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London Property Market 14 January 2020

The Fifth Money Laundering Directive and Legal Compliance

The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive is now in force, which includes high value lettings transactions for the first time. This means that any landlord renting their property for €10,000 per calendar month or more will be affected.

From now on, when working with landlords with properties renting for £8,000 or more per month, Chestertons will need to:

  • Obtain Land Registry check confirming proof of ownership
  • Collect copy of original or certified ID and Proof of Address
  • Undertake electronic identity verification

These measures are crucial to the efforts to combat property fraud in the UK, a problem that Chestertons is determined should not befall any of its customers and the reason why we employ a full time Compliance Team. If you have any questions relating to this, please contact lori.thompson@chestertons.com

Be Alert For Property Fraud

Fraudulent property schemes are becoming more sophisticated and the value of successful property frauds has more than tripled – from £7m in 2013 to £25m in 2017. In 2018, the amount of attempted property fraud barred by the Land Registry was more than £130m.

Although technology is increasingly being used, most of these frauds rely on ID theft gaining access to your personal data. A common fraud involves criminals renting properties to intercept post with a long term plan to falsely pose as the property owner. In some cases, those claiming to be owners will steal the real property owner’s identity and then attempt to sell or mortgage their property by pretending to be them. If it isn’t discovered promptly, the true property owner might find their property has been transferred or sold without their knowledge.

Properties are successfully returned to their rightful owners in the vast majority of cases but the process for fixing the mess and rectifying the fraud can be distressing, time-consuming and costly. Chestertons is dedicated to doing everything it can to prevent any of its clients becoming victims of fraud.

Prevention is always better than cure, so I’d strongly advise you to take steps to work with us to reduce your risk of property fraud. In addition to the measures we have implemented at Chestertons, we recommend that you take advantage of the free Property Alert service that Land Registry offers that will alert you whenever someone makes a search on your property’s title or attempts to make a change to its registration.

Additionally, landlords, can set up a free RQ request with the Land Registry that will ensure that any new property sale is checked with your solicitor before being entered on the Land Register.

If you think you may have been the victim of property fraud contact the Land Registry property fraud line on 0300 006 7030 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm) or email reportafraud@landregistry.gov.uk.