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Can someone illegally sell our house?

John Conlin / 21 February 2017 ( 22 February 2022 )

Chartered surveyor John Conlin answers a reader’s query about property fraud.

A holiday cottage in England

Question

We have a holiday home occasionally used by the family but otherwise let to others. 

I have read of cases where such properties are illegally mortgaged or sold without the owners knowledge. 

Are there any precautions one can take?

Answer

You are wise to be concerned. Property fraud is increasing. 

Assuming that your holiday home is in England, the Land Registry offer a free protection service where any attempt to sell, mortgage or change ownership details will trigger a warning email to you. Go to their website at propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk/ to sign up. 

Disregard any land registry site that does not include ‘Gov UK’ as it will be a commercial site charging for what you can do free on the genuine Land Registry site.

Gov.Uk offers further advice on what puts you at risk of property fraud and who to contact if you think you have been a victim.

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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.