Advice for Second Home Owners in Europe

The conditions for UK citizens travelling to, and living in, second homes in the EU will form part of the future relationship agreement between the EU and the UK that will be negotiated once the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019- ‘exit day’. A transition period, lasting from exit day to 31 December 2020, will keep in place all the current arrangements and agreements between the UK and the EU, and your ability to travel to and stay in your home in Europe will be unaffected.


However, the transition period will only come into effect if the UK and the EU agree a withdrawal agreement before exit day, if not, then there will be ‘no deal’, and there will be much less certainty as to what will happen next.


The government has issued a technical notice on travelling to the EU in the event of no deal, which you can access here


The notice includes the fact that if you are travelling to an EU country that is in the Schengen area, you will need to have at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport. The government has also published advice on driving in the EU if there is no-deal, where the government advises that you will need to purchase an International Driving Permit to drive in EU countries. The government is continuing to publish these technical notices, and it is possible they may give advice to second-home owners in the future.


The website Connexion France has produced some on how Brexit could affect second home owners in France. You can find their latest article here


It includes the fact there if there is no deal then third-country citizens (i.e. citizens of non-EU and EEA countries) will be subject to Schengen Area rules which offer short-term visas, which limit visitors to visits of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, and no return visits till 180 days after the first day of the previous visit. There are also longer-term visas, which come with more conditions attached (


The government’s white paper on the future relationship with the EU- a blueprint for what it wishes to negotiate with the EU during the transition period, states the government’s aspirations for how EU and UK citizens will live, work, and study in each other’s territories post-Brexit:


The UK’s future economic partnership should therefore provide reciprocal arrangements, consistent with the ending of free movement, that:

  1.       support businesses to provide services and to move their talented people;
  2.       allow citizens to travel freely, without a visa, for tourism and temporary business activity;
  3.        facilitate mobility for students and young people, enabling them to continue to benefit from world leading universities and the cultural experiences the UK and the EU have to offer;
  4.       are as streamlined as possible to ensure smooth passage for legitimate travel while strengthening the security of the UK’s borders; and

provide for other defined mobility provisions, including arrangements to ensure that UK citizens living in the EU, in future, continue to benefit from their pension entitlements and associated healthcare.