24LKDWhen our Data Matching service was first introduced 10 years ago the usage was very much exclusively for lenders and their agents. Our service helps to make sure property records are up to date by verifying property ownership data.

It was used either for straight forward debt recovery – so to find out if the debtor still lives at the property. Or, for the sale and purchase of portfolios of debt – the portfolio is more valuable if debtors own their properties. It also helped with separating the debt as the recovery process is different depending if you own property or not. Lisa Moss, Legal Aid Agency Business Manager for Rossendales tells us:

“We have utilised the Classic Data Matching since 2010, and continue to use this product today. The data is always returned in a timely manner, more frequently well ahead of our SLA. The data provided allows us to work smartly and accurately with case investigations and provides us with useful information to accurately case manage for our own client.”

Other uses have gradually come in over the last 8 years or so, which sometimes depends on fads or trends. Clinton Hook, Head of Data Management for Experian Consumer Information says,

“We have used the Volume Data Matching service for 4 years to enhance our products and services. The service and support are reliable and accurate, so we would recommend it.”

We now have a range of different customers using our service to get more accurate data and save time managing their lists. Here are some examples of how they use Data Matching:

  1. Green Energy companies: to check at an early stage before assessors went out, whether households asking for grants for energy saving schemes were actually the homeowner.
  2. Property rental and management companies: to confirm whether people claiming to be the property owner are indeed the owner, before advertising the property for rent, particularly with the growth in the buy-to-let market.
  3. Water and other utilities companies: to find out which of their supplied properties are empty, so they can take any necessary action.
  4. A utilities company that rewarded their salespeople with commission based upon whether their sales were to owner-occupied households or tenanted households: to confirm the commission payment.
  5. Accountants and Insolvency Practitioners: to find out what property assets an individual may own, before deciding whether to take (a bankrupt) client on.
  6. Local Council’s Fraud Departments: to check whether tenants claiming housing benefit actually own the properties helping prosecutions to be made.
  7. Data list providers: to be able to add home ownership details to their data offerings.
  8. A company working for national Estate Agency firm: to see where properties had been sold, and using the information, investigated whether estate agency commissions had been avoided.

I’ve been working with Data Matching for a while so I’ve seen the change in the way customers use our service. I’ve also seen how we’ve developed the service over the years, helping to improve the way you can match data. We now have an online version which gives you immediate (real-time) results, and a service for those that need to match large volumes (up to 1 million records).

Want to find out more or ask any questions? Get in touch with the team.

Roger Wilkinson
By Roger Wilkinson,
Business Development Executive at HM Land Registry