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property address misuse in England and Wales

Misuse of Property Address: a Constant Threat to the UK Housing Market


February 16, 2024

The abuse of property addresses has escalated into a widespread epidemic of fraud, causing substantial distress and financial implications for property owners. In this article, we will present this growing problem, its implications for landlords, and how to defend ourselves from fraudsters.

 Facing the day-to-day challenges to achieve efficient property management is of paramount importance for successful landlords.

When shielding your property portfolio from risks, including identity theft and property fraud, the misuse of property addresses is an easily underestimated issue.

Yet, property address misuse for fraudulent purposes can have real financial repercussions on landlords, depleting their time and resources.

While the misuse of property addresses might seem like a minor issue, its impact is far-reaching to say the least.

This dishonest practice not only endangers the validity of contracts, making landlords vulnerable, but is also causing an authentic turmoil in the UK real estate industry.

Why are property address misuse frauds dangerous?

Let's explore the major trends in property address misappropriation and how British landlords can get ahead of fraudsters.


Rising Trends of Address Misuse

The misuse of property addresses, usually by tenants and ex-tenants, for unauthorised activities has become far too common. These practices involve, contrary to tenancy and mortgage agreements, malicious individuals that exploit addresses for personal gains.

Such actions breach trust and contractual obligations, leaving landlords exposed to potential legal entanglements and financial risks.


Fake Business Scams 

One of the most concerning trends gaining media attention involves the establishment of bogus companies using homeowners' addresses.

In this type of property address fraud, scammers register at Companies House using a 'stolen' address, thus making unsuspecting property owners liable for their criminal actions.

Needless to say, once created, fake businesses are used to perform other frauds: if one of your properties has been targeted, you will likely receive complaints from scammed people or even face unpleasant visits...

Wondering why this type of scam is so popular?

Simple. It's surprisingly easy to set up for fraudsters, but quite challenging for landlords to rectify.

In fact, proving your innocence in such situations can seem like a desperate struggle. Companies House and conventional institutions are usually slow to recognise these frauds, amplifying the plight of property owners caught up in the scheme.


Real Estate Fraud

Another unfortunate consequence of property address misuse is becoming a victim of real estate fraud.

In these cases, experienced scammers can use a property's address and realistic pictures to sell or rent it illegally.

In real estate frauds, timing is key to fight back.

Indeed, property address misuse is just a component to what can eventually become a fully fledged property fraud, potentially worth millions for the criminals involved.

If fraudsters manage to sell the house, buyers - as long as they are in good faith - will have a right to own the property regardless of the devious scam.

If you ever find yourself in such a predicament, it's better to follow the best practices for victims of title fraud.


Impact on Landlords

It's painfully clear that landlords, at the heart of these fraudulent activities, bear the brunt of the repercussions.

Beyond the obvious financial implications, these frauds undermine the core foundation of trust between landlords and tenants.

Yet exposing property owners to legal complexities and jeopardising their financial stability - as happened in this case - is not the only effect of property address misuse.

Consequences extend beyond immediate financial losses, challenging the authenticity of records and potentially affecting credit score ratings.

Genuine property transactions might also be indirectly affected, becoming more and more complex as trust between parties gradually vanishes.


Facing Unchecked Address Misuse 

While this pervasive issue calls for collaborative efforts from regulatory bodies, legal entities, and stakeholders within the British real estate market, it is unlikely to see such changes taking place in the short-term.

That's why heightened awareness among landlords, coupled with proactive measures, should serve as the primary defence against these frauds.

Lacking streamlined reporting mechanisms and swift legal recourse for address misuse, education and knowledge of best practices can critically empower landlords.

Knowing the necessary legal obligations, understanding the importance of tenant screening and reviewing measures to protect property addresses can really shift the balance in your favour.

Overall, these are most important actions to avoid becoming a target of property address frauds

  • Conduct constant and attentive monitoring of all your property addresses.


Vigilance in particular remains the cornerstone of protection in these uncertain times. Through careful monitoring, landlords can fortify their properties and uphold the integrity of the real estate sector against fraudulent incursions.

Yet this daily task can prove challenging, especially when dealing with multiple properties at once.

Title Guardian is a service especially designed to help overcome these issues without sacrificing time and effort every day.

While the risks associated with property address misuse are poorly understood, they present a formidable challenge threatening the integrity of property ownership.

With trust between landlords and tenants hanging in the balance, Title Guardian's goal is to offer innovative digital solutions that make monitoring and prevention as easy as possible.

Employing our digital vigilance system, it's possible to monitor any number of properties 24/7, without effort.

After registering and verifying all properties at risk, any suspicious action is promptly notified to the owner through instant notifications via our app, stopping the fraud in its tracks.

Our mission is to change the life of landlords and property owners for the better. Smart property protection is the right instrument to do so effectively.

In case you were wondering, we provide different membership plans to keep our services convenient and personal. No matter whether you want to monitor 1, 10 or 100 properties at once, we have the right service for your needs.

Explore our resources if you want to know more on how we do magic. And if you are already hitching to start your journey with Title Guardian, give us a shout.

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