How To Convince The Land Registry That You Are Not An Imposter. Or, How To Protect The Land Registry. Form ID1.
I have blogged a few times now, about the consequences of the decision of the Government that the Land Registry must do away with “Title Deeds” as evidence of Land ownership, after October 2003.
It does seem to me that the Land Registry has abandoned a system based on paper – or sometimes parchment if not actual vellum [google it!] – for systems based upon computerisation more for reasons of appearing to be “up to date” than for any actual good purpose.
Because a fraudster is not going to be able to persuade a purchaser that he is the owner of land to which he holds no title deeds, if title deeds are necessary to prove ownership.
But since the abolition of the need for title deeds, all a fraudster has to do is to pretend to be the real owner of the land. This is of course still difficult but it is a whole lot easier than it used to be.
Hence the rise in frauds.
There have been many frauds when unwitting solicitors have been instructed to act. And as the cases which I have blogged about show, when those frauds have come to light, the solicitors have usually been made to pay all the compensation.
And because the solicitors have done nothing wrong, the Courts have been inconsistent, sometimes ordering the fraudster’s solicitor to pay, sometimes ordering the honest party’s solicitor to pay, and sometimes ordering the money payment to be split between them. The inconsistency arises because there is in truth no moral reason why either firm of solicitors should pay, so it is necessarily all a bit random, however the judges have tried to dress it up in veneer of logic.
And thus generally no Government department usually loses out when this kind of fraud takes place if there are solicitors involved to carry the can.
Therefore we can understand the concern of the Land Registry when a transaction is put forward for registration, where one or other of the parties has acted for themselves without a Solicitor involved.
No whipping boy, oh dear oh dear, it may think.
And hence their requirement of form ID1, [Identity 1] to accompany every land transaction worth over £6000 where a party acts for themselves.
In an attempt to make sure that any fraud will be underwritten by a professional insurance policy, the Land Registry ask all Buyers and Sellers of land who have done their own conveyancing to go see a suitable professional person and get that person to certify their identities.
Then of course if A is pretending to be B, sells B’s house and runs away, the person who identified him on Form ID1 to be B, and who has not run away, is in a spot of bother.
Now there are people who don’t like using Solicitors, so it must seem to them to be a bit of a catch 22 if in order not to use Solicitors when buying or selling land, they have to go and see a Solicitor anyway.
And it is a bit odd, to ask a Solicitor to do this. The role of a Solicitor is to act for a Client. If a Solicitor acts carelessly then that Solicitor must compensate C.
Traditionally, the only person to whom a Solicitor is liable is C. Or, if he botches the writing of a Will for C, he may be liable to C’s intended beneficiaries. But that is it. There is no concept that a Solicitor is liable to the whole wide world for the consequences of his or her mistakes.
So in the worst case can the Land registry actually sue a negligent or fooled Solicitor when all he has done is unwittingly fill in a form ID1 for a crook: – but who is not acting for the Land Registry, who has no contract with the Land Registry, who is not even being paid by the Land Registry? I really wonder.
Properly, it’s a job for a Notary. Just to say, you can come see me instead. Notaries are in the business of authentication and the authentication of identity is number one on our list of what we do all day. And we –Notaries – are liable to compensate anyone who loses out by relying upon our certificates.
There’s a song about it. – If you want to know who we are – Link Here –
And as ever – our message to you is, for documents for use around the world as well as forms ID1 in England, do contact me or Louise Morley here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com