with the Land Registry for property alerts. You can register up to ten properties ? and it won?t cost you a penny. If at any time someone were to try altering anything on your property the Land Registry would automatically warn you, giving you the chance to stop it before it gets started.
You can also put on something called a ?restriction?, for a small fee, preventing anyone from mortgaging or selling your house without a solicitor or conveyancer certifying that it?s definitely you. And if you don?t live in your property a restriction would be free.
But what if your property isn?t registered? The best way to protect it is to register it yourself. This is called First Registration, and it?s easy to do, especially if you get Hunter?s Solicitors on board to take the heavy lifting out of it for you.
So don?t delay: make sure nobody out there can get their hooks into your home, for your own peace of mind. And Hunter?s Solicitors will be happy to help.