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5 top tips to keep your property safe

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Buying and selling property
Ivan Kruk/

Combating fraud is a key priority for us at HM Land Registry. Over the past 5 years we’ve prevented fraud on properties to the tune of more than £100m. Our counter-fraud teams work to detect and prevent fraud, and we work closely with conveyancers to minimise the risk.

Property fraud is rare, with an average of 0.001% of transactions being fraudulent. But we know that vigilance is key to combating fraud, so we encourage homeowners to sign up to our award-winning Property Alert service. With property fraud hitting the headlines, we’ve seen record numbers signing up, including over 75,000 registrations in November alone.

Why you should sign up to Property Alert

So, let’s look at how our free service can help protect you and your home.

You can put an obstacle in a potential fraudster’s way by signing up to our award-winning Property Alert fraud detection service. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s quick and easy to sign up: you’ll have peace of mind in the time it takes to make a cup of tea.

Once you’ve joined, we’ll send you email alerts about certain activities involving the property, such as an application to change the register, so you can take swift action if necessary. We’ll also send you emails every six months just to confirm whether any applications have been made in that period.

You don’t have to own the property in question to set up an account, and unless you’re the registered proprietor you won’t be able to do anything other than monitor it. This allows you to keep an eye on your family or friends’ homes for them - and you can monitor up to 10 properties.

Top tips when setting up your Property Alert account

Our 5 top tips for using the service are:

  • check your spam. When you create your account, you’ll receive an HM Land Registry email to enable you to verify your details. Please check your inbox or spam/junk folder for this activation email and click on the link. You’ll need to do this before you can access the account again
  • head home to sign in. When you activate your account via the email, go back to the HM Land Registry home page to sign in. Don’t worry if you’re redirected to the sign-in page and you get a message telling you the email address is already in use. If you use the link on the home page – select ‘Already registered’ from the list, then ‘Sign in to your account’ – you will be able to sign in
  • find your address quickly. Find your property using the address search facility. Simply enter the house number and postcode to bring up the property details. Don’t worry about adding all your address details, we’ll find your property with just the postcode and house number
  • make sure you’re registered. If your property is unregistered, you won’t be able to use the service. It’s worth noting that unregistered properties are at greater risk of fraud, so we would recommend you lodge a first registration application to have it registered; and please
  • bear with us. Owing to the increase in demand there may be a small delay in registering your Property Alert account. We apologise for this but can assure you we are doing everything we can to process the surge in applications

Signing up to Property Alert won’t automatically stop fraud from happening, and not all alert emails will mean fraudulent activity is taking place, but it does provide an early warning system and, if you’re worried or something doesn’t seem right, the alert email will tell you who to contact.

Please see the GOV.UK guidance for further information on protecting your land and property from fraud.

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