April 24, 2014

Make sure your property is protected for zero cost

Someone could make an application to the Land Registry to transfer ownership of your property to their own name, using the law of adverse possession. The Land Registry will send notice of that application to the address they hold for the property owner (the registered proprietor). If you receive notice, you can object. But what if that address is wrong?

The process 
A registered proprietor has 65 business days to respond to an application for registration made by a squatter. If your details are not current, you may miss the notification from the Land Registry which could lead to your property being transferred to someone else without you knowing! As you would expect, the Land Registry is more likely to wave through an application where no one objects. To make matters worse, you might not find out the property is no longer in your name until much later, turning an administrative oversight into a complex and costly property dispute. A similar procedure would apply if someone applied to register a right of way or other adverse interest over your land.

When moving home or business address, there is always a tediously long list of utility companies, banks, mobile phone companies, etc to notify of the changes. If you own other properties, it is all too easy to overlook updating the Land Registry with your new contact details.

If in doubt, act now
Check your contact details now to make sure they are correctly recorded at the Land Registry - for all your properties. A registered proprietor can provide the Land Registry with up to three different addresses, including an email address and an address abroad and there is no Land Registry fee for this service.

The Land Registry also provides a free email alert service. If you sign up to this they will email you when certain activity occurs on your monitored properties.

If you need advice about ownership of your property or any other property issue contact Jacqui Walton in our Property Disputes team on 0800 923 2070 or email [email protected].

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