Buying Property in Sri Lanka – Points to Consider

Buying Property in Sri Lanka
Foreigners are free to buy land in sunny Sri Lanka; listed below are the policies and legal aspects to consider. Land can be purchased by foreigners within the island on two conditions; via an outright purchase by paying a 100% Land Tax based on property value or by signing a 99-year land lease on the payment of a 7% Land Tax on property value; the cheaper option, although lacking permanent ownership.

Facts Pertaining to Property Purchase in Sri Lanka

  • Prepare the contract through a good lawyer. The sale is final only once a legal contract of transfer is signed, between buyer and seller.
  • No one but the legal owner of the property has the authority to make the sale. If there is more than one owner all parties must agree to sell.
  • Use the services of an estate agent. An estate agent will make sure ownership of property is clarified and the deeds are clear before publicising the sale of the property.
  • Your lawyer must check the property deed with the Land Registry.
  • Both parties must sign the transfer contract in the presence of a lawyer.
  • You must then make full payment, thus becoming the new owner once all documents are signed.
  • Your lawyer must then register the property under the new owner’s name with the Land Registry.
  • Cash transactions are the preferred choice. Cheques or money transfers are not too popular.
  • If funds for an outright purchase are not available immediately, make a deposit of 10% to 20% of the property value and reserve the piece. Do this by signing a contract via a lawyer, middleman or trustee.
  • Stamp Duty is charged on a graduation starting with the first 100,000 of the total property value, and varying in value for each additional 100,000.
  • Making sure you are in Sri Lanka for signing the contract will be a saver in terms of legal fees; cutting out additional lawyer fees for power of attorney.
For more information and a trustworthy helping hand, speak to the team ay Double Vision today. We’re here to help and will be happy to provide impartial advice.

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