How the Eurozone crisis could affect UK property owners

It’ easy to dismiss the Eurozone crisis as being a problem for the countries in the single currency & but trouble on the continent could affect those who own homes in the UK or Europe, says property solicitor Sarah Gillbe. As the Euro teeters on the brink of collapse, first-time buyers could feel the effects here in the UK, particularly in London as wealthy Europeans stash their money in Belgravia properties, like the Russian oligarchs have. More affordable housing is needed & shared ownership developments for example, to help people get a foot on the ladder. There are also likely to be further stamp duty land tax avoidance schemes, as the old ones are no longer effective. Buyers will need to be wary about being sold into these, as they are not secure and run legal and tax risks from a personal point of view. Property owned on the continent is likely to fall in value and be even harder to sell. Instead of trying to offload, try to organise cheap rentals as a way of protecting your holiday home from unwanted occupants and from falling into disrepair when you are not around. Investments in European property are likely to fluctuate, due to some countries being seen as particularly vulnerable and others safer. Clients need to be aware that the whole of the Eurozone is at risk because of the minority of countries with the major problems (e.g. Spain and Greece). There is no such thing as safe whilst they all operate under the same monetary policy. Businesses dealing with suppliers and customers in Europe will need to be aware of increases in the black market. Revisit compliance procedures where suppliers are concerned & remember, if you are dealing with unscrupulous traders and have not carried out sufficient checks and due diligence your insurance is unlikely to cover any losses you sustain as a result. Be careful with currency transactions, insist on the funds moving in Sterling where possible – and keep a close eye on those exchange rates! Sarah Gillbe is a property specialist for Setfords Solicitors, based in Reading, Berkshire. Click here to contact Sarah. Disclaimer: This information is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information contact Setfords Solicitors.