Do you want to invest in UK properties from China? The United Kingdom is one country that is popular with property investors from China. Individuals from around the world look to the UK as a great place to buy up properties. The UK doesn’t have a lot of available properties due to the demand for new and existing housing, so properties may be at a premium, yet this does not deter many people from China investing in UK Property.
UK properties are widely seen as great investments for China residents. Investing in property in the UK from China is daunting regardless if you are a local or foreign resident. Investing in UK properties may be a difficult task for anyone that hasn’t done it previously, but it is achievable for anyone from China seeking to purchase commercial or residential places to live in the United Kingdom.
Stamp Duty is paid by everyone and not just investors from China. Once a property has been purchased and Capital Gains Tax is paid when any profits from a sale are paid at the same rates for both residents of UK and China investors. A UK resident will pay tax on their income and international sophisticated investors from China will not.
Investors from China looking to make money on their investment by renting or letting out the property will have to register for the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme. This scheme will tax a China resident on their profits from the investment profits they hold inside the United Kingdom. The profits then become exempted from the individual’s taxed income in their home country.
Legal Requirements of buying property in the UK from China
An oversea buyer from China will be subject to a set of due-diligence checks by authorities. These checks will be conducted regardless of whether you are applying for a UK mortgage or making a property investment without one.
An overseas investor from China must prove their identity and the source of the money they plan to use for the property investment. The due-diligence checks may be lengthy and being prepared for the time it takes for the checks will keep you in the loop on proceedings.
In addition, China investors should prepare themselves for the British leasehold system. It is a commonly used system in the UK but not always used. Scotland has plenty of properties that do not use the leasehold system. The majority of UK apartments are leasehold. This is especially true for newly built apartments. Some newly built houses are also on leasehold plans.
Nearly all leasehold apartments and houses undergo service charges which is often unheard of in other countries such as China. These charges are basically used for the maintenance of the communal parts of the building or grounds the property is located on. Even if a property is not under the leasehold system, the purchaser may be under legal obligation to pay fees to repair and maintain the communal areas or grounds.
Scotland uses a system that charges property holders to maintain the communal areas. Although the properties are not a part of the leasehold system, they ensure that property owners contribute to the upkeep of buildings and grounds.
Open a UK Bank Account from China
A foreign investor from China may not need to open an account with a UK bank. If you have an existing account with a bank outside of China and it has a presence in the UK, you may be allowed to invest in property in the country. One of the positives for investing in the UK from China is that large banks that operate globally are more likely to be accommodating to foreign investors in the country.
If this is the case, you can transfer your account in China to a bank branch in the UK or use the banking facilities provided. In some instances, this is not possible and you will need to open a UK bank account to make your investments. To open a UK bank account from China, you will need proof of ID and address. It is preferred that you have an address in the UK. If you do not have a UK residence, there are some banks that accept proof of address from China.
How to Buy Property in the UK from China
Buying property in the UK from China may be different than purchasing it in your home nation. There are specific elements that may only apply to the UK.
The four important items you must do as a property investor from China.
Hire a lawyer to handle the money exchange and paperwork
Sign the contract
Pay deposit fee of 5% to 10%
Complete the paperwork before handing it off
After finding the perfect property to purchase in the UK, you will need to hire a lawyer. This must be accomplished before you sign a binding contract with the property seller. The lawyer’s job is to complete the due-diligence that will ensure the property is legitimate. They will also explore the contract and ensure your interests are protected. As a citizen of China it is vitally important to find a good, local lawyer in the UK, ideally one that is close to where you are making the purchase.
Once you sign the contract, you will typically need to pay a deposit. Some deposits are as low as 5% but most often they are 10%. The lawyer will handle the paperwork and keep you abreast of the money that must be paid at specific deadlines. A resale property purchase can take several weeks to complete. A new-build property may take slightly longer. It all depends on the money you have at your disposal, whether a mortgage is needed, and how quickly the paperwork can be filled out.
Where to buy property in the UK from China
It is assumed by many residents of China that the best properties to buy are in London. That is not necessarily true. While London is the UK’s most populated city, properties can be expensive. There are other major cities within the UK to purchase properties including Manchester – which is seeing a building boom right now. Other top locations include Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.
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As a property investor in China, you should decide on how you want to rent out your apartment or house. You may want long term tenants or you may choose to rent out your property as vacation accommodation. The city may dictate the type of property you buy and how you let it out. The UK’s current economic conditions may change the way the property market evolves.
There is a low number of restrictions on investors from other countries. You should be aware buying a property in the UK from China property requires you to do a lot more due diligence than if you invest in your home nation. Before buying, be sure you research the area you plan to invest in.
Alexander Bentley leads Remedy Investments™ a private equity fund specializing in operational real estate. Remedy Investments™ has significant expertise in developing Luxury ApartHotels across Europe and the wider APAC region.
Alexander Bentley is the creator & pioneer behind Remedy Wellbeing Hotels & Retreats. Under his leadership as CEO, Remedy Wellbeing Hotels™ received the accolade of Overall Winner: International Wellness Hotel of the Year 2022 by International Rehabs.
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