I have been alerted by the PainSmith blog to a worrying case about property owners not being able to set aside a mortgage taken out by fraudsters:
Barclays Bank Plc v. Guy 
Reported here. In this case Mr Guy’s property was wrongly transferred into the fraudsters name at the Land Registry and a mortgage was taken out.
The Court held that Mr Guy could have the property transferred back into his name at the Land Registry.
However it then said that he could not reverse the mortgage, because it had been granted in good faith by the bank on the basis of the Land Registry entires.
It is a general rule that people are entitled to rely on information held at the Land Registry as being correct.
So unless Mr Guy paid the money back to Barclays they would be entitled to claim it from him.
Don’t let this happen to you.
It is very easy to protect yourself against this sort of thing happening.
Your contact details
The most important thing is to make sure your contact details are up to date, particularly if you are not living at the property (for example if it is rented out to tenants).
Register a restriction
The other thing you can do is to register a restriction. This means that the Land Registry will not register a dealing with your property, for example a transfer or a mortgage, unless a solicitor or other professional conveyancer certifies that they have checked the identity of the person who has signed the deed.
This is all explained on the helpful Land Registry Property Fraud page.
You will also find further guidance on my this earlier post on protecting against fraudsters and criminals