Property Law - Fraud at the Land Registry


The free alienability of land was always the intention of the 1925 property legislation with electronic conveyancing at the heart of 2002 Land Registration Act. However, in treatng the equity of redemption as a mere commodity to be bought and sold, it now appears to have gone just a little bit too far!

You place your house on the market. A nice couple look around your house and express an interest. You hear no more about it and assume they have lost interest.

A solicitor in another town is approached by a couple with your identity who wish to 'gift their property to their 'son'. The conveyancing is completed with the transfer registered in the land registry with the 'son's'name shown as legal and beneficial owner on the land register.

The 'son' then mortgages the property for several thousand pounds and does a 'runner' with the cash.

You are completely unaware of what has happened until you hear from the solicitor of the bona fide purchaser you have been dealing with that you actually do not own the property you are attempting to sell!

Shari Vahl investigates the extent to which inadequat safeguards to property rights in Britain might be contributing to the theft of millions of pounds as criminals 'steal' houses from under the noses of homeowners by exploiting the way in which Land Registry information is now freely available.

BBC Radio 4's File on Four hears from victims living in mortgage-free homes who have been targeted by criminal gangs!

(You will need BBC 'i' Player)
Sounds like a loop hole needs tightening up.
i listened to this last night and was unsurprised to hear that 8 million in compensation has had to be paid out thus far...

Good to know another government dept head has a sense of perspective and responsibility. :x

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