Are you a non-resident person or company looking to invest in UK commercial property and/or residential property?
Blue Alpine acts on behalf of numerous foreign investors and companies collecting rent, arranging buildings insurance, maintaining regulatory compliance, liaising with investors’ accountants and solicitors. We actively source, buy, manage and sell property for our overseas clients.
Sourcing the right property for you
Before embarking on a search, we first need to understand your investment expectations, in order to find the right property, at an acceptable price which satisfies your risk appetite.
Buying the property…
We will work closely with you to determine the correct method of structuring the deal, it is essential for you to employ the proper accountant for purposes of accountancy and taxation. Should you wish, we can recommend several firms with whom we work on behalf of overseas clients.
A few accountancy and tax issues* to be aware of:
- Stamp Duty – Up to 5% Stamp Duty is payable when buying a UK commercial property. As with any legislation and tax, this may change over time. Get in contact with us to discuss further.
- VAT – Some properties are subject to 20% Value Added Tax (VAT). The buyer will need to register for VAT in order to reclaim this, and the sale needs to be treated as a Transfer of a Going Concern (TOGC) in order to avoid paying VAT.
- Inheritance Tax (IHT) – A non-resident individual’s UK assets will be subject to IHT but a non-resident company will not. This may change over time, so it is important for you to discuss with a tax adviser.
We can also assist you with understanding the legal implications of buying UK property and are pleased to recommend several lawyers (solicitors) that we regularly work with on behalf of foreign clients. It is imperative to have a qualified lawyer that will promptly and efficiently liaise and communicate with the seller’s lawyer. During this process we can suggest possible means as to not incur unnecessarily high legal fees.
Your appointed UK lawyer will need to:
- Rapidly conduct due diligence of the property’s structure, the lease and compliance with all regulations, enabling you to understand quickly if the investment has been accurately represented.
- Hold client monies in protected accounts for exchange and completion in a timely manner and monies to be released upon your instruction.
- Take a commercial view on any grey areas to ensure the client receives a favourable deal –UK properties are often hundreds of years old and may have changed ownership multiple times, so the best ones are not always straight forward and simple.
A property must be insured either from the date of exchange or completion at the correct reinstatement value. Blue Alpine is an Appointed Representative of a major UK Insurance Broker and therefore can ensure your insurance policy is underwritten by a reputable insurer. The obligatory landlord insurance will usually cover the main perils of Fire, Lightning, Theft, Flood and Terrorism. Note the premium can often be recovered from the tenant, meaning, the insurance cost can be passed to the tenants (in most cases) for commercial property investments.
Additionally, you should consider the total purchase costs (acquisition costs). Blue Alpine can help you identify and conduct analysis on each potential property transaction in order to comprehend the costs involved in a deal. For example, when buying a UK property, the purchaser should expect to pay between 5.75% – 6.5% of the purchase price to cover stamp duty, legal fees, valuation fees and bank arrangement fees (if applicable).