Implementation date announced for the new register of foreign owners of UK land
The new register of overseas entities owning land in the UK, announced on 12 July 2022 under the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, will launch on 1 August 2022.
After the uncertainties of the past few months (with the register expected to be implemented at a short, unknown, notice), a date has finally been announced for the implementation of the new Companies House register of overseas entities owning land in the UK and the notice is indeed short, 1 August 2022.
The register will apply retrospectively to overseas entities for property or land purchased after 1 January 1999 in England and Wales (in Scotland it will only apply for land bought after 8 December 2014, while it will not apply retrospectively in Northern Ireland). These entities will have 6 months from 1 August 2022 to complete the registration (i.e. up to 31 January 2023).
The duty to register with Companies House will also be applicable to those entities which disposed of a property after 28 February 2022.
After the implementation date, in order to register a property transaction (transferring, leasing or charging land) with HM Land Registry it will be necessary for the overseas owner to have an identifying code which will be obtained after the registration has been submitted and approved by Companies House. Without this code the overseas entity will not be able to complete.
As explained in more details in our newsletter dated 8 April 2022, the new register will cover any “foreign owners” of a “qualifying estate” in the UK. In order to register it will be necessary to provide information on the foreign entity (name, registration number, country of incorporation, etc) and on the beneficial owners of that entity (full name, date of birth, nationality, etc).
After the entity has been registered, an annual update will have to be filed at Companies House confirming any change that have happened during the previous 12 months. It will also be possible to apply to have the entity removed from the register if it no longer owns any property/land in the UK.
Please get in touch with Emily Tyrrell (our corporate services and trusts team’s manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org or with your usual contact at Statura to check what other steps you need to take at this stage and to fully understand the implications going forward.