If you’re an overseas business owner with or looking to buy property in the UK, or perhaps a Sittingbourne landlord or homeowner curious about the new ‘Register of Overseas Entities’, we’ve done the digging for you!
Here at LambornHill, our Sittingbourne estate agents make it a habit to keep up with changes to important Government property rules and laws. This helps us efficiently advise our property sales customers and those we provide with property management services.
Below, our professional agents for properties for sale in Sittingbourne explain new developments in implementing the register and if UK property investment is still a great option. Here’s what you should know.
After the first talks in 2016, it was widely believed that the register’s launch was sidetracked by the pandemic and other economic factors. However, plans have finally come to fruition in the wake of Putin’s invasion by introducing the Economic Crime Act.
The government ultimately aims to prevent foreign companies from using UK property to launder money. Not only Russian companies but overseas entities from all over the world in the long term.
In terms of the register, an overseas entity is a company or similar legal entity governed by a country outside the UK. The register also applies to persons with significant influence or control over a company, such as those who hold 25% or more of a company's shares (beneficial owners).
Current anonymous foreign entities that own property or land in the UK must register within 18 months of the Royal Assent of the Bill, of which a date is yet to be confirmed.
The same will apply to those new to buying property in the UK. Actually, the UK property market is still a fantastic option for foreign investors. In particular, buy-to-let property investors, as rental prices continue to rise alongside strong demand from tenants.
The process of registering is straightforward. Foreign entities must submit information about the identity of beneficial owners to the UK Companies House. Afterwards, information needs to be updated annually.
At a minimum, an entity must report the following details of each beneficial owner:
The register will largely be made public by Companies House as it is for registered UK companies to level the playing field and promote greater transparency in the UK property market.
Failure to comply with the new registration requirements will lead to the inability to buy and sell property and land in the UK, leading to financial penalties. For this reason, our local Sittingbourne property management team strongly recommends foreign owners of UK properties keep an eye on a submission date expected to be announced any day soon.
The process of investing in UK property will remain very similar. There are no stringent requirements. Many foreign investors choose to buy a holiday home to enjoy one or all four seasons in the UK or invest in profitable rental properties. If you buy through a mortgage and have a decent deposit, you can breeze through the process.
If you would like advice on how the new register may affect your property purchase or how best to invest in UK property in or around Sittingbourne, call or email us today for a friendly chat.