Man ‘shocked’ as house he owned for 30 years sold without his knowledge

Reverend Mike Hall was working away when neighbours called to say someone was in his Luton home

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 02 November 2021 15:56
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Man ‘shocked’ as house he owned for 30 years sold without his knowledge
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A man was shocked to discover the house he had owned for 30 years had been sold without his knowledge while he was working away.

Reverend Mike Hall had been in North Wales when he received a phone call from neighbours in August who told him someone had turned the lights on inside the property in Luton.

He drove back early the following morning to find the locks had been changed at his terraced home, which had been completely stripped of all furnishings, and a builder working inside.

Mr Hall called the police but the builder went to fetch the new owner’s father, who told him he had bought the house in July.

He told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme: “I went to the front door, tried my key in the front door, it didn’t work and a man opened the front door to me.

“I pushed him to one side and got in the property. I really didn’t know what he was doing there.

“The shock of seeing the house completely stripped of furniture; all furnishings, carpet, curtains - everything - was out of the property.”

Mr Hall said police initially told him it was a civil matter rather than fraud.

However Bedfordshire Police is now said to be investigating after the BBC found a duplicate driving licence and bank account set up in the name of Mr Hall had been used to sell the house.

The house, which Mr Hall had bought in 1990 after graduating from university and starting his first job, was sold for £131,000.

Mr Hall said Land Registry online documents showed the new buyer as the registered owner of his home, meaning they legally own the property.

“At that point the police said, ‘Well, there’s nothing further we can do here. This is a civil matter; you need to leave the house and contact your solicitors’,” he told the BBC.

“I was shocked - having seen the house in the state it was, I was in a bit of a state of shock anyway - but then to be told by the police they didn’t believe a criminal offence had been committed here was just unbelievable.”

The solicitors involved in the property transaction - who have not been identified - told the BBC they could not comment further due to the ongoing police investigation.

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