Real estate properties hold so much worth, so they are prone to get targeted by scammers. But, we want our readers to stay well-informed and avoid the common property frauds that they can fall victim to while investing or living in the UK.
If you have a big house or a lot of money, you instantly become vulnerable. With the increased number of people falling victim to these common property frauds, it is important to raise awareness to help you understand the tactics property scammers use that look so sophisticated but aren’t really is.
Fret not! We have all the answers about how you can avoid these common property frauds.
Common Property Frauds
These are some common property fraud that scammers use as bait for genuine property buyers. The real estate buyers in the UK have suffered from many underhand property frauds, lost millions of dollars with various scams regarding land registry and other fraudulent activities.
To save yourself from such situations, you need to know how to sense if you’re being scammed. Some common property scams that you’re likely to find are:
- A person pretending to be a buyer or seller
- Pretend landlords or rental agents
- Pretend lender
- Inflating sale prices
- Pretend conveyancers
- Fake land registry
You could easily get scammed without even knowing. One of the most common quirks you will find in fraudsters is their sophistication – they are well-spoken, composed, and highly knowledgeable. Here are some keen points you should know about how these frauds are done:
- There are scammers who can sell your house from under your nose. They will attempt to be the seller of your property with false documentation
- If there is no mortgage on your personal property then scammers will benefit great leverage from this opportunity. Same goes for people who live outside the country without assigning a care-taker.
- Sometimes scammers try to force you to transfer funds directly into their bank account. This situation can be avoided by confrontation and clarifications. It will clear things up and you will know the reason behind the direct payment.
- A quick sale is always alarming, but sometimes it’s not. Property investment can be tricky, so you need to be vigilant.
How Can You Avoid These Frauds?
Now that you know some of the most common property frauds, let’s give you some tips to avoid them:
- Firstly, you need to make sure that your property is in safe hands. You need to get it registered with the relevant authorities. Besides, you should also ask for the identification of the person you’re dealing with.
- If you have registered your property, you instantly get notified if someone tries to make a change to the property.
- Same goes for if someone tried to change the registered owner of the following property. An instant notification (be it an email or SMS service) will pop up and you will be notified.
- It won’t immediately block the activity, but it will notify you about the said activity surely. It will help you take appropriate action at the right time.
Putting a Restriction on Your Title
Another great way to ensure your property’s safety is putting a restriction on the title. Safeguarding your property rights will put a stop like a security checkpoint. Not to mention, it will also stop the registration process without authentication. Even the land registry will need the approval to process the registration for any sale or mortgage until and unless any conveyancer or a solicitor certifies that the said application is done by you.
You can easily apply for a restriction if you are living in the property, but it will cost you some fees that you have to give in order to make this happen.
But if you don’t live in the property then it’s free of cost
Pro Tips: When you deal with property always make sure that the pricing is realistic. Pay attention to everything before and after viewing. You can always contact the housing adviser if you are unsure and don’t know much about the process.