‘An own goal from the EU’

‘An own goal from the EU’

  • November 30, 2020

There has been a huge spike this year in Britons seeking property abroad, but Brexit could be about to transform the behaviour of those looking to spend time in their second-homes. 

New post-Brexit rules will limit the amount of time that UK residents can spend in their foreign boltholes when Schengen rules come into force from January 1, 2021. 

Following a record year of overseas sales for some UK estate agents, due largely to lockdown, swathes of Britons are now concerned as to how their travel habits may have to drastically change. 

Telegraph readers have had their say on how Brexit could transform the lives of those that are used to spending time in a second-home abroad. 

Read on to see what your fellow readers have had to say and then share your own thoughts in the comments section below.

‘It can only be a good thing’

@Derek Etherton:

“It’ll stop the motorhome campers spending all winter here in Spain while ensuring they still receive their winter heating allowance and other benefits.  

“Plus it has at long last cleared all the untaxed, untested and uninsured UK registration-plated cars off the road. Furthermore, all the free loaders, sailing under the radar dodging tax. It can only be a good thing.”

‘If the Brits can’t come Portugal’s economy will be crippled’ 

@Robert Jones:

“I have a flat in the Algarve, which my children can also use. Two thirds of the Algarve’s visitors’ expenditure comes from Anglophone countries – well, the UK and Eire. 

“If the Brits (and some Canadians and Americans) can’t or won’t come, Portugal will be economically crippled. We’ve seen that already, as a result of Covid over the summer.”

‘It’s up to the EU countries to make extra provision’ 

@Lee Hallam:

“Clearly it’s up to the EU countries to make extra provision, if they want these property owners to spend more time spending money in their local economy. Those like Portugal where they make a significant contribution to the economy probably will. 

“As for the idea that there are people with second homes disadvantaged by rules requiring an income larger than a state pension, that is hilarious. No one living on the state pension could afford to run two homes and travel between them. 

“It really does underline that the chief beneficiaries of EU membership were those with the money and time to live in this way.”

‘If you want to stay for more than six months then apply for permanent residency’

@Richard Atherton:

“Well I live in Spain and it has been in force for a long time. 

“If you want to stay for more than six months, apply for permanent residency. It is easy, costs little or nothing and it’s got nothing to do with Brexit.”

‘For a lot of second-home owners the dream is turning into a nightmare’

@mike birch:

“There are two big problems facing second-home owners. The first is that the value of their properties have gone down. I am lucky enough to have half a house in France. Before Brexit the value kept going up. One reason for this was the large number of Brits who brought property there.

“Since Brexit, Brits only want to sell – not many want to buy. I have lost £50,000, but as I bought the house 20 years ago I am still in profit. However, it means that some British people are trapped in France as they can not sell their property at a higher enough price to allow them to come back to the UK.

“The next big problem is health cover. Currently second-home owners can use the French health system which, on the whole, is somewhat better than in the UK. With about 30 days to go until Brexit, I have no idea about the level of cover I will enjoy next year.

“For a lot of second-home owners, the dream is turning into a nightmare. It seems the people running the country are more interested in fish than they are with people.”

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