Residential and Commercial Property Structuring

Reinforce your investment

Our experienced property team are here to support individuals and businesses who require property portfolio management, including both UK property investments and further afield. We have extensive experience in managing entities that hold luxury residential property or investment property across the world as well as managed developments including student accommodation, shopping centres, hotels, and resorts.

We work closely with the property managers, construction teams, legal and tax advisors with a network of partners. From offices in the Isle of Man, Malta, and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) our specialist property team identifies, establishes, and manages the right corporate structures to meet our clients’ ambitions. Our clients trust us to find the best way to own and control various personal residences in different parts of the world, or to provide assistance to individuals or businesses who are or wish to be engaged in property management, trading, or development.

Each jurisdiction has particular strengths. The Isle of Man, by virtue of its unique Customs and Excise Agreement with the United Kingdom and European law, is treated as part of the UK (and currently the European Union) for Customs, Excise and Value Added Tax (VAT) purposes. Isle of Man Property Structures benefit from this arrangement, so are often ideal for investment in UK real estate. Malta is a full member of the European Union and therefore ideal for EU property structures, whilst offering a very competitive tax regime. The DIFC, meanwhile, is an incredibly flexible jurisdiction for investments in the GCC region, as well as an excellent hub from which to control African and Asian property portfolios.

Commercial property management

As part of the initial structuring, the property team can provide guidance and assistance with the identification of suitable property managers to act on behalf of the structure, to handle the commercial property investment. This aspect is vital to the efficiency of any structure investing in overseas or UK commercial property. Knowledge of the local and regional market, the ability to identify, attract and retain quality tenants and an efficient management reporting process are fundamental to the smooth operation of the structure. These elements should be considered well before investing in commercial property and are important to finding an appropriate partner.

Our property team can also assist with any property finance requirements through our extensive contacts with potential lenders. Competitive lending has become increasingly difficult to source in recent years, so identifying the right lender for the needs of the structure is crucial. Once the lender has been identified and basic terms agreed in principle, there is still significant work required to document the proposed arrangements and ensure the fine print is suitably scrutinised. Working with the appointed legal advisers, the property team can ensure the structure benefits from the appropriate outcome.

Residential property management

Many individuals and businesses prefer to invest in residential property. This investment in European or UK real estate may be for general investment purposes or could be for personal reasons (e.g. acquiring a residence for occasional occupation by family members whilst in the UK). Similar consideration must be given to the structuring of the investment as for commercial property, but additional factors such as the changing tax landscape in the UK must be borne in mind.

Residential property management is just as important as for commercial property, although some of the qualities required from the manager could vary depending on the services required. Residential investments can be particularly demanding from a management perspective as standard short-term leases tend to require the landlord to adopt a ‘hands on’ approach with regard to on site facilities and any necessary repairs. Consequently, the appointed manager must be able to deal with minor events (washing machine breaking down) in a timely and efficient manner. Management fees for this type of investment tend to be higher to reflect the micro management style required. On the other hand, owner-occupier type investments usually require more of a concierge service to ensure the property is maintained correctly both during occupation and any periods of absence.

Our team of property administration experts can advise on when and how to acquire property, suggest the best ownership structures for these residential assets, and provide a comprehensive management service after the initial purchase. We are also well versed in assessing and restructuring existing assets in scenarios where circumstances have changes or incumbent administrators have not properly set up the property portfolio.

Property Tax Compliance

We take care to build international property management structures that are fully tax compliant across the various jurisdictions and supra-national bodies they operate within. This includes ensuring the beneficial owners do not pay too little or too much tax based on prevailing law, as both are likely to be damaging to their long-term business and personal interests. We ensure compliance with capital gains property tax, VAT requirements, stamp duties, the UK’s annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED) and a variety of other tax regimes, as applicable.