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How to buy residential property in the UK. Step by step guide

Процес покупки2The UK laws are very loyal to purchase of real estate by citizens of other countries. Today you can become the owner of a house or apartment in the UK even without a personal visit to this country – with the help of lawyers and realtors offering a turn-key transaction.

There are two types of ownership of the UK real estate:

  • Freehold
  • Leasehold (as a tenant)

The freehold type of ownership provides the right of ownership of not only a building but also outbuildings and land, while the Leasehold rights apply only to the real estate building (other objects are leased for a period of 1 year to 999 years).

The price factor

Prices for real estate in the UK depend on several factors:

  • location
  • age of the building
  • availability of social infrastructure
  •  transportation

Anyway, there’s always plenty to choose from. The offer never falls behind demand.

The process of buying real estate in the UK

Buying real estate in the UK with the help of intermediaries is transparent and, most importantly, simple and effective. Selection of the desired object with taking into account the available budget is better to be entrusted to licensed law firms with experience in the UK real estate market. Any operation with real estate supposes provisions regulated by the legislation, which guarantee legal security of the parties.

  • Offer for purchase of real estate is executed when the client makes the final selection of the property. Representatives of the buyer and seller draw up a Memorandum of sale: a document containing personal data of the parties and their lawyers.
  •  Conveyancing (working on the contract) starts after signing a standard agreement. The required information – plan of the construction in the district, changes in transport, social infrastructure, etc. is collected. The buyer collects information on the real estate technical condition, ownership boundaries, possible conflict issues, potential structural changes made prior to signing the contract and availability of permits.
  •  Survey (independent audit of the object) is recommended, in mortgage lending – required. Involvement of a third party will provide an objective assessment of the engineering and technical state of the building, apartment and available communications. The cost of appraising services depends on the real estate size and is regulated by the auditing company.
  •  Exchange (exchange of contracts) takes place after the final collection and recording of the required information. On the pre-arranged date, a representative of the seller transfers an endorsed contract and a deposit (approximately 10% of the purchase price) to the buyer and in return gets a document signed by the seller. Since then, the contract becomes valid. One of the document paragraphs is Completion (a fact of completion of the transaction, after which the buyer becomes a full-fledged official owner of the real estate).
  •  After Completion (closing the deal), the buyer may formally manage the purchased property. Lawyers enter data on the change of the real estate owner to the Land Registry (State Register). All payments between the parties are made to the escrow (client trust account). Upon completion of the transaction, the buyer should pay the real estate purchase tax (1-4% of the purchase price) or Stamp Duty.

The process of purchasing the real estate from the moment of its selection till getting the precious keys will take no more than two months (if there are no additional circumstances).

Before signing the contract, a lawyer should verify your identity and legality of the funds for purchasing the real estate. You can get the list of required documents for preparation of the transaction from the intermediaries you entrust the execution of the purchase deed to. The competence of professionals involved in the selection of real estate and transaction support determine the ultimate success of the whole process.


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