A revolutionary, deep-learning algorithm has been developed to identify and uncover more than 1.1m extra residential titles missing from HM Land Registry, approximately 4.6 per cent of all residential properties across England and Wales.
Home owners are being warned yet again about scams where criminal groups target empty properties to apply for a mortgage or loan.
The scams are not new and the reason for the timing of yesterday’s warning is unclear, but the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s Proactive Intelligence Team, which is part of the City of London Police, is warning home owners that it has information showing criminal networks identifying empty properties by using names on published obituaries and carrying out research on the Land Registry.
The sale of the Land Registry into private hands has been officially – if quietly – abandoned.
The news was buried deep in the small print of the Autumn Statement.
Controversial plans to sell off the Land Registry have been put on hold, while ministers review responses to the government’s consultation.
The Queen’s speech in May included an outline of a neighbourhood planning bill, which the government said would enable the privatisation of the Land Registry, which keeps records on property ownership in England and Wales.
However, that element does not appear in the bill set to go before parliament on Wednesday.
Business minister George Freeman suggests proposal is now a matter for new administration to resolve, with MPs strongly against privatisation
David Lammy says £1bn privatisation of property registry is politically led and harmful to public purse and transparency
The Land Registry’s monthly ‘price paid data’ has revealed that there were 75,937 land and property sales in England and Wales lodged for registration in May.
Of those received by the Registry there were 296 residential sales for £1m or over, of which 182 were in London.
A consultation is underway in the UK on changes to local land registry frameworks with interested parties from the property industry urged to give their opinions.
It is currently intended that the Local Land Charges Rules 2017 will come into force on 06 April 2017. However, the rules will only take effect in relation to local authorities in stages, as there will be an incremental roll-out, it has been confirmed.
The Infrastructure Act 2015 provides for the transfer of responsibility for Local Land Charges from local authorities to the Land Registry. The plan is for the Land Registry to provide a single, digital Local Land Charges register.
Planned privatisation would grant new owner monopoly on commercially valuable data with no incentive to improve access, warns CMA
The official consultation on selling the Land Registry into private hands has now been launched, with anger that it was pushed out just as the Easter bank holiday weekend was beginning.
The timing was reminiscent of the consultation on the 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge, which was sneaked out during the Christmas break.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says that the sale of the Land Registry, likely next year, would allow the Government to pay down debt.
The UK’s Land Registry’s fraud line has helped thousands to protect their home ownership against property fraudsters in its first three years.
Nearly 3,000 calls and emails have been received as people become more aware of the risk of someone stealing their identity in order to sell or take out a mortgage on their home before disappearing with the money.
‘Since we launched our property fraud line property owners have become more aware of the risk. We urge home owners to follow our advice to reduce their risk of falling victim to property fraud,’ said Alasdair Lewis, director of Legal Services at the Land Registry.
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