The Land Registry has removed its fee in certain circumstances to help protect against property fraud. This is of particular use to owners of empty properties; second homes; landlords; those who are in the process of divorce or are separated; those who work or travel abroad for significant periods or the elderly in residential care homes.
It has also provided guidance of use to all property owners and a reminder for those with unregistered properties:
- Ensure your property has a registered title. Those with unregistered titles who have nothing to prove their ownership but the deeds they hold in storage are at risk to fraudsters. The Land Registry provides a guarantee once the property is registered and innocent victims of fraud thereafter might be entitled to compensation. The Land Registry's registration fee is also discounted for voluntary first registrations.
- Ensure your contact details are kept up to date on the title. The Land Registry sends out notices from time to time to the proprietor when certain applications are made. If they cannot contact you because your address is out of date you are at risk of fraud. Notify the Land Registry of any changes to your address. You can have up to 3 postal addresses including an address overseas or an email address. There is no Land Registry fee to update these.
- Those who feel they are at particular risk of fraud should consider entering a Restriction on the title. The restriction would be entered onto the title so that whenever anyone attempts to register a sale, mortgage or letting of a property a 'Conveyancer' (which includes Solicitors) must certify to the Land Registry that they have identified the person signing the relevant deed or document. This will create further obstacles to fraudsters.
For those particularly at risk (individuals who do not occupy a residential property themselves from day to day) the Land Registry has removed its fee for entering such a Restriction on the title from 1 February 2012, for a trial period of 6 months.
However those who occupy the property but consider for some reason that they are still at risk - perhaps their property is now mortgage free for example - can enter a similar Restriction on the title but will pay a Land Registry fee, currently £50.
We can assist you with any voluntary first registrations, entries of Restrictions or changes of address at the Land Registry and we have online access and a dedicated customer team at the Land Registry to help us with that.
If you require any further advice or assistance please contact
John Southan or a member of the Property team at Wortley Byers on 01277
268357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
<< Return to News page