When buying or selling a property, you will be asked to provide evidence of your identity and your address.
There are two main reasons for this requirement. Firstly, the Money Laundering Regulations mean that solicitors are required to verify this information; secondly, the requirements of the Land Registry are designed to prevent property registration fraud.
The Land Registry depends on conveyancers to take the appropriate steps to confirm the identity of their clients. Confirmation of identity or rule 17 identity evidence is a requirement and helps the organisation to decide whether it needs to carry out further checks prior to completing registration.
If you are using a residential conveyancer and are a UK resident, you will be asked for one of the documents listed below. These must be originals:
– Current valid passport.
– An EEA or UK photo-identity driving licence.
– Benefit book or letter from the Benefits Agency.
– A document from the Inland Revenue, such as a P45 or P60.
– A residency permit or alien registration card from the Home Office.
– A UK armed services ID card.
Other documents may be acceptable, but check beforehand with your conveyancer. They will be able to help with all aspects of the identification process.
You must also be able to provide evidence of your address; again, there are a number of options. You should note that this must be a separate document to any you have used to establish your identity.
– A bank, building society or National Savings passbook or statement.
– A council tax bill.
– Driving licence.
– Mortgage statement.
– Tax demand or self-assessment statement from the Inland Revenue.
– Identity card from an EEA state.
– Utility bill.
– A benefits book or a letter from the Benefits Agency.
When choosing a conveyancer, start by finding the best conveyancing quotes from experts such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/conveyancing-quote.
The question of identity confirmation is a serious matter for your chosen conveyancer. If they were to knowingly provide false information in this respect, they may be committing an offence under section one of the Fraud Act 2006. The maximum penalty for this offence is an unlimited fine, ten years’ imprisonment, or both.
The Land Registry retains the right to refuse the registration of a property if the owner’s identity is not confirmed.