We have recently become aware of a local property owner who has been subjected to property fraud costing them over £400,000.
The individual in question owned a property which he rented out to tenants over a long period of time. One of the tenants changed his name by deed poll to that of the landlord and applied for new identification under the new name. Following this, the tenant approached an estate agent to see the property. After passing all the checks, including house visits, he appointed a solicitor to complete the sale at over £400,000.
Disgustingly, since the estate agent and solicitor had completed all the identification checks, the property owner has been informed that he is unlikely to get any of his money back.
The matter is currently with the police.
This is a terrifying story, and we urge any landlords to use the Property Alert service provided by HM Land Registry to notify you of any activity on the property.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.