Brexit and second-homes in France: What changes?

Would anything be expected to change in terms of buying a French second home for a British person after Brexit, either in a deal or no-deal scenario, as to actual rights to buy in France and the formalities involved?

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The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is frustrating for many potential British buyers.

For those planning a permanent move to France, residency formalities and how to access the French healthcare system are major concerns.

However, for those seeking to buy a second home in France, it is fair to say that thousands of non-EU nationals already own a second home in France with no onerous restrictions.

The EU has indicated that British nationals coming to the Schengen area (including France) after Brexit for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should not need to apply for visitors’ Schengen visas, although they would be required to complete the online ETIAS application form from 2021.

If the UK leaves with a deal which keeps the country within the European Economic Area (EEA) – or does not leave – this requirement would not apply.

Under this scenario, a British non-resident selling their French property would also benefit from reduced CGT and social charges at 26.5%, instead of 36.2% applicable to non-resident non-EU/non-EEA sellers, and would not have to pay for a Fiscal Representative (around 1%) for property sales exceeding €150,000.

Other than as stated above, Brexit is not expected to affect the process for buying in France, which is the same for all buyers regardless of nationality.

It remains important to understand what you are signing and surround yourself with professionals who deal with the French buying process daily.

So for those who wish to buy a holiday home in France, the possibility that the UK may leave the EU should not get in the way of their plans. France will continue to attract – and welcome – British buyers.

Question answered by Barbara Heslop of Heslop & Platt answers a reader query

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