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.

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