Buildings and land are usually the most valuable assets you own. They can be sold and mortgaged to raise money and can therefore be attractive targets for fraudsters.
It is very important that property owners do what they can to help prevent fraud and to protect their ownership in the same way that they protect other things they own.
If you own property you can be the victim of property fraud, but there are some situations where this is more likely:
Register your title to your property at the Land Registry and make sure your address for service is up-to-date. Consider having more than one address for service and also, if you feel particularly at risk put a restriction on your title.
As a landlord you could be most at risk if you have lived in the property you are letting out and have mail going to that address. Never leave any personal documents at the address and carry out thorough identity, credit and reference checks on tenants.
It is your responsibility to do indentity checks with sight of original documents. Although we can confirm identities as far as evidence and paperwork presented to us is concerned, we are not in a possition to do this with original documents - face to face.
In addition to doing credit checks and referencing, landlords and letting agents should always satisfy themselves of the true identity of tenant applicants by carrying out additional identity checks. You should do this before you apply for a credit check. This is because people who know there are issues with their records can sometimes present a faulse identity for your check.
Personal documents such as driver's licences, passports, and bank statements are essential.
Request a photocopy of at lease one item with a photograph.
To verify addresses you should request sight of a utility bill in the tenant's name. Make sure you have previous addresses for at least 3 years as CCJs are recorded at the address at the time of judgment.
We supply a free download Identification Certificate here
2 required, sight of originals or certified copies – all letters to show current address in full
Proof of personal identification (2 pieces) and evidence of current address (2 pieces) – 4 pieces in total - the same documents will not cover both.
For a UK national you can accept certified copies by: A UK lawyer, banker, authorised financial intermediary, MCCB regulated mortgage intermediary, chartered accountant, teacher, doctor, minister of religion, post master/sub post master.
For a non UK national you can accept certified copies of documents from: an embassy, consulate or high commission of the country of issue, a senior official of a UK employer, lawyer or attorney.
Certified Copies should be signed “original seen” and dated with full printed name, title/position, telephone or e-mail contact and address of certifier.
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