Can your house ever be ‘stolen’? And what you can do to stop it happening.

Mark ShiptonUncategorized

This week, national newspapers and websites reported on the worrying and bizarre case of the Reverend Mark Hall, from Luton, who had his home ‘stolen’ from him while he was away on work.

According to BBC News:

Mr Hall, who was away from the property and working in north Wales, said he received a call from his neighbours on 20 August, saying that someone was in the house and all the lights were on.

BBC News Website

Mr Hall returned to his property to find his belongings gone and builders completing work on renovating the interior, when he demanded the builders leave, they did so, but later returned with the new ‘owner’s’ father – who informed Mr Hall that the property had been purchased legally around a month before.

On checking the Land Registry it was apparent that Mr Hall no longer legally owned the property and the new owner was indeed correct – the property belonged to him.

This had occurred because Mr Hall had his identity stolen: The identify thieves obtained a new driving license with Mr Hall’s name and used that to setup a false bank account with his details, ‘sell’ the property to a new owner and crucially, update the Land Registry.

Currently, Mr Hall is in a legal limbo and he will face a lengthy battle to try and get his property back – whether he will be successful is still unknown.

What can you do to stop your property being ‘stolen’ from under your nose?

The good news is, this type of event can be caught and stopped effectively and quickly using the Land Registry’s property alert service. The best news is, it’s entirely free.

The system works very simply: Just create an account and associate it with your property (no need to prove you are the legal owner). If anyone attempts to update the Land Registry details for your property, you will receive an immediate alert, allowing you to contest the update and stop any unscrupulous characters from getting control of your property.

Grace Miller & Co recommend you setup this free, invaluable service as soon as possible. To get started, head over to the Land Registry website by clicking here.