Gabbs' solicitor, Melanie Tree, reports that the Land Registry has introduced new measures in an effort to combat property fraud. This enables owners of empty properties, e.g. where the owner is abroad or in a care home, to apply to the Land Registry for a restriction on the title which would require, on a sale or mortgage of the property, a certificate signed by a Solicitor or Conveyancer that they are satisfied that the person selling or mortgaging is the true owner. The Land Registry fee is free for absent property owners and £50 for owner/occupiers. 

The Land Registry have reported that empty properties are amongst the most vulnerable to fraud and these measures are the Land Registry’s attempt to encourage absent owners of property to take steps to combat such fraud.

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