top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a restriction?

A restriction is an instrument that is registered on title to your property. It sets out the conditions that anyone wishing to deal with your property - such as transferring it or financing it - must satisfy before they are permitted to do so.


What is a “no dealings” indicator?  And will it limit my ability to transfer or finance my own property?

The “no dealings” indicator is actually one of the elements that makes our Property Alert Service effective. When we register the restriction on title to your property, the property registry system will automatically add a “no dealings” indicator to it. All this means is that anyone wanting to deal with your property - such as transferring title or securing financing against it - will need to satisfy the conditions of the restriction before doing so. The restrictions and related “no dealings” indicators created by Lighthouse will not prevent you from selling or financing your property or doing anything else that you are legally entitled to do with it. 


What a “no dealings” indicator will do, however, is deter potential fraudsters from targeting your property. They will know that they are more likely to get caught, so they will likely skip your property and move along to an easier target. If they do go after your property, they will still have to comply with the requirements of the restriction so it would be difficult for them to succeed in their attempt.


Can't I just register my own restriction directly?

You can if you want to, however it is unlikely to protect you in the event of identity theft or if you become vulnerable for other reasons.  Our role as an independent third party helps ensure that there is a connection to the real you, not those pretending to be you, so that you can intervene if you need to. It also helps to cover other types of situations such as Power of Attorney abuse or fraud.


Why do I still need title insurance?

To be clear, the Property Alert Service is not insurance. It provides you with advance notice of potentially fraudulent or otherwise unauthorized transactions so that you can intervene and stop them before they happen. In the event that you are a victim of real estate fraud however, title insurance is necessary to help “make you whole” but it can be a long and stressful process to do so. And “whole” might not actually be whole.  For example, in the event that you cannot get your home back, you may only be compensated for the actual price at which the fraudsters sold your property, not its fair market value. It is our mission to help you avoid these hassles entirely through deterrence and prevention, but nothing can ever be guaranteed. Please speak with a real estate lawyer about title insurance and what coverage you have or should put in place.


I have a mortgage on my property. Doesn’t that mean I am safe?

Existing financing on your property may be a deterrent in some instances as title to your property is not entirely “clean”, however that will not protect you from being a victim of real estate fraud. In some cases, fraudsters will sell your home, pay off the existing mortgage, and walk away with the equity you have in it.  


What about getting a home equity line of credit to deter potential fraudsters?

Obtaining a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is often recommended as a “work around” to help protect against real estate fraud, especially for older homeowners who may no longer have a mortgage on their property. While this may have once been the best (and only) option to help prevent real estate fraud, it no longer is. There are several reasons for this. Beyond the costs of obtaining a HELOC, the main reason is that having one - especially one that you are not drawing from - simply makes you an easier target for financial exploitation. An existing HELOC can be directly targeted by bad actors much more easily than if they had to attempt to sell your home or take out a fraudulent mortgage themselves. This is even more the case with older homeowners who may start to experience age related decline and other vulnerabilities that make them easier targets for exploitation. 


Will the Property Alert Service make my home less attractive to potential buyers?

If anything, signing up for the Property Alert Service should make your property more attractive to potential buyers as it helps them have confidence that their purchase of your property is legitimate. In the event of real estate fraud, it is not just the sellers that suffer. Innocent purchasers can lose ownership of the property they believe they purchased and also suffer financial losses. It can take years to unravel the headaches caused by real estate fraud for both sellers and purchasers. 


What should I do if I receive a notification from the Property Alert Service?

If the upcoming transaction is one that you’re aware of and have authorized, just follow the instructions in the notification to help validate your identity and allow the transaction to close as intended. If that’s not the case, however, you must contact a real estate lawyer as soon as possible to take whatever steps are needed to intervene and block the fraudulent transaction. If you do not intervene, the transaction will likely close regardless of its legitimacy. 


What if I don’t want my trusted contacts to receive notice?

We understand. There may be some instances where you do not want your Trusted Contacts to receive notice of an upcoming transaction. Or where you want to change your Trusted Contacts without notifying them. In any such instance, please contact us at and we will assist you.  


How do you protect against Power of Attorney abuse?

While a Power of Attorney is an important tool to ensure your affairs can be easily managed if you become unable to do so yourself, it can also be easily abused - so much so that a Power of Attorney is often referred to as a “license to steal.” This is due to an almost complete lack of oversight. It is very easy for a legitimately appointed attorney to abuse their power or for someone to create a fraudulent Power of Attorney document without anyone finding out for a very long time. The Property Alert Service helps protect your property against both types of Power of Attorney abuses. If there are concerns about whether an attorney is acting in your best interests or was legitimately appointed, then steps can be taken to protect your property. Ideally, however, registration in the Property Alert Service will serve as a powerful deterrent from anyone attempting to abuse a Power of Attorney to transfer or finance your property for their own benefit.   


We suggest you speak with a lawyer about Powers of Attorney and whether you should consider appointing one.

bottom of page