Can my house be sold without my knowledge?
Posted on 13th August 2019
Sadly, we live in a world where we have all heard of someone’s house being broken into and someone’s belonging being taken, and we are forever hearing the phase “if it isn’t nailed down, they’ll take it”.
Our Property Department have recently noticed an interesting case in Plymouth where one lady reportedly had her house stolen. No, MG Legal’s Conveyancing Department aren’t suffering from sunstroke - that’s right she had her house stolen!
How did it happen?
Well the victim returned home from a three-week holiday to find that her letterbox had been taped up and another metal letter box had been erected outside her property. Cunning Fraudsters had been systematically stealing her post, along with her identity!
The victim reported the incident to the Police and thought nothing further of it … until she received a letter from the Land Registry entitled “Completion of Registration”. The Victim then contacted the Land Registry who informed her that a property solicitor in Tooting had verified another woman as being her, so that the other woman could transfer the property into another’s name.
Property Law Solicitors in Preston know it can be difficult to deal with the Land Registry on occasion, and in this instance the victim was reported to have said that "What followed was a battle to get my home back, and at times it felt like the law was on the criminal’s side. The Land Registry viewed the issue as a ‘civil matter’ rather than fraud," "It says the ‘current registered proprietor’, aka the fraudster, would need to be asked if she objected to my name being put back on the register. She had offered no address to the Land Registry other than mine. Had they sent the paperwork to me, the matter would have been over yet the Land Registry went out of its way to track her down, dragging out the process by another three weeks. The fraudster must have realised the game was up, as she offered no objection to me reclaiming my house. And on February 25 this year, I was told it was mine once again."
Whilst you would think that this kind of thing should be a one off the Daily Mail questioned the Land Registry Spokesperson who said: "HM Land Registry is doing all it can to minimise the risk of property fraud and to maintain the integrity of the Land Register. Our counter-fraud unit works closely with the police. Since 2009, HM Land Registry has prevented 279 fraudulent applications, representing properties valued in excess of £133,431,543. If someone is defrauded of their registered property, our state indemnity means they will usually be compensated for any resulting loss."
MG Legal’s property solicitors have compiled a list of handy tips to help prevent this happening to you: -
1. Get a secure letter box with a lock
2. Pick up any post as regularly as possible
3. If you change your address be sure to tell your bank, building society, royal mail and any other important organisations at least three weeks before you plan to change your address
4. If you are off on holiday or going to be away from home for a significant amount of time be sure to ask someone you trust to collect your post for you!
5. If you suspect any post has gone missing report it to royal mail and the sender immediately.
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors
Tagged as: Conveyancing Solicitors Preston, Garstang Solicitors, Lancaster Law, Preston Property Law, Property Solicitors Preston, Solicitors in Preston, Your Local Solicitors
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