Property Fraud

The Land Registry provides a record of property ownership in England and Wales. The name of the legal owner of a property can be found on the Proprietorship Register of the Land Registry’s Official Copies. 

Property fraud is when criminals target a property, effectively taking the legal title to it, pretending to be you, and then selling or mortgaging it.

There are three main types of property fraud:

  • Property investment fraud is when you are lured into investing in a property development scam;
  • Title fraud is where a criminal steals a property owner’s identity and changes the property title from the owner’s name to theirs. They may use a Land Registry application to do this by registering a forged transfer or mortgage (also known as registration fraud);
  • Mortgage fraud happens when criminals exploit a financial institution or private lender through the mortgage process, often misrepresenting information to obtain a larger mortgage loan.

You’re more at risk of property fraud if:

  • your identity’s been stolen;
  • you rent out your property;
  • you live overseas;
  • the property is empty;
  • the property is not mortgaged;
  • the property is not registered at HM Land Registry.
boss sitting in office

I am a Partner at Naylor Solicitors, a law firm specialising in property disputes and resolution. I would be delighted to assist with any queries you may have. Please get in touch to arrange a no obligation consultation.

James Naylor
Partner

What can I do to prevent property fraud?

You can take certain steps to protect your property from being fraudulently sold or mortgaged.

You can sign up to get property alerts if someone applies to change the register of your property. For example, HM Land Registry will send you an email alert if someone tries to use your property for a mortgage. This will not automatically block any changes to the register but will alert you so that you can take appropriate action.

You can also include a restriction on your title to stop HM Land Registry from registering a sale or mortgage on your property unless a conveyancer or solicitor certifies the application was made by you.

The majority of properties in England and Wales are registered. However, your property might not be registered if you owned it before 1990 and have not mortgaged it since. It is important to ensure your property is registered to reduce the risk of property fraud and to ensure you can be compensated if you become a victim.

If you are at risk of property fraud, we can advise you on ways to prevent the possibility of fraud and apply to HM Land Registry on your behalf to include a restriction on your title.

What should I do if I become a victim of property fraud?

If you think you are a victim of property fraud, you can report it to the HM Land Registry property fraud team.

You may be able to bring a civil fraud claim to recover losses incurred as a result of the fraud. It is important to first establish whether there is a strong case against the fraudster. There may be cost consequences against anyone alleging fraud without sufficient evidence.

If successful, you may have recourse to a variety of remedies, including:

  • An account for profits where there has been a breach of fiduciary duty or confidence;
  • Rescission of contract;

Additionally, you may be able to obtain a freezing injunction to prevent the fraudster from dissipating their assets or moving them out of the reach of enforcement measures. This acts as a safeguard against situations where the court awards you damages, but the fraudster has no assets with which to pay.

We can write to the HM Land Registry property fraud team on your behalf, and advise you on the possibility of a civil fraud claim.

We’re with you, every step of the way.

We’re here to guide you through the intricacies of litigation, resolve disputes efficiently, and help you achieve your outcome.

Testimonials

Our team is composed of dedicated and accomplished legal professionals, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.

Violeta Korkucyte
Violeta Korkucyte
21/05/2024
I am very happy with the service provided by Dominika Libova who helped me out with both my housing and allotment issues. Dominika was very professional, knowledgeable and understanding. I am grateful for all support and understanding received. I highly recommend Dominika and I will certainly continue using Naylor Solicitors services, should again there will be any need. Thank you so much! Kind regards, Violeta Korkucyte
Xuan Xing
Xuan Xing
06/05/2024
I used Naylor as my solicitor in my possesion claim case. It was very complicated due to a rent-to-rent and defaulting agent case with changing solicitors in the past. Jenny and Dominika provided top-notch services along the way and helped me finally regained the property. They gave legal advices truly in client's interest and explained things in details. I would highly recommend you using them esp. when you face a complicated case.
shaz
shaz
15/04/2024
Hi, My landlord posted an arrears repayment request letter (for my commercial property) to my old residential address where I haven't lived for over 20 years. To make things worse, some of my estranged family out of spite 'sat on the letter and never told me'. When my sick father found out he told me but by that time it was too late and my landlord had then tried 'to dig up a old expired lease clause' to evict me instead. I contacted the landlord and instructed Naylors to help me, as I have used them previously without any problems. I had an excellent service and outcome before and this time felt I was in very safe hands. However my landlord served me a 'forfeiture of lease and claimed repossession. Distraught Naylors saved the day and I am delighted, relieved and very grateful to say the landlord has given my keys back to me today, (within 48hrs of Naylors contacting them on my behalf) and I am back in my shop. Thank you so so much James, Jonathan, Jasper, Gurcharan and the whole team at Naylors, you guys are fantastic! keep up the amazing work. best wishes shabana x
Relinda Howard
Relinda Howard
04/04/2024
I take this opportunity of thanking Dominika for her expertise and professionalism. She certainly made my experience of this situation more pleasant . She appears to be a person of strength and determination. When it is time to be firm she can be. Thanks for her perseverance in completing what she started. Relinda.
Mark Genney
Mark Genney
22/03/2024
I have to say Naylor went the extra mile, my case must have lasted 5 years or so. I'm very happy with the amount of professionalism and talent that Naylor brought to this.
BB Roy
BB Roy
12/03/2024
This specialist, yet unassuming Property Law firm came to my rescue by evicting a tenant in my property who was illegally subletting. At the outset, the principal of the firm - James Naylor set out a very clear forthright approach to get the tenants out by a given date. Then it was all up to a very high impact Solicitor Nida Khan to execute that plan. Nida was diligent and persistent in her manner with the tenants and left them with little scope to manoeuvre other than to surrender the tenancy by the specified date or to face imminent eviction by court orders. Through out the two week's process - Nida kept me informed, was easy to communicate with and was always reassuring. I am very grateful to Naylor's LLP for their professional service and happy to recommend Nida and her firm as outstanding property law practitioners.
Nurliah Fisher
Nurliah Fisher
21/02/2024
I would like to thanks to all the staff at Naylor Solicitors. They are all very helpful and the most important is for me that’s they are very honest. Wishing them all the best and success with their team work and especially to Dominika, Many thanks for your hard work. Best wishes Nurliah Fisher
Mustafa Kalaycı
Mustafa Kalaycı
21/01/2024
The most honest, hardworking, and fully professional law firm I have encountered or worked with. Despite speaking different languages, they effectively understand you through their interpreters, find the best advisors to assist you, and acquire the necessary information. They create a friendly, family-like atmosphere with a straightforward approach, particularly in litigation expertise. My gratitude goes to all the staff involved, especially James Naylor and Jenny Cheung, for their dedication. Thanks for everything. Mustafa KALAYCI
Pauline
Pauline
12/09/2023
I used Naylor Solicitors to help us purchase our freehold. It wasn't as straightforward as we'd hoped as the previous freeholder and his solicitors were difficult to deal with (not responding to calls or emails etc,) which delayed things. At one point the freeholder threatened to pull out of the sale despite previously agreeing. Our solicitor Adam was swift in his response, reminding the other side that we had a verbal agreement and that they were risking us taking legal action in that regard. He was then able to make sure the sale went through as agreed. I highly recommend Naylor Solicitors.
Ray Allen
Ray Allen
26/04/2023
We have used their services twice and both times we found them to be efficient and responsive. Kept us well informed of all developments throughout the process.