News ID: 317571
Published: 1037 GMT November 02, 2021

English man shocked to discover his 'house has been stolen'

English man shocked to discover his 'house has been stolen'

A man was shocked after discovering that his 'house had been stolen'.

Reverend Mike Hall returned to his property in Luton, England, this summer to find that his key no longer worked and the interior had been stripped, reported.

Hall was away working in North Wales in August when he received a phone call from a neighbour telling him that they had seen someone inside his house.

The next day, he returned home and found a stranger inside.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's You and Yours, Hall said: "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."

Hall said the man informed him that he was doing some building work on the property for the owner.

To which he replied: "I haven't sold the house. This is still my property."

Hall then called the police to report the incident while the builder left and fetched the owner's dad.

The owner's father told Hall: "It is now my property. You are now trespassing. Get out."

It later transpired that the new owner had bought the house for £131,000.

And since the confrontation, Hall said he has struggled to find a solution.

"We then tried to access the Land Registry documentation online to find out whose name appeared... and it is in fact, as of August 4, this man's name," he explained.

"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 added: "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."

He has since been in touch with Bedfordshire Police's fraud squad, which is now investigating the situation.

The BBC also managed to get hold of the fake passport and bank account that were set up in Hall's name to sell the house.

Recordings of phone calls also show that the house was stolen from Hall.

The legal firm which handled the sale has said it is working with the police.

A spokesperson said in a statement: "We will continue to cooperate with the police, and comply with our professional obligations."

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