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Holbrook and Co - Specialists in helping people buy, sell and mortgage property

Protect your property from fraud

The recent publicity surrounding the court case of Laylah De Cruz and her mother Dianne Moorcroft highlights the importance of taking steps to protect your property from fraud.
On 16 January 2017, the mother and daughter were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. They duped professionals into enabling a fraudulent application for a £1.2 million bridging loan on a house in Kensington, London. Dianne Moorcroft impersonated the registered proprietor, who was not living at the property. When the application was made to Land Registry it was identified as fraudulent, the application was cancelled and the registered owner did not lose their property. Unfortunately, the loan company had already advanced the monies.
The property in question was attractive to fraudsters because it:
• was rented out
• had the property address as the only contact address for the owner
• was mortgage-free
• was of high value

Land Registry’s counter-fraud team has been able to identify the kinds of properties which are most vulnerable to fraud. They are ones which have the above characteristics as well as those which are empty or aren’t registered with Land Registry.
Since September 2009 we have prevented frauds on properties valued in excess of £92 million but no system can be 100 per cent fraud-proof which is why we urge people to do what they can to protect their properties from fraud.
To reduce the risk of fraud:
• Make sure your property is registered.
• Make sure your contact details are up-to-date. You can have up to three addresses which can include an email address and an address abroad.
• Sign up for the free Property Alert service. You will be sent an email alert when there is certain activity on a monitored property.
• If you feel your property might be at risk of fraud, you can have a restriction entered. This is intended to stop certain applications unless a Conveyancer confirms the application was made by you. There is no fee if you do not live at the property.

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We asked some recent clients about our service: “Was there one extra thing we could have done?” Their answer was: “You cannot improve something which is already perfect.”

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Palmyra Square South
Warrington, Cheshire
WA1 1BL 01925 444422
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