The Land Registry have reportedly paid out a record amount of money because landlords are not registering alternative correspondence addresses.
Head of Legal and Policy at the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Liz Richards, believes that the £26 million paid out since 2006 could have been avoided if landlords had taken a few simple steps.
“ARLA members are advising all landlords to contact the Land Registry to ask that any formal notices to them be sent to an alternative address. This prevents tenants who are criminals intercepting this important correspondence.
This may seem a little extreme but in our experience it goes some way towards deterring the misuse of such records. The information that is now available on the internet makes it a lot easier for criminals to take out mortgages on properties they do not own, pocketing the money and leaving the legitimate owner in debt — with the stress and aggravation of retrieving title of their own property”.
This kind of fraud is easier to carry out since the Land Registry went paperless in 2006.
Do you advise your clients that they need to notify the Land Registry of any change of address? Most buy to let landlords will already provide an alternative correspondence address to the Land Registry but what of accidental landlords — does anyone advise them that if they let their property out in the future they should notify the Land Registry of any change of address? Doing this would be a step towards protecting sensitive data.
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