An article in Emigrate magazine is warning UK expats who have an investment property in the UK to be wary of property fraud.
Almost four million British people live abroad according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, with many of them retaining links to their home country in the form of property.
Unless preventative measures are put in place, however, fraudsters can steal absentee owners’ identity in order to sell or transfer title on an investment property.
Which properties are most as risk of property fraud?
According to the news story, those properties most at risk are those:
- rented out;
- held empty:
- mortgage-free; or,
- unregistered with the Land Registry Office.
What preventative measures can you put in place?
Firstly, register your property with the Land Registry.
Sign up for the Land Registry’s free property alert notification service to get advance notice of any unusual activity linked with your property, such as a person attempting to register a mortgage.
If you feel it is necessary, you can restrict any activity relating to your property by ensuring mortgaging or transferring ownership can’t happen unless a named lawyer or conveyancer confirms the application was made by the property’s certified owner.
Finally, keep your details up to date - updating your current address is important. You can enter up to separate addresses on the registration form.