Seit August 2022 sind ausländische Gesellschaften, die im Vereinigten Königreich eingetragene Grundstücke (entweder Eigentum oder Mietverträge von einer Länge von mehr als 7 Jahren) besitzen und diese seit 1. Januar 1999 in England und Wales (Schottland: 8. Dezember 2014 und Nordirland: 1. August 2022) erworben haben, verpflichtet sich beim Register of Overseas Entities zu registrieren. Die diesbezügliche Anmeldefrist endet am 31. Januar 2023. Danach drohen bei Nichtanmeldung Strafen.
Non-UK entities which own property in the UK are, in certain circumstances, obliged to apply to register on the Register of Overseas Entities at Companies House by 31 January 2023 under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (the “Act“). Failure to do so, will constitute a criminal offence, may make the entity and its officers liable to a fine or imprisonment (or both) and will restrict the entity’s ability to deal with its UK property.
The Land Registry has (or will) enter a restriction on the titles to property owned by an overseas entity which will prevent it from entering into certain dispositions of that property unless they are registered on the Register of Overseas Entities.
Generally speaking the obligation to register on the Register of Overseas Entities applies to non-UK entities, which:
- are registered proprietors of a leasehold of more than 7 years or a freehold; and
- acquired the property on or after:
- in England & Wales 1 January 1999
- in Scotland 8 December 2014
- in Northern Ireland 1 August 2022
Registration on the Register of Overseas Entities is potentially complex and challenging, made more so by the fact that only certain persons are authorised to carry out the verification process which needs to be completed before an application to the Register can be made.
If you are an overseas entity affected by the above and have not yet made your application to register, it is vital that you act quickly to ensure you comply with the obligations under the Act (and at least make an application to be registered on the Register) before 31 January 2022.
If you are an overseas entity looking to acquire property interests in the UK, you should also take further advice around the requirements under the Act.