UK properties can be owned either leasehold or freehold.
Freehold title gives you the right to fully own the property. As a freeholder, you will have full responsibility for the maintenance and repairs of the property and also bear the risk of damage and destruction.
Leasehold ownership means that the land is owned by a freeholder but the lease allows the leaseholder to occupy the property on the land for as long as it is specified on the lease. Once the lease terminates the property once again is possessed by the freeholder. The right of possession is granted for up to 999 years but usually the leases on properties are much shorter.
In general flats are usually leasehold and flats are freehold.
Once you identify a property that you are interested in an offer can be made to the seller. Depending on the current market situation the price you offer can be a full market price, estate agent’s asking price or a lower price. Once the price is settled with the seller the case will be redirected to solicitors who will then conduct the conveyancing procedure.
It would be beneficial to conduct a structural survey when purchasing a property. This will ensure that you are aware of any faults in the property and the amount of work that needs to be undertaken to get it in a good condition.
Your solicitor will receive a contract from the sellers’ solicitor. At this stage searches will be conducted with the local authority if development is proposed. Additionally, your solicitor will receive information about the boundaries, services and any disputes concerning the property. Additionally, a list of all the fixtures and fitting alongside anything else sold with the property (Furniture, lights, blinds etc.) will be attached to the contract.
If everything is satisfactory to both parties at this stage signed contracts will be exchanged. The buyer will usually pay 5%-10% of the price upon exchange and the contracts will become legally binding. Upon exchange a completion date will also be included in the contract. The sale must complete on the specified date, otherwise there are financial penalties that will need to be paid.
After the exchange process a draft transfer document, certifying that the property has been transferred to the new owner will be sent to the Land Registry for them to change the ownership in their records. Once all the documentation is in place and the money is transferred in full to the seller the deal is considered done.
Current UK stamp duty follows a progressive system:
If any capital gain is made on a property sale it is subject to Capital Gain Tax (CGT). However, if the person owns the property and lives in it as his main residence the gain is exempt from tax.
On 16 March 2017, the Home Office has released a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. These new changes will affect those applications that need to have a Certificate of Sponsorship and these changes will be in effect on 06 April 2017.
What you should know about European visas after Article 50. The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has so far not changed her mind in regards to the plans of triggering Article 50 before the end of March 2017.
For international students who wish to remain in the UK longer or would like to eventually settle. There are options to choose from, granted you are willing to stay.
As of 16 January 2017 the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, has given hints that the UK is moving towards a hard Brexit. Although Theresa May insists EU citizens are ‘welcome’ to be in the UK, she cannot guarantee the right of EU citizens in the UK at an early stage. These are troubling news for Europeans and British Citizens currently living and working in the UK.
As of 24 March 2016, the UK government has announced new changes to Tier 2 type visas. This is the migration route for those who have a confirmed job offer to undertake skilled employment in the UK.
The UK government has recently introduced a significant amount of changes to immigration rules and procedures that can influence nationals of European Economic Area. These changes will come into force on the 1st February 2017, however, some changes are happening now.
A new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC667 has been laid down on the 3rd November 2016. These changes come in a whopping 90 pages however, most changes are in the language itself rather than effect. The significant changes include the increase of the minimum salary requirement of Tier 2 skilled workers; the introduction of a fresh English language requirement for family immigration regarding to Tier 4 visa and the removal of the previous 28 days’ grace period for making out of time immigration applications.