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TV investigation warns landlords over title fraud by tenants

title fraud

Landlords have been warned by a TV programme to watch out for tenants who attempt to steal their properties via title fraud.

Channel 5’s programme ‘Scams – Don’t Get Caught Out’ which aired last night presented by Alexis Conran (main image), featured an interview with title fraud expert Stuart Forsdike (pictured below on the show), who explained how this kind of fraud is Britain’s fastest growing, revealing an 84% rise during 2022.

"Fraudsters target your property due to its value. They only need one successful hit to accrue an asset that’s large in value," said Forsdike from Title Guardian.

The show explored the simplicity of cloning someone's identity, highlighting the vulnerability of owners who rent out property.

Name change

Conran and Forsdyke talking title fraud on Channel 5.

Forsdike emphasised the ease with which a tenant could assume the identity of a landlord by changing their name via Deed Poll, exploiting legal loopholes to perform fraudulent transactions.

“If a landlord lets out a property, there is nothing to stop their tenant going to a lawyer and changing their name officially by deed poll," he said.

"They would then have a new passport, new driving licence, bank statements, utility bills sent to that property address in their new name, which is the same as the landlord.  

"At this point they can walk into a law firm, pass ID checks, they could go to a selling agent, put the property on the market and effectively sell it."

Landlords can either sign up to the Land Registry’s free alert service, which flags up changes or attempted changes to a title deed or use services like Title Guardian to be alerted when other attempts are made to use an address digitally and get prior warning of a title fraud attempt.

Watch the TV show on Channel 5 for free.


Property fraud
title fraud