If there was a free way to protect your home, your buy-to-lets and your aged relatives’ homes from property fraud, you’d use it, right?

The Land Registry has announced this week that 50,000 people have now signed up to its award-winning Property Alert service. Property Alert is a free service that allows individuals to protect up to 10 properties from fraud. It’s easy to use and you don’t even need to know the title numbers of the properties you wish to protect. You can even monitor properties owned by other people, perhaps elderly or vulnerable relatives.

The service works by sending you an email whenever a search or an application is lodged against one of your protected properties. If it relates to a purported sale or mortgage that you’re not aware of, you should contact the Land Registry immediately to halt the registration and protect your interest.

While it is of course fantastic that more people are signing up to Property Alert, even if all those 50,000 people have protected the maximum ten properties each, that still represents a measly 2% of the 24 million individual registered titles.

If you are not currently signed up for Property Alert, and even if your only property interest is the home you live in, then I would urge you to take five minutes out of your schedule today and protect your property. Think of it as an early Christmas present to yourself!

This article originally featured on Place North West.