The International Investor Guide: Procedures

While many UK homeowners sit on their hands during times of political and economic volatility, many overseas investors often use these periods to acquire assets at a significant discount.

Research claims that four out of five property investors based in Hong Kong, South Africa, the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council which consist of United Arab Emirates, are still investing in British real estate, research claims, with a quarter of UK-based investors actually suggesting that Brexit is their reason for doing so. A poll of 1,350 investors based in these countries indicated that 85 percent of those that previously invested in either residential or commercial property were still keen on the asset class and looking for new investment opportunities in the UK.

With these prospective investors in mind, we have made a guide outlining the processes and routes that are available to you as a non-UK resident investing in the UK property market.

Upon our investment brokers finding you the ideal investment that has been tailored to your desired needs and your price range, here are the next steps in your investment journey.

Reservation Forms

Once you have settled on a property, the first step is to sign a reservation form and pay the necessary reservation fee as a declaration of your intent to follow through on your chosen property.

Anti-Money Laundering Checks

The property industry is a target for financial organised crime such as money laundering and terrorist financing. This is why we will request for your passports and other crucial information as a precaution. Anti-money laundering checks heavily enforced by the law that every estate agency selling or advertising a property whether it be an investment opportunity or a local sale is required to comply with the money laundering regulations established by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2017.

Once these checks have been passed, you will move forward to the next stage which will involve the developer’s solicitors as well as your own.

Inquiries into the Contract

After the anti-money laundering checks are complete, a notification of sale will be sent from our Client Care department to the solicitors of both the developer and your solicitor as the buyer of these properties. Your solicitor will request additional information about the property, the legal title or the surrounding area from the developer’s solicitors which will also answer any specific inquiries about the context of the contracts. 

Here at Flambard Williams, we often recommend the use of solicitors for each development because they will be well versed in the details of the contract and will help navigate any inquiries put across with ease, thus moving you to the next phase and making the process easier for you.

Exchange of Contracts

After all of the necessary inquiries to the contract have been thoroughly examined by both sets of solicitors involved, the developer’s solicitor will confirm the agreed-upon completion date to fully exchange the contracts, which will be signed upon completion.

Completion

On the agreed completion dates, your solicitor will send a same-day money transfer to the developer’s solicitor, with the funds required to purchase the property at the agreed-upon payment structure. Once the money is received, the developers solicitor will authorise the release of the keys to the buyer through our lettings department and title deeds to the property. From there, you will have full ownership of that property. 

We hope that this brief overview of the processes involved has helped keep you informed and aware, with the acquisition of a property that we have tailored to you and your needs and gives you peace of mind throughout.

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