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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign state in Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the country includes the island of Great Britain (a term also applied loosely to refer to the whole country) the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state: the Republic of Ireland Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea in the east and the English Channel in the south. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. Capital London

64 million (2013)

The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round[ The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below −11 °C(12 °F) or rising above 35 °C (95 °F).

British Pound (GBP)

English

Yes

Can a foreigner get a UK residency visa when buying a property? No

Choosing the right Estate Agent

Try to use a Agent that is registered to the National Association of Estate Agents, or the Guild of Professional Estate Agents Buying Process Buying or selling a home normally takes 2 to 3 months.

The process can take longer if you’re part of a chain of buyers and sellers.

There are several steps you’ll need to follow: • sellers must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property

• if a seller is using an estate agent, potential buyers must make any offers through the agent

• once a buyer’s offer has been accepted, the seller’s responsible for drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership

• an offer isn’t legally binding until contracts are exchanged

• depending on the amount given for property, the buyer may have to pay Stamp Duty Land

Tax Transferring ownership (conveyancing) Once the offer is accepted The seller is responsible for drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership. The contract contains details about:

• the sale price • the property boundaries • which fixtures and fittings (like carpets and kitchen units) are included

• any legal restrictions or rights, like public footpaths or rules about using the property

• any planning restrictions

• services to the property, like drainage and gas

• when the sale will complete

• If the seller has hired a solicitor or conveyancer, they will:

• draft the initial contract

• answer questions from the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer (with the seller’s help)

• negotiate the details of the contract if necessary Exchanging contracts When the buyer and seller are happy with the contract, both sides sign final copies and send them to each other.

The agreement to sell and buy is legally binding once this happens. Usually neither party can pull out without paying compensation. Completion Once you exchange contracts and deal with any remaining checks the buyer has asked for:

1. The money is transferred from the buyer to the seller.

2. The legal documents needed to transfer ownership are handed over to the buyer.

3. The seller moves out and leaves the property in the state agreed in the contract.

4. The seller hands over the keys to the buyer.

5. The property now belongs to the buyer.

Mortgages are available for non UK residents from most banks, ask your Agent for the best Bank to go with.

Stamp Duty 1-7% paid by the Buyer Legal Fees 0.5%-1% Agency Fees 2%-3.5% (+VAT 17.5%)

Once you have seen a property that you like, you have asked all the questions above and more, and you have decided to take it, you need to make an offer.

Any price that you have seen a property advertised for is, in theory, negotiable however by how much depends on many factors. If the market is busy (e.g. in the Spring, Summer and Autumn months) then landlords are less likely to negotiate on the price than when the market is quiet in November and December.

Once a landlord has accepted an offer the property you will need to pay a holding deposit. This is usually 1 weeks rent and is not refundable. If you change your mind and decide not to take the property then you will loose it.

Generally a property is not taken off the market until a holding deposit is paid and in theory another tenant could take the property even if the landlord has accepted your offer. So a property is not reserved for you until the holding deposit is paid.

Documents required

• reference from employer- a letter or email from your work confirming your employment with them. Sometimes landlords will ask them to confirm your salary too.

• reference from your current landlord- if you have been living in the UK.

• bank statements- the landlord may want to see 3 months of bank statements to check that you are being paid your wages and are not in debt.

• bank reference- some landlords ask for a letter from your bank confirming that you can afford the rent.

• ID- all landlords will require photo identification to check that you are who you say you are!

Most landlords will ask for 1 month or 6 weeks rent as a deposit and the first months rent in advance.

This will need to be paid before or at the time of signing the contract and checking in. The deposit that you pay must be registered by the landlord or the agent in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

This is a government run scheme that will deal with any disputes over the deposit when you tenancy comes to an end.

How to Pay your rent?

This will be agreed when you check in but generally it will be monthly and you will pay by standing order from your bank account directly to the landlord or to the agency. The Agent is generally paid by the Landlord but will sometimes as you for a minimal admin fee.

The Landlord pays the agents fee but may ask for referencing charges and admistration fees