On 19 November, the winners were announced for the annual Civil Service awards and we were delighted that our Property Alert service won in the Innovation category.
Alasdair Lewis, Director of Legal Services said:
“We were up against some stiff competition and there were almost 700 entries overall so we were absolutely thrilled to win. It’s great to have another accolade for our free Property Alert service after winning the Real IT Award earlier this year. We know that the majority of people using the service find it simple and easy to sign up to but we’re always looking at how we can improve the service to make it as user-friendly as possible.”
About Property Alert
Property Alert is a free property monitoring service aimed at anyone worried that their registered property could be at risk from fraud.
Nearly 17,000 Property Alert accounts have already been created, monitoring over 27,000 properties.
How does Property Alert work?
You’ll need to set up an online account with HM Land Registry which is free – www.gov.uk/property-alert.
You’ll be able to monitor up to ten properties. Email alerts will be sent when HM Land Registry receives an application to change the register as well as for official searches. You can then judge whether or not the activity is suspicious and if you should seek further advice.
People who are not online can also sign up for Property Alert by calling 0300 006 0478.
What is property fraud?
Property fraud can happen in many ways. Fraudsters may steal someone’s identity and attempt to acquire ownership of a property by using forged documents. The fraudsters could then raise money by mortgaging the property without the owner’s knowledge – disappearing with the money.
In the last five years, HM Land Registry has stopped fraud on properties worth more than £67 million.
Properties most likely to be at risk, are:
- rented properties – for example where the landlord lives elsewhere, a tenant might try to mortgage or sell the property without the landlord’s knowledge;
- empty properties – such as where the owner lives abroad or is in a care home;
- where there are family disputes. For example, in a relationship break-down, someone could try and mortgage a property without their partner knowing; and
- properties without a mortgage.
More about Property Alert
In May 2014 Property Alert won a Real IT award in the ‘Innovation in Business’ category.
Now in its ninth year, the Civil Service Awards are the leading awards programme for the civil service. These awards celebrate the achievements made by civil servants across the country as they strive to drive efficiency, think innovatively and help build a better government.