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Tenant Sold Her House

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3356929/The-thieves-stole-wife-s-house-sold-1-3million.html

" For more than two years, Penny’s little property in Fulham, which she cherishes as her children’s future inheritance, has been let to tenants. Never has she thought of parting with it."

As a veteran war reporter, Max Hastings thought he was unshockable. That was until he got a jaw-dropping email...The thieves who stole my wife's house and sold it for £1.3million
Max and Penny Hastings told her west London house sold for £1.3m
But buyer actually conned out of the cash by fake vendor in fraud scam
It is latest in series of 'high value home' frauds being investigated by the Metropolitan Police's cybercrime unit

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The headline grabber is disingenuous, but I guess the DM readership are mostly home owners, so it was the correct headline. The real loser was the buyer, who paid in cash, in full.

The original owners are still the rightful owners (hooray for UK property rights, which is why our prices are so high :wacko: ), as the Land Registry smelt a rat before transferring the titles over.

So, a warning for HPC who want to pay in cash, in full.

The lawyers did not see the physical house deeds first - We were astounded to discover that a house could be ‘sold’ without physical possession of the deeds.

You could use a mortgage first, then pay the rest a few years later. Let the bank take some of the risk - the interest and fees is the cost of business. You can walk away from a £1m+ mortgage, but £1m+ cash loss is a painful loss.

Edited by 200p

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I remember a similar case in France, Paris I think. Although being France I think the rightful owner had trouble getting their house back

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The headline grabber is disingenuous, but I guess the DM readership are mostly home owners, so it was the correct headline. The real loser was the buyer, who paid in cash, in full.

The original owners are still the rightful owners (hooray for UK property rights, which is why our prices are so high :wacko: ), as the Land Registry smelt a rat before transferring the titles over.

So, a warning for HPC who want to pay in cash, in full.

The lawyers did not see the physical house deeds first - We were astounded to discover that a house could be ‘sold’ without physical possession of the deeds.

You could use a mortgage first, then pay the rest a few years later. Let the bank take some of the risk - the interest and fees is the cost of business. You can walk away from a £1m+ mortgage, but £1m+ cash loss is a painful loss.

Wouldn't the lawyers' professional indemnity insurance cover the purchasers loss?

Edited by Bruce Banner

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When a mortgaged house is being sold, at what point does that mortgage company get involved? And presumably as it's a rented property the address they'd have for her wouldn't be her rental house...
So does that mean it was non-mortgaged?

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Wouldn't the lawyers' professional indemnity insurance cover the purchasers loss?

Probably, but I don't have the details on the process, or the speed at which the payout comes. It could take many months.

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You can check title deeds and ownership details for a few quid on line at the Land Registry. You can then compare the details of occupiers to the electoral roll etc. You don't have to be a genius or pay thousands to rumble this type of fraud or at the very least throw up warning flags. If it is a tenanted property or unoccupied you would want to verify the location and financial status of the owners carefully every time

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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I would think that the purchaser would have a good case against the solicitors firm who should have verified the identity of the bogus Penelope Hastings correctly. It may have been a genuine passport but clearly they have still failed in their duty of care and have caused a (massive) loss to the purchaser who was paying them for their services.

She will just have to do a bit of legwork to kick it off.

I am more concerned how the bogus Ms Hastings was so easily able to change her name and get a passport in the name of the owner. I assume the real Penelope Hastings DOB is not online anywhere which should have been a major flag as it would almost certainly have been different.

Seems the ID verification consisted simply of the fact that the purported owner was named P Hastings and there it ended.

If scammers can get passports so easily what does it say about terrorists...

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When a mortgaged house is being sold, at what point does that mortgage company get involved? And presumably as it's a rented property the address they'd have for her wouldn't be her rental house...

So does that mean it was non-mortgaged?

The article says there was no mortgage and was chosen specifically because of.

Interested parties such as a bank who has a mortgage on a property place a line on the land registry info (called a charge) saying they have a monetary interest. If the property comes up for sale they are then informed as part of the process.

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The article says there was no mortgage and was chosen specifically because of.

Interested parties such as a bank who has a mortgage on a property place a line on the land registry info (called a charge) saying they have a monetary interest. If the property comes up for sale they are then informed as part of the process.

Thanks. I only read as far as her having owned it two years and got bored of them as humans. Who buys a 1.3M property to rent out?

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So much confusing about this story!

"dull middle-class folk" have an unearned income more than the national average wage?

People pay over £1,000,000 for a smallish terraced house?

Fascinating.

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The article says there was no mortgage and was chosen specifically because of.

.

So has someone trawled the land registry or got inside info somewhere in the pipeline of buying houses?

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So has someone trawled the land registry or got inside info somewhere in the pipeline of buying houses?

Anyone can search £3 a pop https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

I guess they invest their £3 in those properties that are up for let and work through a business plan. Clearly they need to pay up front rent and deposit ect to kick the scam off.

Once you are in possession on the property Bobs your uncle you are free to show people round ect. The weak link here was some woman with a passport in the same name as the name on the title who the estate agent and the solicitor took had the express right to sell it as the owner.

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I believe its a not uncommon occurence. Apparently HM Land Registry pay out a few million pounds each year in compensation for losses incurred when property is transferred through fraudulent transactions.

Candy Brothers received £8.3m compensation from HM Land Registry in 2006, I believe.

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I am more concerned how the bogus Ms Hastings was so easily able to change her name and get a passport in the name of the owner. I assume the real Penelope Hastings DOB is not online anywhere which should have been a major flag as it would almost certainly have been different.

You could get it easily at the public records office. However, for a passport obtained after a deed poll name change, it would be hard to use a fake DOB so, as you say, it would have been easy enough to spot if someone had checked it.

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