Overseas Homeowners in Limbo Due to Brexit

UK nationals with overseas property are currently in limbo as it remains unclear whether, and under what conditions, changes to their EU residency status will restrict access to their properties located in the EU. Even nationals that are permanently living in Europe, and sometimes with spouses and children, are not guaranteed to have unrestricted access to the EU once Brexit negotiations are complete. The UK government has expressed a desire to clarify the position as soon as possible but with many EU nationals facing uncertainty over their ability to remain in the UK it’s not clear that an agreement is close at hand.

An internal document drawn up by the European Parliament has highlighted difficulties that UK nationals may face in remaining in European countries pointing to the fact that it appears particularly difficult for foreign nationals to obtain permanent residence status and suggesting this may colour member states’ approach to UK citizens in their borders. As it stands, EU nationals seeking permanent residency in the UK could be faced with up to 85 pages of forms and a requirement to provide extensive documentation supporting their application.

This has also left many second home and holiday home owners questioning what restrictions might be imposed that would impede access to, and enjoyment of, their overseas property. Something that is especially true if the property was bought for extensive use or as a retirement home for the future. It’s estimated there are 1.2 million Britons living in the EU and many more with second properties or holiday homes they use for up to six months a year. The document issued by the European Parliament legal affairs committee to shape the forthcoming debate states it will be down to member states to determine if British citizens can remain there after Brexit.

As it currently stands EU nationals, whether from the continent and living in the UK or from the UK and living on the continent, continue to enjoy all the same rights they could exercise before the Brexit vote last June. However, with negotiations expected to last for years and having not even begun it could be that uncertainty will continue for some time to come.

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*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.