Compliance & Tax
Our Anti-money Laundering Procedure
HOMES OR HOUSES LTD is committed to ensuring that it has adequate controls to counter money laundering activities and terrorist financing activities, in line with Statutory Instrument No.692 Financial Services, The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
HOMES OR HOUSES LTD are registered with HMRC for anti-money laundering supervision under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017. Risk sensitive policies and procedures have been established in order to anticipate and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
A risk sensitive or risk-based approach is where businesses assess ‘the risk’ of customers laundering money through their business. Whilst Homes or Houses Ltd take the starting point that most customers will not launder money, we do identify criteria that may indicate a higher risk. – e.g. where there is no face-to-face meeting to establish identity.
Homes or Houses Ltd is committed to staff training in anti-money laundering legislation.
Homes or Houses Ltd has a Money Laundering Reporting Officer whose responsibility is to receive internal reports and who will forward reports to National Crime Agency, if and as necessary.
It is Homes or Houses Ltd policy that all landlords, tenants, vendors and purchasers must be identified fully with a minimum of two forms of ID, evidence of identity being photographic, such as a Passport or Government issued driving license and also evidence of residential address e.g. a government issued bill, a tax return, or a utility bill dated in the last three months, (SEE BELOW).
Should a face to face meeting not take place then ‘enhanced due diligence’ procedures will be adopted by asking for additional information or evidence to establish the customer’s identity and all of the documents supplied must be certified by a Lawyer or Notary.
If the verification of the customer’s identity is done by documents this will be based on:
A government issued document with the customer’s full name and photo with either the customer’s date of birth or residential address such as:
- a valid passport
- a valid photo card driving licence
- a national identity card
Where the customer doesn’t have one of the above documents, or the customer doesn’t meet the criteria in our risk assessment, we will require independent verification by a Lawyer or a Notary before proceeding with our relationship. This independent verification must be conducted by a Government Notary.
For customers other than private individuals
For customers who are not private individuals, such as corporate customers and private companies, we will obtain information that is relevant e.g. company registration number, registered address and evidence that the individuals have the authority to act for the company from Companies House to obtain details of directors and company secretary. From this stage the above requirements for documentation will be applied to all shareholders holding 25% or more of a business.
Suspicious Activity Reporting
A report will be made if a member of staff and the nominated officer thinks that there is a possibility, that a person is or has been engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing. The report will be made to the Homes or Houses Ltd Money Laundering Reporting Officer who, should they be satisfied that there are grounds to suspect money laundering or terrorism, will make a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency (NCA)
What is Suspicious Activity?
This list is by no means exhaustive but includes:
- Reluctance to provide details of their identity
- Customer is trying to use intermediaries to hide their identity or involvement
- There appears to be no genuine reason for the customer using the business’s services
- Money is paid by a third party who does not appear to be connected with the customer
- The customer requests payment to a third party who has no apparent connection with the customer
- A cash transaction is unusually large, and the customer will not disclose the source of funds.
- A transaction is carried out for less than market value with an unconnected person
- The following records will be kept for 5 years:
- Copies of, or references to, the evidence obtained of a customer’s identity for five years after the end of the customer relationship, or five years from the date when the transaction was completed.
- Supporting records relating to a customer relationship or occasional transaction for five years from the date when the transaction was completed.
- The purpose for keeping these records is to demonstrate the business’s compliance with the regulations and to aid any resulting investigations.
Frequently Asked Questions
From April 1 2016, anyone purchasing an additional/second property will have to pay an additional 3 per cent stamp duty. The changes apply to companies and individuals no matter how many properties you are purchasing.
Currently freehold property purchases involving transactions less than £40,000 don’t need to pay SDLT or tell HMRC about freehold land and property transactions with a total chargeable consideration of less than £40,000. But the total chargeable consideration includes any linked transactions so caution is advised.
Click Here to download the frequently asked question’s PDF regarding Capital Gains Tax produced by the HMRC.
Click Here to download the shortened version of the frequently asked question’s PDF regarding Stamp Duty Tax produced by the HMRC.
ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING REQUIREMENTS
To comply with Anti-Money-Laundering regulations by UK Estate agents, Homes or Houses must provide the vending agents with the following certified documents upon acceptance of an offer to purchase on a property. Below is specified criteria that all property purchaser is now required to meet.
PROOF OF IDENTITY
The primary form of identification must bear a photograph and signature. Copies must also be certified as a true copy of the original, and must be valid, up to date and be signed by the holder.
- Full UK or foreign passport that has the Machine-Readable Zone
- Full UK or foreign photocard driving licence
- Photocard national identity card that has the Machine-Readable Zone
PROOF OF ADDRESS
The second form of identification must confirm the purchasers permanent residential address.
- A statement from a utility company (less than 3 months old) for gas, water, electric or AC.
- Full UK photocard driving licence bearing residential address (if not already used as your proof of identity)
- UK or foreign bank credit card / bank statement (dated within the last three months and not printed from the internet) and clearly showing your name and address.
- Copy of lease agreement for your residential address.
- A letter from your employer.
We are unable to accept utility bills printed off the internet. Online bank statements may only be accepted as ‘Proof of Address’ if stamped and certified bearing the account holder’s address. Mobile telephone bills, store card statements and any documents showing a “care of address” or non- residential address cannot be accepted.
CERTIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS
Documents can be certified by: (Please note that individuals within the above categories in most countries are acceptable but exceptions may apply.)
- A director or manager of a bank or an authorised credit or financial institution.
- A qualified lawyer or attorney registered with the relevant national professional body in the jurisdiction of country of issue.
- A qualified accountant registered with the relevant national professional body in the jurisdiction of country of issue.
- A notary public or a member of the judiciary, in the jurisdiction of country of issue.
The certifier should provide the ‘certification’ directly on the copy of the document, providing the following information:
- Print (in capitals), Sign and Date the copy document
- Clearly indicate his/her position or capacity
- Provide his/her contact details, including the name and address of the company/institution that they represent and any registration numbers if applicable.
- The certifier must state “I certify this is a true copy (and true likeness if photo present) of the original document.”
Please note that independent certification is HCA requirement (Homes & Communities Agency) and we may have no option but to return documents that are not certified in accordance with the guidelines.