Protect your clients from property fraud
Property is probably the most valuable asset your clients own. That's why it's important to be fully informed about the advice and measures we offer.
Fraudsters often target properties where there is no mortgage or the owner lives elsewhere. We know there is an increased risk of fraud when a property is empty or has been bought-to-let.
Fraudsters may attempt to deal with a property either by using a forged document to transfer it into their own name or by impersonating the registered owner.
If your client thinks they have already been the victim of property fraud:
- contact our customer support team
- advise your client to contact the police.
You can help to protect your clients from property fraud by:
- informing them of our free Property Alert service
- checking whether their property is registered
- advising voluntary registration if it is not
- if it is registered, ensuring that their contact details in the register are up to date.
If your client's details are not current, they may not receive notifications from Land Registry which could be instrumental in preventing a fraud. Up to three different addresses, including an email address and an address abroad can be provided.
There is no Land Registry fee for this service.
Restrictions are also an important way of reducing the risk of property fraud. Different forms need to be used, according to whether the owner resides at the property or not.
Form RQ for owners not living at the registered property
With over 4000 properties now protected by the Form LL restriction since the RQ measure was launched in February 2012, it is being continued. Aimed at private individuals who do not live at the registered property, conveyancers can make a request to Land Registry using the Form RQ asking the registrar to enter a form LL restriction, free of charge, provided your client meets the criteria.
Simply print off the form, complete it and send it to the address shown. A separate form must be used for each registered property. Please do not send Form RQ to us with any other type of application. You can download Form RQ in Adobe's PDF format or as an MS Word document.
- Form RQ (PDF) – Request for a restriction by owner(s) not living at the property
- Form RQ (Word) – Request for a restriction by owner(s) not living at the property
- Form RQ – questions and answers
If your client qualifies for a form LL restriction using the RQ process but has made a previous application for this restriction using Form RX1 and paid a fee, they can request a refund of the fee provided:
- the RX1 application was before 1 February 2012
- they qualified as an owner who does not live at the property.
Clients who do not qualify for a restriction using Form RQ, are eligible for a restriction to be entered in their register using Form RX1. The form LL restriction ensures that we will not register a sale or a mortgage, unless a solicitor or other conveyancer has certified that the person who has signed the deed is the registered owner.
This could help to prevent a fraudster forging a signature. There is a £50 fee for this service.
The following information can be downloaded free of charge:
- Property and Registration Fraud – joint practice note issued by Land Registry and the Law Society in October 2010
- Form RQ questions and answers
- Practice Guide 19 Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register
- Practice Guide 55 Address for service
- Public Guide 2 Keeping your address for service up to date add as control + click to follow link
- Public Guide 17 How to safeguard against property fraud