We’ve recently introduced a new security measure for companies who own registered property and are concerned it might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage. Tenanted, unoccupied or mortgage-free properties are known to be particularly vulnerable.
Property fraud can happen in many ways. Fraudsters may attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using a forged document to transfer it into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner. Once they have raised money by mortgaging the property without the owner’s knowledge, they disappear without making repayments leaving the owner to deal with the consequences.
Companies wanting counter-fraud protection can make a request to enter a restriction on up to three of their titles, free of charge. The request must be made by using the new form RQ(Co), which has been specifically developed for this purpose.
The restriction is designed to help safeguard against forgery by requiring conveyancers, for example a solicitor, to certify that they are satisfied the company transferring, leasing or mortgaging the property is the same company as the owner before any new sale, lease or mortgage is registered. They must also certify that they have taken reasonable steps to establish that anyone who executed the deed on behalf of the company held the stated office at the time of execution.
To request the counter-fraud restriction, please download and complete form RQ(Co) and send it to us:
PO Box 6350
Document Exchange (DX) system
Land Registry, Citizen Centre
Please do not send form RQ(Co) to us with any other type of application.
For further guidance on counter-fraud measures see www.gov.uk/protect-land-property-from-fraud