Have you checked your title deeds recently? Are you sure you still own your property?
Recently Penny Hastings was subject to a property fraud whereby her rental property had been sold without her knowing for the sum of £1.3million.
It transpired that Penny's previous tenants moved out in June and her letting agent found a new tenant. The new tenant was a Kevin Tafter and he advised the estate agents that he wanted to move in quickly.
The agent undertook references and he paid a deposit. He then collected the keys at the end of the month, but what Penelope did not know was that he never moved in.
Apparently Mr Tafter paid his rent in cash and never moved any furniture in to the property. After a little while he placed the property for sale with another estate agent claiming to be acting on behalf of Penelope Hastings, the real owner.
A sale was agreed.
A woman masquerading to be Penelope Hastings then instructed a firm of Licenced Conveyancers to act for her in the sale.
This woman, had changed her name by Deed Poll and then somehow had obtained a passport. Providing a photocopy of her passport to her Licenced Conveyancers to satisfy their identity checks they proceeded to sell a property for someone who was not the real Penelope Hastings.
It was later discovered that this woman was in prison at the time.
The £1.3million was apparently last seen on its way to Dubai and no-one has seen Mr Tafter since.
Luckily the Land Registry did not complete the registration and so the real Penelope Hastings remains the registered owner.
But the real loser here is the purchaser who has handed over £1.3million for a house that she does not own. These funds have not yet been recovered.
This is a growing issue and you should protect your property by using the Land Registry 'Property Alert' see https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk and registering your property.
Please contact Sue Pendleton for further information Tel: 01455 637030 firstname.lastname@example.org