A property company claims that more than £31m has been paid out by the Land Registry in the past three years in relation to fraudulent property deeds.
The company, Titlesolv, says it has used Freedom of Information requests to reveal that tan overall total of £23.3m worth of claims were received in 2014 by the Land Registry, and that since the start of 2012 the registry’s Indemnity Fund has received more than £59m in claims and paid out more than £31m against them.
Some of the claims have related to the alleged theft of a property owner’s identity and the attempted raising of an unenforceable mortgage against a property.
According to the data, the Land Registry has settled or paid an increasing number of the claims it receives, rising from some 78 per cent of those lodged in 2012 to more than 86 per cent in 2014.
However, the actual proportion of the value of claims granted has dropped considerably over the same time period, from an average of about 80 per cent in 2012 to just under 36 per cent in 2014.
Titlesolv suggests that if interest rates rise in the near future, as expected, then more claims may surface. “If those mortgages become unenforceable, the Registry – and the public purse – are vulnerable to claims of negligence” says a company spokesman.