With the lovely weather we have had so far this summer, along with the seemingly ever increasing cost of travelling abroad, it’s no wonder that more and more of us are choosing to spend at least some of our holidays in the UK. In recent times, we have witnessed an increase in the popularity of second homes in the UK. In fact recent statistics from the English Housing Survey suggest that there are around 300,000 second homes in the UK.

Second homes are normally purchased with the intended purpose being to use them as holiday homes. Rather than the expense and stress involved with travelling abroad for a holiday, families are simply packing up their cars and heading to their second home for the week, or even for a weekend.

Before purchasing a second home it is imperative that the potential risks and benefits are carefully considered. If a second home can be afforded then it is undoubtedly an interesting and attractive venture however, owners are often unaware of the potential legal implications and associated problems of owning a second home. For example, when purchasing a second home, the owner will need to carefully consider the tax implications.

The very nature of second homes means that they will often be left unoccupied for long parts of the year. Owners may wish to rent the property out for periods of time in order to maximise their income. This can lead to the creation of a Landlord and Tenant relationship; which may give rise to a number of complicated legal issues. The owner also needs to carefully consider the issue of insurance for the second home both when using it himself and when renting it out.

Not everyone may have the funds to invest in a holiday home on their own. The alternative option is to group together with family and friends and purchase a property as a shared/group venture. This not only reduces the cost of owning a second property, but also means you have somewhere that you can all enjoy visiting together. In such cases there is a necessity to be clear from the start about each party’s expectations and all financial and legal arrangements should be set out in writing.

Purchasing a second home abroad also remains a popular option. In terms of buying abroad, there may certainly be some bargains available at the moment, but purchasers need to carefully consider whether they are tying their money up in something that may prove very difficult to sell should they later need access to the funds.

Here at Farleys we have a wealth of experience in relation to advising individuals on the issues covered above. If you already own or are considering purchasing a second home then do not hesitate to contact us today in order to speak to one of our expert property solicitors who will be able to draw your attention to any potential legal implications that you may need to consider.

By Ian Liddle, Commercial Property Solicitor