Buying Property in Sri Lanka – A Foreigners Guide

Buying Property in Sri Lanka
With Sri Lanka’s expanding economy and government ambitions to accelerate the development process, land ownership laws towards foreign property investors are being relaxed. Gross domestic capita has risen – over US$ 9,425, hence purchase power is high. The 15% tax on buying leases has been abolished! Sounds like a good time for investing in the Sri Lanka property market? Here are the guidelines.
  • Foreigners may purchase property, provided the land tax of 100% of the property value is paid
  • Sounds stupendous? There’s an option, lease the land for 99 years and you are faced with a 7% land tax!

Find a Good Lawyer Before Buying Property in Sri Lanka

Remember you cannot complete the purchase without a lawyer, and the golden rule applicable to all foreigners looking at investment property in Sri Lanka, is to hire a professional notary of public, too look into the loop holes and nitty-gritty of every purchase, including laws pertaining to foreign land ownership. Avoid communication problems by seeking a lawyer fluent in English; you will be amazed at the number of contract problems that crop up due to communication errors. If not English, consider a translator or lawyer savvy in your native language, Sri Lanka is home to a bevy of professional lawyers very fluent in English and other languages too; choose well.

Hire a Real Estate Agent to Look for Property in Sri Lanka

Whether it’s a holiday rental you seek or are considering investing in one of those beautiful coastal villas for sale in Sri Lanka, do obtain the help of a good real estate agent. Choose one with an impressive portfolio, one that will work hard to find the type of property you have in mind. Reputation is a good gauge to go by; so, do ask around!

Get Savvy With Your Negotiation Skills When Buying Property in Sri Lanka

Once you find the property you want, start your negotiations with the seller. Make an offer, be firm, and bargain, Sri Lankans love to haggle and you won’t be offending anyone! Once agreed, a 10% deposit is the norm. Check and Sign the Contract to Obtain your New Property in Sri Lanka Have your lawyer pre-check the title deed and all other aspects pertaining to the purchase of the desired property, If the land has some vagueness, but you still want it, protect yourself from future problems/claims by buying a ‘Title Insurance’.

Register the Property

Once full payment is done your lawyer must then register the land with the Sri Lanka Land Registry listing you as the new owner! Done deal! Do look into all factors governing the purchase of Sri Lankan land by a foreigner before you start the finalisation process.

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