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140 Reviews
  • Steven P

    Excellent work, thank you.

  • K Boon

    i recently completed on a property and was guided really well by Katrina and Lisa. Ive never purchased a property before so really didn’t know what was involved. It was easy and seamless no stress at all followed by a price that was so much cheaper than other quotes I’d had

  • M Rehman

    Having had my PIA flight delayed for over 5 hours.. Anita Craig of versus law solicitors was a great help. Every step was made easy for me to understand and I will definitely be recommending yourselves to family and friends.

  • B Keane

    Very professional and up to the task
    I found versus law straight forward and very helpful.

  • A Ali

    Versuslaw especially Anita Craig helped so kindly from 2018 for pia delay flight claim which was showing possible but Ms Anita Craig proved it again that versus law can do it. Thank you will use again and recommend 100percent.

  • J Nugent

    They made the whole process of my injury claim
    simple and straight forward, They even managed to get
    me my compensation before Christmas which I wasn’t expecting, A big thanks to Kulbinder Mehay

  • R Nabi

    We have just completed on a buy and sell having used Versus Law for both sides of the transaction.
    Versus Law have been immense throughout, with the Conveyancer looking after our ‘purchase’ working hand in hand with his colleagues to keep us informed of how the ‘sell’ was progressing too.
    Amazing bunch of people. There should be more firms providing this high level of service.

  • Liz

    Nicola Nolan and Natalie Moylan are an excellent conveyancing team. We have used them more than once and recommend them to friends and family (who were also impressed). This time they were involved in us buying a property in Wales and kept us informed all the way through, even with covid restrictions causing problems. They are friendly, efficient and get the job done in a no-nonsense way which is what you need. They take the stress out of conveyancing for you. Very impressed and would recommend to anyone and everyone.

  • Gem

    I was selling my home which had a complicated title and versus law was recommended to me. Natalie Moylan handled my case from start to finish and I couldn’t ask for anyone better! There were no obstacles that couldn’t be overcome and in a very fast turn around too. The sale completed in no time at all. Natalie was timely, professional and friendly and an absolute pleasure to have on my side. I would strongly recommend Versus law to anyone.

  • Bonnie

    I have used the services of Nicola Nolan at Versus Law twice this year and was instantly put at ease and very impressed with the help received and the outcome achieved. Would recommend without hesitation

  • Daniel

    I called to get some documents certified, the ladies on reception were so helpful. I am very happy with the service I received and will use Versus Law again.

  • M

    Dealt with my flight claim hassle free and super quick, I was continuously updated every step of the way and overall really pleased with the outcome. A personal thank you to Anita as she couldn’t have made it easier for me and saw through any problems I had!

  • Richard

    I purchased my first home in February, and used Versus as my solicitor. I dealt with Natalie Moylan from start to finish, who was excellent throughout. The purchase ended up being delayed and resulted in a quite hectic finish, but Natalie remained calm and professional at all times, whilst providing a very high quality of work. My thanks to Natalie and her team, for making a long purchase so much easier!

  • C Savage

    We were selling our house (through Nick) and buying a house (through Natalie) and I can honestly say these are the best solicitors we’ve ever used (we had always used ones in London previously). They both kept us informed on a regular basis as to how things were progressing which I really valued and they were quick to respond to any queries I asked. They were professional, efficient, helpful and really nice to deal with. We were recommended Versus through local friends that have used them previously and I would definitely recommend Versus to anyone else asking me for a recommendation.
    Thanks again Natalie and Nick.

  • J Percy

    We used Nicola Nolan for our purchase/transfer of ownership. She was excellent from start to finish. We were fully informed of the process throughout and she was always friendly, approachable and very professional at all times. Would definitely recommend her at Versus Law. Thank you again

  • J Guntren

    Amazing law firm for conveyancing!! My wife and I made an offer on a house 24th September and we were moved in by 20th December. It should also be noted that we were selling my wife’s apartment at the same time (also using Versus), further complicating everything. Thanks to Natalie, everything was done in a very efficient manner and she was very understanding of our situation.

  • P Godfrey

    Many thanks to Anita and all the staff at Versuslaw, they made my flight compensation claim for delay a breeze. I would highly recommend them

  • G Ryder

    The service and advise that we received from Versuslaw was exceptional. We had numerous issues with the house that we were buying and the team at Versus law guided us through the process whilst always looking out for our best interest.They were always prompt in responding to any question that we had and would update us on a regular basis. Thanks again to Nicola, Nick and Francine

  • Mark

    Excellent, professional and friendly work from Nick, Nicola and Natalie. They were flexible and very helpful in pushing along the sale despite several hurdles. Would definitely use again in future and would recommend others do so too

  • C Keen

    Absolutely superb service from Nicola Nolan. Highly trust and recommend. Honest attention to detail.

  • V Griffith

    We would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to Saqib Kazam versuslaw
    Once he took our case in for Holiday compensation He kept us up to date with every thing explaining every step he took this was not an easy case but he got us an excellent result a kind polite very professional young man. Highly recommend

  • J Williams

    From the moment we rung Versus Law and spoke to the receptionist on the phone to the moment we completed on our first home, Versus Law were excellent. Our solicitor was Tom and not only did he keep us updated every step of the way but he was very professional, efficient, offered valuable advice and made the process of buying a house stress free. We couldn’t recommend Versus Law enough and we just wanted to say a huge thank you to Tom and the team. Joe and Kara

  • S Foster

    Sarah handled my claim quickly and efficiently. It made the whole process easy and stress free. She was very professional and kept me informed every step. I would highly recommend Versuslaw.

  • H Cooper

    We would highly recommend Versus law, especially Nick Wintrip (selling) and Nicola Nolan (buying). They both kept us up to date throughout the whole process. They were easy to get hold of and were very prompt to answer any questions/email. We would have no hesitation in recommending Versus law for conveyancing.

  • I Asaf

    Fantastic service, very helpful and kept me informed at every stage

  • M Long

    From start to finish Versus Law have been professional and helpful. Tom Reid was always available to talk to us and gave us updates regularly meaning we did not have to constantly chase up matters. We are very happy by the service and would recommend to anyone looking for a reliable solicitor.

  • Jill T

    Excellent service. I was kept informed every step of the way. Natalie Moylan and Renee Burke were a pleasure to work with. Highly professional but with a personal touch. They both went above and beyond!

  • Danielle

    Excellent service from start to finish from Nicola and Natalie! Super responsive to emails and all my questions as a first time single buyer. Natalie and Nicola make a great team and are so approachable. Definitely recommend them for property related legal services.

  • Frankie

    Really happy with my experience using versus law, from start to finish they put my mind at ease as I wasn’t buying a house in the normal way, it was through a family divorce and there were time scales and dead lines to meet, versus law managed to conker my mortgage and speed things up to avoid any extra costs, nicola was always there to ease my mind when I had any concerns as things do get stressful whilst purchasing a property, the ladies on the reception we also a delight and couldn’t do more to make you feel comfortable in any situation, if you are thinking of using versus law to assist you through your mortgage then look no further as these guys couldn’t have done more for me, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience

  • Matt W

    Nicola Nolan’s conveyancing service has always been excellent, I have used them several times in the last 5 years. In particular for my business I have found their relationship and understanding of Paragon Bank to be very useful. I would highly recommend.

  • Kay

    Excellent decision to go with Versus Law! Nick Wintrip handled the very stressful job of our house sale with professionalism, calmness and a good sense of humour. We did everything via email, phone and post, and he was always quick in responding and keeping me updated every step of the way. Very competitively priced too. I would highly recommend Versus Law without the slightest hesitation.

  • O Li

    Thomas Reid dealt with the sale and purchase of our properties. He was a pleasure to work with – very quick to respond to queries and very efficient in his work. As a result, the process went very smoothly with minimal delays. I would highly recommend competitively priced Versus Law and especially the professionalism of Thomas Reid.

  • Mr RS

    Natalie Moylan dealt with the sale and purchase on my behalf. The whole process was very well handled with constant updates. The first solicitors I’ve used that’s responds within to an email within an hour! Would 100% use again!!!

  • Mrs LC

    Recently dealt with Nick Wintrip at Versus law when selling my property. Found him to be professional, quick and thorough. Process went smoothly and I was well informed throughout the process. I received regular updates and all enquiries were dealt with efficiently. Nick made the whole process of selling my home stress free and a happy one! Your the best Nick – thank you again 🙂
    Will highly recommend Versus Law Solicitors. They are the best

  • Jaxx

    Would recommend Versus Law for conveyancing; Nick and Natalie we’re our team with Nick the main contact, thank you Nick and Natalie for making the conveyancing experience as stress free as possible.

  • Paula

    Great experience working with Versus Law. Excellent level of professionalism from Thomas Reid who provided clear, precise information. Highly recommended from my side. Thanks to Tom and the team.

  • D

    Fantastic experience with Natalie and her colleagues. Email updates throughout the home buying process, estimates of how long it would take to get her work completed and local knowledge which speeded up the process. 100% recommended.

  • R Napier

    Really good and really helpful got things sorted alot quicker than anticipated very cooperative

  • Wetherill

    What an outstanding team they turned my purchase around within the set time frame and very professional at all times.
    They went above and beyond reassured myself throughout the process.
    As being a first time buyer I felt this was most important I would recommend them highly.

  • Nasir

    Versus Law dealt with my house sale from start to finish in a most professional manner. A friendly, professional, competent team who get the job done within the time parameters. I highly recommend this firm.

  • Colin and Yvonne

    Absolutely brilliant service as always.
    This is the third time using Versuslaw and they never fail to impress. Natalie and Nicola are real diamonds and you really get the sense that they actually care about you.

    We actually live in London, but continued to use them for our London property because of our previous experience with them.
    Thank you guys, would highly recommend you to anyone.

  • B Man

    Excellent service!!! We are really happy with the service VersusLaw provided to us. Being first time buyer, we dint have much idea about the whole process and had lots of questions. They have given proper and clear response on time to everything we have requested. For us, one of the property got cancelled in between the process because the owner decided to not to sell that property few days after accepting our offer. Though there were searches and procedures done already for that property VersusLaw did not ask Fee for that purchase as they understood the difficult situation we were in. When we found our next property, we had no doubt whom to contact. We are really happy and totally satisfied by the service Nicola, Natalie and their team offered. We will highly recommend your service to anyone,

  • Ross Grant

    Today I have completed on the purchase of my very first apartment, and it just wouldn’t have been possible without the INCREDIBLE knowledge, guidance and GENUINE care of Nicola, Natalie, and the entire Versus Law team.

    This purchase was far from straightforward, with lots of potential pitfalls – all navigated with professionalism, patience and an impeccable attention to detail by Nicola.

    Nic went well above and beyond the call of duty to look into some extremely complex accounts and repair budgets to the apartment block in question – something I would have completely overlooked.

    As a result, with her guidance, I managed to negotiate a £2,000 reduction in asking price – something I’m sure other solicitors would have let slip through the net.

    That’s a genuine £2000 saving – a lot of money for a first-time buyer.

    You get a real sense that these guys actually CARE – they make you feel more like a friend, than a client – and don’t leave a stone unturned when it comes to conveyancing. If there is anything to uncover on a property, trust me, Nicola will find it!

    In essence, Versus Law made what could have been a rather stressful situation, easy and straightforward.

    Communications and response times were brilliant, with daily updates coming via phone and email – and I never felt rushed by anyone when I had queries.

    I honestly cannot recommend Versus Law enough.

    I’m going to pick up the keys to my apartment now – and won’t be using anyone other than these guys for all future property purchases/ sales.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH Versus Law – I’ll be raising a glass of champagne to you all at the housewarming! 🙂

  • CW

    Great service provided by Nicola and her team.
    Always communicating with updates for the completion of my property.
    Would highly recommend

  • Jackie

    I used Versus Law to buy my first house. Had no idea how it worked but I must say that the conveyancing team held my hand all the way through. On the day of completion there was a delay and they stayed in office late to ensure it went through so I wasn’t waiting over the weekend. It was an absolute pleasure to deal with Versus Law and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. It was nice to speak to people who I felt cared for me and put my interests first at all times. Thank you so much for your help

  • Andy

    Versus were great to deal with when they provided the conveyancing for my house purchase. I was able to complete the process without needing to physically travel to their offices and my solicitor was always available for any questions when I was completing all the paperwork. Everyone was very friendly to speak to.

  • T Baguley

    Fantastic conveyancing service from Nicola and Natalie, they kept on top of everything from start to finish and were always available whenever we had questions. I’d be happy to recommend them to anyone.

  • David JC

    Very impressed with every aspect of Versus Law, from service they provide to the attitude of the staff. Always called back when they said they would and had a laugh with them too. Will definately use again (if I need to).

  • Mrs Morris

    I would recommend Versus Law to anyone, particularly Nick Wintrip, who looked after us extremely well. They are very efficient and communicated with us fully at all times. We were able to contact them by phone and e mail and did not need to rely on letter going back and forth. Nick is really friendly too and put us at ease throughout the end to end sales process. Thank you.

  • Tanita

    Nicola and Natalie did a wonderful job. They were friendly and patient. Answered my many many questions and got the job done very efficiently. I am highly impressed and would definitely recommend them.

0161 249 5087 Enquire Today
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How to stop a fraudster from making themselves at home – the fake ‘sister’ who tried to sell Marie’s house.

 

Did you hear about the recent story of the Reverend who came home to find his entire house had been stolen?

You may not think this can happen to you, but the Land Registry confirms that around £3.5m was paid out to victims of similar crimes.

Here at Versus Law Solicitors we had a similar matter, but thanks to our eagle-eyed conveyancers in Manchester, the fraudsters were out of luck in this attempt to steal someone’s home! Throughout the fraud, the real homeowner, who we will call Marie, was totally unaware that a fraudster was trying to sell her house behind her back.

The story was covered by BBC News and was featured on Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ programme. Investigative Journalist Shari Vahl should be commended for her work in highlighting this transaction, and in particular the Office of Public Guardianship’s lack of checking procedures when a Lasting Power of Attorney is issued.  The article and the radio programme can be found here:

BBC News Story

BBC Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’ Programme

In this blog, we will tell you what tactics the fraudsters used, how the scam was spotted, then prevented; and give you tips on how you can protect yourself and your property from similar scams. Our homes are our most valued possessions and should be protected.

Setting the scene

  • Versus Law Solicitors were instructed by a person claiming to be called Julie in March 2021 to sell the property.
  • The fraudster pretended to be Homeowner’s sister and presented us with a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allegedly given to her by her ‘sister’, Marie, giving her full authority to sell the house in her ‘sister’s’ name.
  • The fraudster then provided her own ID and the LPA to us and signed relevant documentation.

This is a normal start to selling a property, however, it was noted when setting up the file that a vulnerable person could be involved as an LPA had been presented by the fraudster. As such, the matter was escalated to a senior staff member for consideration. Whenever we spoke to the fraudster, we were concerned by her demeanor and what she was saying.  She told us that her sister was not well and that is why the LPA was entered into. We asked for her ‘sister’s’ ID and confirmation that she lacked capacity.  This evidence was never provided.

When the buyer’s (fraudster) solicitor came on record it was also noted that a company was buying the property, not an individual, whilst this can be a normal occurrence, when combined with the LPA it made this an unusual conveyancing sale.

Our Investigations and concerns

In the middle of April 2021, the Fraudster was again asked for the Homeowner’s ID and their consent, as these had not been provided yet.

The fraudster rang and queried these requests, saying she had not been asked to provide these before. This suggests that she may have tried a similar scan previously.  She was informed that ID was mandatory; and that Marie still needs to give verbal or written consent to the sale as we did not know that she lacked capacity.

This was flagged up by both Nicola Nolan and Natalie Moylan, senior conveyancers in our property department.  A request for ID and confirmation of capacity should have been easy to comply with if the LPA was valid and was clearly being avoided by the fraudster.

The fraudster waited a couple of days and then called in again saying that her ‘sister’ was not sound of mind and could not give consent. She was using every excuse she could to avoid providing the requested documents, hoping we would let it slide and proceed with the transaction.

At this point due to our previous concerns, the way the Fraudster had been evasive and after discussion with the Managing Partner of the Firm, Waqas Chaudhri, further investigations were carried out and all work on the file was put on immediate hold.

  • The LPA appeared to have been drafted/signed/witnessed by the same person all the way through – the witnesses and Marie’s signature appeared to have been done by the same hand.
  • The veracity of the LPA could not be checked online.
  • Searches found that the names listed in the LPA did not match up to any of the neighbours who were listed as witnesses.
  • The buying company’s main address seemed to be just a correspondence address and not offices.

These factors, together with our growing list of concerns, the decision was made to only work on this matter once contact with the homeowner had been made. For the matter to be placed on the risk register of the company so that it can managed and monitored to the upmost of detail by a senior member of the firm.

Enquiries were made to ascertain the real owners’ details so that contact could be made and Marie was advised that the fraudsters were trying to sell her home.  We requested that the management company send the management pack directly to the homeowner. As her managing agents, they would have her direct contact details and email, etc, meaning she would be notified.

Shortly after Versus Law did this, the Fraudster rang to say they were no longer instructing us and requested the management pack be sent directly to the address (this is because they had already gained illegal access to the property, something we found out later).

Red Flags spotted by Versus Law

During the attempted transaction by the fraudster, we spotted the following potential red flags.

  • Selling an unencumbered property (no mortgage)
  • Legal Power of Attorney being used, fraudster applied for LPA themselves
  • The LPA was suspect, similar handwriting, could not be checked and the witnesses looked fictitious
  • Transactional distance
  • Property being bought by a Company
  • The property was owned but not lived in currently by the owner
  • Buyers’ estate agent was 100 miles from buyer and property
  • The fraudster did not provide ID, consent, or any correspondence from the homeowner
  • Could not provide medical evidence that the homeowner was no longer of sound mind
  • The buyer offered to pay the seller’s legal fees
  • Wanted proceeds to go into a bank account other than the homeowner’s

Whilst there may be a valid reason for these in most transactions, we were not convinced by the fraudster’s explanations and the lack of evidence in support.

What happened next?

The homeowner contacted Versus Law once they had received the homeowners pack, they were in quite a shock as it was the first they had heard of anything.  Imagine finding out that a fraudster had tried to sell your house behind your back!

Marie told us that she went to check on the property to find that the locks on the house had been drilled out and changed by the fraudster! This allowed them to access the property as if they were the homeowner on any visits, and for the interception of any mail being sent to the property (which is why the fraudster asked us to send the management pack directly to the property).

Versus Law told Marie exactly what had happened so far and continues to assist her in bringing the fraudster to justice.

Reporter, Shari Vahl, came in to speak with us and has taken up an investigation into this matter and discussed it and a similar fraud that happened on her weekly show, You& Yours, on BBC Radio 4.  The investigation was also covered by BBC News.

A message from Marie:

“Just a quick email to say a big “Thank You” for taking part in the Radio 4 You&Yours programme.  It’s great to read that you’ll be publishing a blog on this, too, as my main reason for contacting the BBC was to raise awareness among the legal and financial communities of the need to be cautious about taking the LPA document at face value – and hopefully prompt discussion about what needs to change.  While trying to find help, I contacted lots of law firms: not one of them had a clue that this document could be forged, and each of them initially expressed disbelief. ”

How you can protect yourself?

This scam mainly involves properties that do not have an outstanding mortgage against them. This removes an extra financial layer to the scam and could easily mean the correct owner is contacted.

The quickest and most important thing that every homeowner should do is sign up to a free Land registry service called Property Alerts.   You will receive an email that would alert you at the first instance any action is taken in relation to your property. In our view, whilst this is a good first step, you may be alerted when it is too late to act ie. After the property has been sold. The emails may also go into your junk folder, which may not be checked until it is too late.

A better option is to place an anti-fraud restriction on your home so that if a transfer is attempted, you will be contacted and can ensure it is legitimate before it happens. This service costs £40 but will secure your position much more. It is still not 100% effective though. For example, if a fraudster got hold of your ID, or replicated your ID, then they could pretend to be you and apply to remove the restriction when selling your home.

The best option, in our opinion, would be for a solicitor or conveyancer to be required to remove the restriction. This can be your own solicitor, so you can be assured that your property is sold only if you want it to be.

You can find out more from HM Land Registry’s website using the following link:

Protect your land and property from fraud – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

We are always here to help, and if you have any questions regarding placing a restriction on your home or any other property related matter, please contact us.

Versus Law Solicitors
10 Lapwing Lane
Didsbury
Manchester
M20 2WS
info@versuslaw.co.uk

0161 249 5087

www.versuslaw.co.uk