On 1 August 2022 the Register of Overseas Entities, which requires Overseas Entities, including Overseas Partnerships, Companies and Trusts that acquired land and property in England or Wales after 1 January 1999 to register and disclose details of their beneficial owners, was launched. Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate registers.
This means that any Overseas Entity that owns land or property has to register by 31 January 2023.
If an Overseas Entity is intending to buy land or property, they will also need to register before they buy the property.
Any Companies and Overseas Entities that have sold interests in land after 28 February 2022, are also required to comply with the new legislation by 31 January 2023.
Compliance steps include Registration with Companies House by the Overseas Entity, which requires provision of information about the entity and the ultimate beneficial owners. Once all the information has been provided, the Overseas Entity will be supplied with an Identifying Code by Companies House.
The information given to Companies House must be verified by a UK Supervised ’relevant person’ – the definition of which includes Accountants, Lawyers, Financial Institutions and Tax Advisors. These Supervised Agents are required to register with Companies House – and will be issued with an Assurance Code.
The verification steps are onerous, and Supervised Agents will be liable to civil and criminal sanctions if they certify incorrect disclosures, so Directors and Trustees of Overseas Entities need to be prepared to provide additional or updated information to allow their Agent to make the correct disclosures.
The information disclosed will be available on public record for up to two years.
The objective is transparency of ownership of land and property in the UK. Only in limited scenarios will ’protected status’ be granted that will avoid the information appearing on the public record.
Blick Rothenberg will be registering as a Supervised Agent and will be able to assist clients in complying with this new requirement. We will be reaching out to all clients to advise on the steps to be taken in August.
Would you like to know more?
If you wish to discuss this matter further, please get in touch with your usual Blick Rothenberg contact, or Heather Powell or Richard Citron using the details on this page or the form below.