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8 March 2022

Foreign property investment: how we can help

Whether you’re buying for business or pleasure, Woodcock Law and Notary Public can provide assistance in ensuring your foreign legal needs are met.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Foreign property

Many UK residents buy foreign property every year. The reasons for doing so vary; some people wish to buy a holiday home, while others wish to build their investment portfolios. Whatever your reasons, Woodcock Law and Notary Public can assist you with your purchase. 

Things to consider when buying foreign property

One thing that is key to the process of buying overseas property is familiarising yourself with the country’s laws and regulations. Each country has their own rules when it comes to foreign property investment. There will likely be different steps to take depending on where you’re buying the property. 

Below is a list of some of the things that the UK Government recommends when going through the process of buying:

  • Always get written confirmation of any agreement reached
  • Always insist on a paper copy of any receipt 
  • Always check that the property is well served for utilities (gas, water, and electricity)
  • Check that the deeds to the property exist and can be transferred to you
  • Check that the deeds have not been offered as collateral for any loans.


You can read more about the UK Government’s recommendations
here.

Buying property in Bulgaria

If you want to buy property in Bulgaria, whether it’s for business or personal reasons, then there are some key recommendations you should take into account prior to making your purchase. 

First and foremost, it’s important to seek independent legal advice. The lawyer you consult should be well-versed in Bulgarian property law, as this will significantly limit the chance for things going wrong and, should complications arise, you will have access to the best advice. Woodcock Law and Notary Public is able to assist with these matters. 

If you intend to get a mortgage on a Bulgarian property, you should take your time in choosing the one for you. There are a range of products and services that banks will offer you. It’s especially important that you take an analytical approach when it comes to the interest rate and the method of repayment. Failure to meet the terms of your mortgage could result in the Bulgarian authorities repossessing the property. If you fall into negative equity, you could have other assets seized. If you’re unsure about your mortgage, talk to a legal expert. 

Buying property in Croatia

If you are from the UK and looking to buy property in Croatia, you’ll need to do so under the Principle of reciprocity agreement. This is due to the fact that the UK is no longer a member of the EU and so falls under different guidelines. The Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement that Croatia has with non EU/EEA countries that allows them to monitor property purchases. 

Being part of the agreement means there are extra checks that need to be carried out. UK citizens that want to purchase property in Croatia will need consent from the Croatian Minister of Justice. If you fail to get permission, you will be unable to complete the purchase of any property in Croatia. The whole process of authorisation can take up to two months. 

It’s also important to note that, at least until 2023, you will be unable to buy any agricultural land without Croatian citizenship. This includes the purchase of farmland and forests. 

Buying property in Greece

The process of buying property in Greece is similar to buying it in Croatia (outlined above). For people who are buying property from outside the EU, there are more checks in place. Non-EU citizens often have to prove their links to Greece as well as outline their intent for the use of the property. Applications to buy property in Greece have to be made to the Ministry of National Defence, and they usually have to include several documents as well as proof of use intent. 

Regardless of where you buy property, you will likely need the assistance of a notary public. They can oversee, authenticate, and guide you through any documents or processes that need completing. 

Buying property in Spain

As with many other countries in the EU, the process of buying property as a British national after Brexit is different from what it was before. Though the act of buying a house is not restricted to just EU citizens, non-EU citizens have to meet extra requirements. For example, if you want to rent your property while you’re not there, you will have to pay a higher rate of tax than EU citizens. 

Before buying property in Spain, it’s also important to note that there are different rules depending on where the property is located. There are requirements for coastal, rural and military regions. Each of these regions come with their own set of rules, so it’s important to do your research before your purchase. You can find out more about renting and buying in Spain here

The countries we’ve listed here are just some of the places where Woodcock Law and Notary Public have key knowledge and experience. If you’re looking for further details, or have a property in mind, we’d be happy to help.

READY FOR ASSISTANCE?

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.