UK Property Law from a Foreign Perspective

UK property laws are constantly changing and particularly in the last few years a number of additional legislation has been added due to the increasing number of immigrants to the country, and international companies interested in real estate and industrial properties. To protect the rights of native UK citizens the government has raised certain restrictions regarding non-UK residents buying property in the region. Moreover, for industrial units trying to buy property in the country special economic zones and special tax regulations have been formulated to protect the rights of the native citizen.

UK Property law is divided into three different systems - namely the Scotland, England & Wales and Northern Ireland systems. Every piece of land or building must be registered with the land authorities and every purchase requires a fixed registered fee to be paid.

The registration fee is different for domestic and commercial property.  Not much free land is available in the country and real estate property dealers purchase most of it.  The Land Registration Act 2002 must be followed while registering a property.

As far as the law of personal property is concerned, it is different from the law of real estate property. Two major terms are used to define ownership of property in the UK:

- Commonhold is the term used to describe residential buildings, which would have been leased in the past.

- Freehold ownership comes under the ideal conditions and with freehold ownership the owner is free to do whatever he wants to do with his property. Freehold ownership is flexible and allows the users to rent, lease or sell their property as they wish.

Recently a new housing law had been approved by the government.  Known as the Housing Act 2004 it has modified regulations for commercial, residential and individual property.

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