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Emigrating and property

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Blog Bits | 0 comments

Emigrating and property – basic need to knows about moving abroad

Here we are again and another week has passed by so quickly. For this blog write-up one of our Quick Property Sale Facebook followers has requested we delve into ‘emigration’ as this week’s topic.

If you have decided to move abroad it can be a hugely exciting change of life. You could be relocating for a new job, to improve your health, retiring to somewhere hot and or in need of a change in lifestyle. The only down side to achieving this end goal is that there are many loose ends to sort out. It’s a big commitment to decide to emigrate and it can be as difficult to unravel your actions if you change your mind, so it is a serious step to take.

In this article we will give you a flavour of what you need to look into, and look out for, when that thought of emigrating becomes a reality. Also on this page we will hopefully give you most of the info ammunition you need to make an informed decision and whether you decide to sell your property.

One of the first decisions you will have to ask yourself is whether to rent out or sell up your property. There are up’s and down’s to both options. Consider your choices and think about any pros and cons that may be personal and affect you moving abroad. Writing a ‘leaving the country’ shopping list with your options is always useful to clear any doubts. And plan, have a dairy of what you need to do to wind down, and budget your costs well before you pack your suitcases!

Here are a few negatives when you rent out your home:

  • You’ll need to appoint a property letting managing agent.
  • As a new landlord you will be required to pay all property maintenance, safety certificates and insurance costs.
  • There will be possible HMRC taxes to pay, including possible capital gains tax.

And the positives when you keep your property:

  • You could possibly receive a healthy income from renting.
  • You may benefit from future property equity growth.
  • You will have your original property to return to if you get home sick.

What happens to my mortgage if I do emigrate?

If you’re planning on keeping your property to rent out then you would need to inform your mortgage lender and request ‘consent to let’, this would be one of the very first actions to take, so that you can get an idea if you are able to rent. Keep your current UK bank account open to ensure your rent payments are credited and mortgage payments debited. Plus, that will help your credit score rating to stay healthy, provided there are not associated debts caused from your rental situation.

If you do get consent to let you will find your monthly mortgage payment interest rate will rise, there maybe admin fees to pay too. Ensure you get advice on the possible risks and implications with your lender fully before you make any decisions. If you are going to be leaving your property unoccupied then you will need to ensure your home insurance will still cover you.

Leaving your UK rented home?

If you are renting then you will need to make sure you give your landlord sufficient notice that you will be leaving and check what condition the property needs to be left in. Ask your landlord for a ‘tenant reference’ as you may find this useful if you’re applying for a rental property abroad.

What are the entry requirements?

The rules and migrating terms will vary for each country and before you can move overseas you need to research what restrictions that country imposes. Some governments, when applying for a visa, will have a wide range of visas/work permits, some temporary, lasting only 30 days, and some allowing you the right to live and work their permanently.

Secure a job abroad

Ideally you should secure a job offer before you set off to your destination, although you may find any job offers made are on condition you can secure a work visa. Again, some employers apply for a work permit on behalf of their potential new employee. A few countries will only issue a work permit if you have certain professional skills, or work in an industry which is lacking skilled workers. Prepare yourself a good CV if you need to apply for an alternative job quickly in that country.

If you are retired you will probably have to produce evidence that you can support yourself financially, or are within a predetermined age range.

Find somewhere to live!

Finding a new abode in your new country is one of the chores you will have to do; it’s also one of the most expensive, whether you are planning to purchase or rent. The majority of British ‘ex-pats’ choose sensibly to rent temporarily, so they can research an area before they commit to settling down to a regular new life. Not all counties are home owner occupier orientated and in Germany, for example, most of the general public choose to rent property.

Moving your finances overseas?

You will certainly need to move some money when you emigrate and this can take time – so get organised and plan early. If you can (some countries insist you have a residential address beforehand) open a bank account in the country you’re planning to emigrate to before you depart, this can make things much easier and cheaper for you. Also, research if your current bank has international branches.

Using your UK bank to transfer any funds abroad will be expensive and can take quite a while. Temporarily, if you do not have a bank, the easiest way to move money is to use a specialist money transfer company.

Tip: get a stop-gap card

While you are waiting for your funds to arrive a useful contingency is to organise an overseas credit card/travel prepaid card before you leave. Check it doesn’t charge high fees for use in your destination country. This gives you a convenient way to buy essentials to live on while your new bank account is being set up ready to use.

Think about possible tax

Just because you are relocating from the United Kingdom does not necessarily mean you will be excused from paying National Insurance contributions and tax and it is most likely you will have to contribute to your destination country’s local taxes as well. Receiving income from your UK rental property is certainly taxable, for more information visit the HMRC website here.

Sorting out your pension

If you are lucky enough to be emigrating to retire abroad you will need to arrange for your pension (both the private pension and state pension) to be paid into the new overseas account. While you can still receive any state pension when you move aboard it may not be eligible for any annual rises.

Continental cost of healthcare

We all have become used to free NHS healthcare, if you move abroad you may not be so fortunate. Investigate both health and dental plans and take out any insurance cover to help with unexpected emergencies.

Kick-start your credit history abroad

When you move abroad your credit score does not go with you and you may find you will have to begin building your credit rating all over again. This impacts your property buying ability and owing a new home may take time. As you will be starting afresh it can take a while for you to gain sufficient credit scoring to qualify for any kind of borrowing, so you need to plan ahead.

Having sufficient savings to survive is vital for at least the first half year of living in an alien environment, being on holiday is totally different to living there full time.

Further useful information resources

For more in-depth knowledge we suggest these websites for emigration guidance:
Emigrating from the UK and Ex-pat tips for moving

And finally

We have chatted about you emigrating to a new country and hope we have given you some ideas. There are many everyday items that have to be dealt with when starting a new life, selling property is one of those we can help with. Quick Property Sale helps adventurous people move on! I’m too old to move so far these days but always talked about the chance of a new live and in some ways now regret it – don’t copy me, if you want to emigrate, do it!

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