Purchasing a home in Sri Lanka may be an exciting and rewarding experience. Navigating the legalities of the procedure, on the other hand, can be complicated and stressful, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local laws and regulations. In this post, we’ll look at the legality of buying property in Sri Lanka and offer some advice on how to manage the process.
1. Understand the ownership structure
Before you start looking for properties, it’s important to understand the ownership structure in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, land is either freehold or leasehold. Freehold properties are owned outright, while leasehold properties are owned for a specific period of time, usually between 30 and 99 years.
2. Obtain legal advice
It’s important to obtain legal advice from a qualified lawyer who specializes in property transactions. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal requirements of buying a property, including drafting and reviewing contracts, conducting due diligence, and ensuring that all necessary paperwork is in order.
3. Conduct a title search
One of the most important steps in buying a property in Sri Lanka is conducting a title search. A title search will reveal whether the property is free of any liens, encumbrances, or legal disputes. You should also ensure that the property is registered with the Land Registry and that all necessary taxes and fees have been paid.
4. Obtain necessary permits
Foreigners who wish to buy property in Sri Lanka must obtain approval from the Board of Investment (BOI) or the Ministry of Defense. The BOI approval is required for properties valued over USD 250,000, while Ministry of Defense approval is required for properties located near strategic or sensitive areas.
5. Consider the tax implications
When buying a property in Sri Lanka, you’ll be subject to various taxes and fees, including stamp duty, capital gains tax, and VAT. It’s important to understand the tax implications of your purchase and factor them into your budget.
6. Consider hiring a reputable real estate agent
Hiring a reputable real estate agent can help you navigate the property market and ensure that you find a property that meets your needs and budget. A good agent can also help you negotiate with the seller and ensure that all necessary paperwork is in order.
7. Get everything in writing
When buying a property in Sri Lanka, it’s important to get everything in writing. This includes contracts, agreements, and any other important documents. Make sure you read everything carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.
In conclusion, buying a property in Sri Lanka can be a complex process, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it can be a rewarding experience. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can navigate the legalities of buying property in Sri Lanka with confidence and ensure that your purchase is a success.