A 6-Step Guide on Buying Property in the UK: 2024 Update
  • October 12th, 2023

A 6-Step Guide on Buying Property in the UK: 2024 Update

As a non-UK resident buying UK property, you must fully understand the process to avoid complications and ensure a smooth transaction.

Buying a home in a foreign country with different laws and regulations can seem daunting, but with expert guidance, you can navigate the process confidently. While the buying process differs in some ways from other countries, you can purchase your dream UK property as an informed buyer by understanding what's involved at each step.

How to Buy UK Property in 6 Steps

In summary, here’s a 6-step guide to buying property in the UK as a non-resident:

  • Step 1. Deciding to Invest in UK Property as a Non-Resident
  • Step 2. Finding the Right Location to Buy Property in the UK
  • Step 3. Understanding UK Property Laws and Regulations for Overseas Buyers
  • Step 4. Getting Financing to Buy UK Property From Overseas
  • Step 5. Working With Property Investment Experts When Buying Property in the UK Remotely
  • Step 6. Managing Your Overseas Property Investment

Step 1. Deciding to Invest in UK Property as a Non-Resident

Making a foreign investment in UK property is a smart financial move that offers benefits like long-term appreciation and recurring revenue from rental income. Considering these two factors when making investment decisions is vital, as they contribute to your overall success in the property market.

non uk resident buying uk property

Let’s start by understanding what long-term appreciation and recurring revenue mean.

Long Term Appreciation

Long-term appreciation refers to the increase in the value of a property over time. As the UK property market grows, properties generally tend to appreciate — up by 55% in the past 15 years. This can be attributed to various factors such as economic growth, population growth, and infrastructure development. Investing in the UK property market means you have the potential to benefit from this appreciation, which can lead to significant returns on your investment in the long run.

Recurring Revenue

On the other hand, recurring revenue refers to the income generated from your property regularly. This can come as rental income if you lease out your property. Rental income provides a steady cash flow that supplements your investment and helps you achieve your financial goals. It’s essential to consider location, rental demand, and rental rates carefully to ensure a consistent and reliable recurring revenue stream.

Why Are They Important?

Long-term appreciation offers the potential for significant capital gains. As the property market grows, the value of your investment increases, allowing you to profit when you decide to sell. This appreciation can be a crucial driver of wealth accumulation over the years.

Recurring revenue, on the other hand, provides a steady income stream that can offer financial stability. It can help cover the costs of owning the property, such as mortgage payments, maintenance, and other expenses. Additionally, recurring revenue can provide a passive income source whose proceedings may be reinvested to diversify your property portfolio.

Which Should You Aim for?

Striving for a mix of long-term appreciation and recurring revenue can maximise your investment potential and provide a balanced approach to portfolio diversification. If you’re unsure how to get into property investment, consider partnering with experts like Baron & Cabot. As UK property investment experts, we can provide valuable insights, market knowledge, and guidance to help you make informed investment decisions.

Step 2. Finding the Right Location to Buy Property in the UK

When buying UK property from overseas, choosing the right location is vital.

Here are six essential factors to consider when selecting a location:

  • Market Performance and Growth Potential: Look at house price growth in the area over the last 5–10 years to determine if values are increasing or declining. Up-and-coming property areas with solid market performance and potential for future growth are ideal.
  • Demand From Tenants or Buyers: Consider if the location is attractive and for rental properties, especially buy-to-let investments. Popular university towns or employment hubs often have strong tenant demand. For capital growth, look for areas attractive to owner-occupiers and homebuyers.
  • Infrastructure and Local Amenities: Well-connected locations near public transit, major roads, airports, or rail links are preferable. Proximity to schools, hospitals, restaurants, entertainment and shopping is also advantageous.
  • Affordability: House prices and rental yields vary significantly across the UK. Determine your budget and investment objectives to find areas offering good value for the money. You can own one of our property developments with a £5K reservation fee and a 20% initial deposit.
  • Tax Considerations: Consider higher stamp duty land tax rates on additional properties and how they may impact your investment. Also, check for local authority taxes in the area (More on this later).
  • Legal Requirements: Familiarise yourself with UK property laws and regulations to avoid legal issues. Work with solicitors and property professionals with experience helping foreign buyers (More on this later).

Note: International investors who partner with us won’t have to worry about meeting these requirements — we have the best UK property locations, and we’ll handle all paperwork and legal procedures on your behalf.

With thorough research and an understanding of what matters most to you as an investor, you can find a location in the UK suited to your needs. The ideal area will meet your financial objectives while providing solid fundamentals to support a stable, long-term investment. Check out our Birmingham property developments to get started.

Step 3. Understanding UK Property Laws and Regulations for Overseas Buyers

To successfully purchase a UK property as an overseas buyer, you must understand the country’s laws and regulations regarding real estate transactions. Failure to do so could result in legal issues, fines, or even rescinding your purchase.

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Here are three significant steps involved in the legal aspect of a UK property purchase:

a. Conveyancing

The legal process of transferring property from one owner to another is known as conveyancing. In the UK, conveyancing is handled by licensed solicitors or conveyancers. As the buyer, you’ll need to hire a solicitor to represent you and handle all legal matters related to your purchase. Your solicitor will review the sales contract, conduct searches to check for any issues with the property or land, and handle the exchange of contracts and completion of the sale.

b. Exchange of Contracts

Once both parties have agreed upon terms, the exchange of contracts can take place. This is a legally binding agreement where signed contracts are exchanged, and a completion date is set. At this point, the transaction becomes legally binding — the seller can’t back out, and you must complete the purchase as the buyer. A deposit, typically 10% of the purchase price, is also paid upon the exchange of contracts.

c. Completion of Purchase

On the pre-agreed completion date, the final balance of funds is transferred from the buyer to the seller, and the property title deeds are signed over to the new owner. This is the point at which the property legally changes hands. Your solicitor will register your ownership and record the transfer of deeds.

Other Legal Considerations

There are additional regulations overseas buyers should be aware of before purchasing UK property. While some don’t apply to buyers, it’s crucial to understand how they work.

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax: A tax paid upon completion based on the purchase price. Rates are higher for overseas buyers. To get an accurate rate, use this SDLT Calculator.
  • Capital Gains Tax: A tax on the profit when you sell a UK property. Overseas buyers have specific allowances but may still be liable for CGT.
  • Inheritance Tax: A 40% tax on the value of a property above a certain threshold. Careful planning is needed for overseas buyers to avoid large IHT bills.
  • Money Laundering Regulations: Strict regulations require solicitors to verify the source of funds used to purchase property. Be prepared to provide evidence of the origin of your deposit and other monies.
  • Tax Reporting: As an overseas landlord or property owner, you’ll have specific tax reporting responsibilities. It’s best to seek advice from an accountant familiar with non-resident landlords and the UK tax system.

Following the proper steps and understanding your legal obligations are vital to navigating the complex process of purchasing property in the United Kingdom as an overseas buyer. When you partner with Baron & Cabot, we can connect you with our trusted team of lawyers for professional legal guidance. 

Step 4. Getting Financing to Buy UK Property From Overseas

Obtaining funding for overseas property investment can be confusing, given that lenders are generally sceptical about lending to non-residents. However, our service includes securing your mortgage at the best rate. Once you make your initial 20% down payment, we can assist you to get a mortgage to complete the rest — hassle-free.

However, if you want to go at it alone, here are the steps involved:

a. Find a UK-based mortgage broker.

As a non-UK resident, you’ll need to work with a broker familiar with the UK property market and lending criteria for international buyers. They can help you explore your mortgage options and guide you through the application process. Look for brokers that specifically work with expatriate and foreign national clients.

b. Check your eligibility.

Most mainstream UK mortgage lenders will lend to non-resident buyers, but they have stricter eligibility criteria. You’ll typically need a larger down payment of up to 40% of the property value. You must also show strong credit in your home country and proof of income, such as tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs. Finally, some lenders may require a UK-based guarantor.

c. Explore your mortgage options.

The two most common mortgage types for non-residents are buy-to-let and residential mortgages. Buy-to-let mortgages are for investment properties, while residential mortgages are for properties you intend to occupy part-time. Interest rates are often higher for non-residents. Consider both fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgages, depending on your financial situation and risk tolerance.

d. Gather the necessary documentation.

You’ll need to provide comprehensive documentation to support your mortgage application as a non-resident exploring foreign property investment in the UK.

This typically includes:

  • Proof of identity (passport)
  • Evidence of income and employment
  • Bank statements showing your down payment
  • Information on any properties you own in your home country
  • References from your bank and employers
  • Information on the property you intend to purchase

e. Complete the legal purchase.

Once your mortgage is approved and you find a suitable property, you can complete the purchase. Work with a solicitor to handle the legal transaction and conveyancing. Be available to sign the necessary paperwork, which may require travelling to the UK. Your solicitor will register the property in your name and handle tax obligations.

buy uk property from overseas

To know exactly how much you will need to pay back every month to cover your mortgage, use this mortgage calculator from API Global — having this information will ensure you have realistic expectations of how much you can gain from your investments. You can also save yourself the trouble of securing a mortgage by contacting us to guide you through your investment journey.

Step 5. Working With Property Investment Experts When Buying Property in the UK Remotely

Working with property investment experts is crucial when buying property remotely in the UK. At Baron & Cabot, our team of experienced property professionals guide you through the buying process from start to finish.

Here is how we help:

  1. Market Research: As a research-focused company, we conduct thorough market research and analysis to identify the best investment opportunities. We consider indicators such as infrastructure development, economic policies, yield and capital value trends, and corporate behaviour. This ensures we select high-quality properties with strong growth potential for our clients.
  2. Sourcing and Due Diligence: Our UK-based sourcing team conducts a comprehensive 121-point due diligence assessment to evaluate and approve investment development. We apply appropriate deal structures to secure the best deals for our investors, ensuring that their interests are protected.
  3. Investment Advice: Our team provides dedicated product and sales support in various UK regions through seminars, webinars, and personalised consultations. We understand our client’s needs and help them select the right property investment opportunities that align with their goals.
  4. Legal Support: Our support team assists investors throughout the purchase process, from processing new reservations and providing KYC documentation to acting as a conduit between all parties involved. We also recommend market-leading conveyancing firms to handle the legal aspects of the transaction on behalf of our clients.
  5. Mortgage Support: Our team provides mortgage support, advising clients on the best lenders based on their situations approximately six months before completion.
  6. Lettings and Property Management: Our sister company, Redstone Property Management, is a leading partner for investors and overseas landlords. They offer comprehensive services, including key handover, tenant sourcing, day-to-day management, and portfolio optimisation. Redstone ensures that your investment is managed efficiently and maximises returns.
  7. Portfolio Optimisation: We believe in regularly reviewing and optimising your investment portfolio to ensure you’re on track to reach your goals. B&C provides yearly investment reviews, offering suggestions such as remortgaging, holding your position, selling assets, or releasing equity to help you make informed decisions.

By partnering with Baron & Cabot, you benefit from our expertise, market knowledge, and comprehensive support. We’re dedicated to helping you make successful property investments in the UK, even when buying remotely. Feel free to reach out to learn more. You should also check out our developments in Leeds.

Step 6. Managing Your Overseas Property Investment

Once you’ve purchased your investment property in the UK, the next important step is to manage it to ensure maximum returns properly.

There are several steps to take to manage your property investment, and they include the following:

a. Hire a property management company.

First, find a reputable property management company to oversee the day-to-day management of your rental property. As an overseas landlord, it’ll be difficult for you to handle issues directly. A property management company can advertise the property, screen tenants, collect rent, deal with maintenance and repairs, and enforce the terms of the lease agreement. They’ll only charge a percentage of the rental income — Redstone, for example, charges 10%.

b. Obtain insurance.

You should also consider obtaining landlord insurance to protect your investment. This can cover rental income loss, property damage, and liability claims. Note that standard building insurance won’t provide coverage for rental properties. Compare different insurance providers to find a policy that suits your needs at a competitive price.

c. Keep records.

Properly document all income and expenses related to your property, such as rental income, utility bills, maintenance and repair costs, management fees, insurance premiums, and capital expenditures. While you can offset some of the tax burden with deductions for legitimate business expenses, you’re still required to pay UK taxes on rental income, even as an overseas landlord.

d. Periodically inspect your property.

It’s a good idea to visit your property periodically to conduct inspections. This allows you to check the property's condition and ensure no significant issues. You can also evaluate the performance of your property manager during these visits. If you cannot travel to the UK, request that your property manager send detailed reports on the state of your property, including photos.

e. Stay informed.

Stay up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations regarding landlords and tenants. Rules are constantly changing, and as a responsible landlord, you need to know your legal obligations. You should also review your lease agreement regularly to make any necessary changes to comply with current legislation. Remaining compliant will help avoid potential legal issues and keep your investment property running smoothly.

foreign investment in uk property

With proper management, an overseas property investment in the UK can be advantageous. Put in the necessary work upfront to set up a strong foundation, then review and refine as needed to optimise your returns over the long run. Check out our developments in Liverpool to get started now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy a property in the UK as an international investor?

Yes, you can buy property in the UK as an international investor. As UK property investment experts, Baron & Cabot is dedicated to helping global partners and clients—including foreign investors—access the stable and secure asset class of UK real estate. We provide end-to-end solutions and support throughout the entire purchase process, from selecting the right investment to securing the mortgage and completing the legal formalities. Contact us now to get started.

Is buying property in the UK a good investment?

Yes, buying property in the UK is a good investment. There are ongoing regeneration and infrastructure investments, which are positive economic indicators for property investment. Also, with demand currently outstripping supply, there are quick sales and strong rental yields, making property ownership in the UK a worthwhile investment.

Does buying a house in the UK give you residency?

No, buying property doesn’t automatically make you a UK resident. To obtain residency in the UK, there are specific immigration rules and criteria that need to be met, such as residing in the country for a certain period, passing language and knowledge tests, and meeting other eligibility requirements.


While buying property in the UK as a non-resident can be confusing, by following the proper steps and procedures outlined in this guide, you can successfully navigate the process. 

Do your research to understand the market and find an area that suits your needs. Work with reputable property investment experts to guide you through the legal and financial requirements, and be prepared for additional taxes and fees as a non-resident buyer. Most of all, start early and remain patient throughout what can be a lengthy endeavour.

With the right approach, you will be well on your way to finding your ideal UK property to enjoy for years to come. Contact us now to help you get started.

Disclaimer: Any information provided by Baron & Cabot does not constitute financial advice and is for educational purposes only.