Buying Real Estate In The UK: The Questions & Answers

International and offshore businessmen typically think over the fact whether you need to clarify the ‘origin’ of money to purchase real estate. Although this is not essential, all the conveyancing solicitors  in the UK are required to comply with the requirements of the law on counteraction to legalisation (laundering) of funds obtained by criminal means. This means that the lawyer ‘must know a customer’: he or she must verify the identity of the private buyer, or check out the statutory documents of the company, a private buyer may also be required to make a copy of the utility payments or bank statement confirming the address of permanent residence. The lawyer may also ask questions about the origin of the money to buy property. Remittances should be made only from the personal account of the buyer or from the settlement of accounts, and not from a third party account. You can use the account of any country. If at any stage of the transaction has suspicions regarding the origin of the money, the lawyer is obliged to notify the competent authority, otherwise it may not only lose their professional status, and himself be prosecuted.

Do you have to pay some taxes?

Unlike in other countries, in the UK there is no annual tax on property ownership. However, the owner and the tenant, have to pay council tax (Council Tax), which goes to finance police, schools, streets cleaning, etc. The amount is set by the municipality and can vary dramatically even within a single city (typically, it ranges from 200 to 2500 pounds per year). The owners of almost all the apartments must cover building maintenance which costs from 1,000 to 10,000 pounds a year. So you should better clarify the size of the payment to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Does the ownership of real estate in the UK provide benefits in obtaining visas and permanent residence?

Officially, the ownership of real estate in the UK does not provide any benefits to owners for permanent visas, residency and citizenship of the more, however, as experience shows, this is an important first step in this direction. There must be a comprehensive approach to the issue, do not skimp on the advice of qualified experts on immigration and the legal tax optimisation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the apartments in the old historic homes?

Many of our customers initially consider only modern apartments because of fears associated with a technical condition of old buildings. However, the Brits watch their architectural heritage carefully, and the risks associated with demontage or are not really high. Some people are necessarily looking for parking options included, but not many realise that having a vehicle in the capital is an extremely pricey. In addition, city officials seek to encourage motorists to switch to public transportation and taxis – through developments in transportation and raising the operational expenses associated with having a vehicle – from high parking costs to paid entrance to the center and huge fines.

The FAQ on medical negligence area in a big focus

The article on the most essential aspects of clinical negligence in a broader context  is prepared in collaboration with, the company that runs the most comprehensive catalog of medical negligence solicitors in the country. The article is written in an FAQ form – you will find the most relevant topics and issues considered one by one. So here we go.

What is the medical deontology?

The concept represents the doctrine of legal, professional and moral aspects, responsibilities and the rules of conducting professional responsibilities by healthcare worker in relation to the patient. Deontology is a part of medical ethics and is a collection of historically established norms of modern legislation and regulated requirements provided by practical, professional medical activity. For medical deontology adjacent problems such as medical confidentiality, medical error, euthanasia, the right to experiment on your own body, the production of medical intervention without the consent of the patient, experiments in humans, the moral and ethical problems of organ transplantation, genetic engineering, sorcery, folk and alternative medicine, and dozens of other aspects.

What is medical ethics?

Medical ethics is a particular manifestation of general ethics in medical activity. It is a science, the issue of medical humanism, honour, conscience and dignity of the medical workers. It is a science that helps develop a doctor’s ability to moral orientation in difficult situations.

What do we call medical secrecy?

This term stands for non-disclosure of information about the disease, intimate and family life of the patient by medical workers, the information that became known to them by virtue of the use of the professional duties.

Why do we need the confidentiality?

The reasons are many:

  • to protect the internal world of the person and support his/her autonomy;
  • to prevent manipulation by external forces;
  • to protect the social and economic interests of the individuals;
  • to create a basis of trust and frank doctor – patient relationships;
  • to maintain the prestige of the medical profession.

Is voluntary and informed consent of the patient (or trusted persons) a prerequisite for medical intervention?


What do we mean by omission?

This is a sort of criminal act – a socially dangerous and illegal, passive behavior, which is expressed in an imperfect socially useful activities that a person could and should have done in the power conferred upon it by legal obligations.

What does the term medical error include?

A medical error is the actions made by doctors in the performance of their professional duties, which may be the result of honest mistakes, not containing any signs of a crime or misconduct. In contrast to the medical crimes, medical error is not the result of negligent medical attitude to their duties, and therefore, regardless of the consequences, the doctor cannot be punished under criminal law.

The nuances of leasehold and freehold

The concept of leasehold is applicable to apartments and houses, a plot of land or an entire village ownership. But in this case, the term ‘ownership’ implies certain limitations. The concept of leasehold is similar to the concept of long-term lease. Legally, you will not be the owner. By definition – buying real estate on the basis of ‘leasehold’, you become the full owner of the document, referred to as a long term lease, which in turn gives you the exclusive right to temporary use, disposal and occupying space located inside the building. The lease contract can be concluded for any number of years, from 20 to even 999 years. To help you navigate the situation,  you can expect to shell out about 75% of the house for freehold of 50 years that gives you the exclusive use. For 25 years this number will equal about 55%, for 10 years – about 35% (in each case the value may vary within 10%). Leasehold for 90 years or more years of use in the contract is called virtual freehold for the simple reason that its cost is almost equal to the freehold property.

Technically, the apartment or house remains in physical possessions of a landlord or freeholder – the one to whom you have paid for the exclusive right to stay in the aforementioned premises and, most likely, but not always, in addition obliged to pay land rent (or ground rent) annually, which can vary from £25 up to £500 a year, but in rare cases it may be as high as £10,000 – £50,000 a year (for, let’s say, a multimillion mansion of Chelsea and Belgravia). In this case, If you want to carry a pair of walls or windows to change, you need to request a permit from the very landlord. When you acquire property, in any type of ownership you will have to add the services of conveyance solicitors – the mediators between you and the seller (typically ranging up to 3% from the deal).

A more thorough examination of leasehold gives an understanding that the system is very similar to the international concept of long-term rent, with the only difference that you pay once and a huge sum. Of course, you will have more rights in comparison with a regular tenant, but at the same time, less than in case of a full-fledged owner.

So what should you know about property types in the UK? Two simple truths: freehold has the same meaning as the ownership of real estate in any other country. Leasehold gives you an exclusive possession of the property for a certain period of time and, as a rule, for a nominal annual ground rent. leasehold estate price falls over time because with every year you pay less according to the lease agreement. If you don’t take the necessary measures and fail to extend a lease, you can lose all the rights to the use the property. However, if the contract is still active for the next 100 years, there’s no need to worry, at least in the next 15-20 years.

Understanding the nature of clinical negligence from a consumer point of view

One of the main parameters determining the market mechanisms of health care services is specific methods of payment. Consumers almost never pay the entire price for health care out of their pockets. Of course, the consumer covers virtually all the costs, but in a very original way. Personally, out of pocket, as a rule, he pays only a fraction of the price, and sometimes doesn’t even pay anything. The rest is covered by public funds (budget, off-budget social funds, etc.), which distributes the financial burden on all participants (citizens, tax payers, etc.). Naturally, in such circumstances, the consumers are allured by over-consumption, while the manufacturers and the sellers are naturally interested in overselling. It should be noted that spending on health care, the cost and volume of medical interventions are not closely correlated with health status of population. In some cases (in some countries) the most inexpensive interventions can lead to favorable shifts in the health of the general population; in other – even the most expensive treatments lead only to a negligible effect.

Indeed, in practice, there are cases of medical care of poor quality, the effects of which may be a futile treatment or harm to the life and health of the patient. In this sense, the unqualified treatment, including the one with medical errors, is rendered with a deviation from the accepted quality standards equivalent to the injury, which may be the basis for bringing health workers to legal responsibility. In terms of the legal evaluation medical care (in order to establish grounds for prosecution of health workers and institutions) can be divided into adverse effects of treatment caused by medical errors, accidents and punishable omissions (professional offense). The fact should be underlined that even legal area is growing – according to, a prominent UK legal startup, the category of medical negligence solicitors has increased by 12% in comparison with 2013.    

medicalnegligenceHealthcare patients usually can not be the same users of services just like at hotel or restaurant, since medical care is too complex to fully assess its outcomes. Providers of any services can make mistakes. But the cost of failure of a doctor is many times higher than the one, let’s say, of a barber. Patients are forced to trust the doctors, as they have little or simply no other choice. They naively believe that the doctor has no right to make mistakes, and a ‘good’ doctor is never wrong. On the other hand, the impact on patients health care market is almost unpredictable. Consumers create demand, which the doctors are forced to submit more or less willingly. The terms of providing medical services in the majority of health facilities in the presence of persistent structural imbalances in the industry and depreciation of fixed assets, shortage of personnel at the primary health care, equalisation in determining the level of wages of the direct producers, etc, – all this increases the likelihood of the formation of high level of errors among manufacturers.

The tax system for residential property in England

The absolutely crucial taxes to consider when buying residential real estate are: inheritance tax, income tax and tax on capital gains. Before considering the peculiarities of payment of these taxes, we want to focus your attention on the basic nuances that make up the importance in determining tax liabilities.

First of all, it should be established whether a person acquiring property is a resident of England. In some cases, the current practice of giving the country the status of resident in the event that the person is residing in the country for at least one day a year. In certain cases recognised may be the individuals staying in the country for 90 days or more, some people may face tougher requirements in this case. Therefore, checking the resident status opportunities is a crucial aspect.

Another issue that requires consideration is the study of the concept of ‘domicile’ – a person with permanent residence. If a person has the status of a resident of England, it is required to determine the territory of the state and his place of residence on a permanent basis. If the person is not a permanent resident in the UK, the tax on capital gains tax and the approach taken attributed to capital gains, which is obtained in England, or the same was transferred to the UK. Those persons who permanently reside in the United Kingdom are required to pay tax on income from capital gains and income tax. Such payments shall be made in any country of the world, even if the returns have been originally obtained not in England. What does the term ‘permanent residence’ include? The concept has nothing to do with citizenship or nationality. Under the country, serving as permanent residence, one may understand what is considered to be home country. In the case of calculating the tax on inheritance is considered that a resident has lived on the territory for 17 years out of the last 20 fiscal years. However, this does not apply to the calculation of income tax and capital gains for tax – a consultation with conveyance solicitors is a typical way to prevent the possible problems.

real estate ownershipThe third important issue is the registration form for registration of ownership of the purchased property. It will take place at the registration name of the person or the object will officially belong to an offshore company or managed by the fund. Different situations require different approaches.

It is also important to take into account the income tax on profits, for example, when providing a housing for rent in England, is charged regardless of the status of the owner of the object. Payment of all the expenses for tax payment may be due to the rent, as it can repay the costs associated with the improvement of living conditions at the facility. The final and, perhaps, the most important aspect is the account of the method of operation of real estate. The method of operation will define the ownership type and tax status, which added to the investors in the UK.