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ID Please? Why Proving Your Identity is Vital in Conveyancing…

At Hodgkinsons Solicitors, Skegness, our Residential Conveyancing Team will always conduct ID checks at the start of any new property matter. The importance of providing your ID can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful transaction, so why do we ask you to provide evidence of your identity and how much does it matter? Our blog tells all…

ID Please? Why Proving Your Identity is Vital in Conveyancing…

When buying or selling a property, the initial ID process is vital. When you instruct a Conveyancer, they will always request proof of your identity and address. Providing ID may seem like an unnecessary task, but there are a number of reasons as to why it needs to be done.

Within any property transaction, large sums of money will be transferred between third parties who have often never met one another. This significantly increases the opportunities and risks of fraud, and in order to prevent this, your Conveyancer needs to check that you are the person involved in the transaction. They will also need to check that you are legally entitled to buy or sell the property in question. Unfortunately, mortgage and property frauds are not uncommon, and fraudsters often impersonate others to sell a property which they do not own.

At the beginning of any property matter, your Conveyancer is legally obliged to verify your identity and address, whether you are a new or existing Client. The types of ID required by your Conveyancer can include:

  • Current signed passport
  • Current driving license
  • Utility bill or bank statement within the last 3 months

If a Conveyancer is not satisfied that the seller is whom they claim they are, they are legally required to express and report their concerns. Where necessary, challenging a Client’s intentions is vital for Conveyancers, as the Conveyancer is liable if the ID check is wrong in the event of a fraud claim. By carrying out simple ID checks Conveyancers can ensure that they do not become involved in acting for any individual involved in crime. In Commercial Property matters, Commercial Conveyancers will be required to carry out additional Company checks and ID checks where necessary.

The law requires all Conveyancers to obtain a satisfactory level of evidence which proves the identity of their Clients. It is vital that all Conveyancers know who their Client is and where their money has come from in order to meet Money Laundering Regulations and to help prevent associated financial crime and the funding of terrorism.

ID checks will also be required where deposits and contributions towards a property have been gifted by family members. In recent years, gifting money for a house deposit has become more popular, however, it is not as simple as just transferring the money into the said account and claiming it to be a gift. To comply with anti-money laundering protocols, certain procedures must be followed.

If property funds have been gifted by a friend or family member, your Conveyancer may ask for evidence of ID from the gifter as well as proof of how the funds were accumulated, which will allow anti-money laundering searches to be carried out. The gifters will also be required to sign a Gifted Deposit Letter and to submit relevant forms. The letter must address a specific list of points and be signed by a witness. It is important that your Gifted Deposit Letter follows the necessary rules in order to make not only the conveyancing process as straightforward as possible, but also the mortgage process. This is something our Residential Conveyancing Team can assist with and advise on.

If you are considering buying or selling a residential property, our specialist Team of Residential Conveyancers can assist you. Hodgkinsons Solicitors, Skegness, are a Conveyancing Quality Scheme and Lender Exchange accredited law firm offering conveyancing services to homeowners in the East Midlands, rural Lincolnshire and Skegness including surrounding areas such as Boston, Lincoln, Grimsby and Louth. To find out more about how we can help you with regards to a residential property, call us on 01754 897150 or submit a contact form and a member of the Team will be in touch.