ILN: BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE - AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE

BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE IN ENGLAND AND WALES 114

from 1 April 2021 to purchases by non- UK residents

9. Expenses The buyer will have to meet at least the following additional expenses at completion of the transaction: • Land Registry fees ranging from £20 to £910, depending on the value of the real estate. This is significantly less than the registration or cadastral fees payable in most other European countries. • Legal and other professional fees, which are generally agreed at levels to reflect the purchase price and professional input. These fees will bear VAT at the then current rate (currently 20%), even for overseas investors. Each party usually meets its own professional advisers’ fees unless agreed otherwise. A tenant who is subletting or transferring the lease will usually be required to pay the landlord’s professional fees for the consent to the subletting or transfer. • The seller, not the buyer, pays the selling agent’s fees. These typically vary from 1%- 3%, depending on whether the real estate is commercial or residential, with fees for auction sales generally higher than for private treaty sales. Payment of the agent’s fee is normally conditional on completion of the sale. • Some buyers may instruct a buyer’s agent to help them find a suitable property. The fee payable to the agent normally varies from 1-3%. These “finder’s fees” are common in the high-end London residential market, where there may be stiff competition for prime real estate. • Fees incurred in obtaining finance.

• Miscellaneous expenses such as search fees of approximately £1,000-£1,500 per property and bank transfer fees. 10. Constraints on development Town planning legislation Development may generally not be undertaken without planning permission obtained under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (although there are various exceptions). “Development” may take one of two forms: • the making of a material change in the use of land or of an existing building; or • the erection of new buildings or the extension or other alteration of existing buildings (and, in some cases, the demolition of an existing building). Applications for planning permission are made to the local planning authority in the first instance and there is a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against a refusal of permission. Certain additional controls apply if development is proposed within a conservation area or if listed buildings are affected. Other controls The development and use of buildings may be governed by other statutory controls that regulate the quality and form of construction. Building regulations cover the technical standard that building works need to meet and the procedures that need to be followed. In the case of leasehold land, the lease may have controls on both kinds of development.

ILN Real Estate Group – Buying and Selling Real Estate Series

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