Foreign entities owning UK real estate
If you own real estate in the UK through a foreign (non-UK) entity, you need to register the entity.
The UK Register of Overseas Entities ("ROE") opened on 1 August 2022 through the new Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 and since then, all overseas entities that want to buy, sell or transfer property or land in the UK, must register with Companies House and disclose who their registrable beneficial owners and/or managing officers are.
Overseas entities that already own a property in the UK, or hold a lease on a UK property that was granted for more than 7 years, will also need to register with Companies House and disclose who their registrable beneficial owners and managing officers are by 31 January 2023.
The legislation applies to all overseas entities that purchased property in England or Wales on or after 1 January 1999, in Scotland after 8 December 2014, and in Northern Ireland since 1 August 2022.
Failure to comply by 31 January 2023 will constitute a criminal offence. Officers of the entity who are responsible for committing the offence can be prosecuted too. Failure to update the register on time is also a criminal offence that is punishable by a daily fine of up to £2,500.