It is not known how many applications have been made to Land Registry in each of the last three years that have resulted in a fraudulent registration, whether in respect of the ownership of land or of a mortgage on land. This is because, firstly, there may be cases that have not come to light, and, secondly, Land Registry does not presently keep a central record of all frauds that affect the register of title. Land Registry does keep a central record of all cases where it pays statutory compensation, including those which result from fraud. It is also in the process of developing a more comprehensive method of recording fraud, whether or not it results in the payment of compensation.
Any owner of land who suffers loss as a result of the registration of a forged transfer or mortgage through no fault of their own is entitled to be compensated for that loss by Land Registry.
Land Registry paid statutory compensation as a result of fraud on a total of 15 claims in 2004-05, 31 claims in 2005-06 and 24 claims in 2006-07. To put this into context, there are currently more than 21 million registered titles and, in each of the last three years, Land Registry received around 4 million applications to register transfers for value and mortgages.