PURCHASING PROPERTY IN SAINT LUCIA

Purchasing your Dream Property in Saint Lucia is fairly simple but not without the help of a local, reputable lawyer, trained in conveyancing, contract and land law, to guide you through the process.

Every sale is unique, before making your purchase speak to one of our agents to advise you on the best method of purchasing your property, tailored to suit your needs.

The steps for completing your purchase will be:

  • Application for a "Certificate of Eligibility" and thereafter for the "Alien Landholding License" (Both document for Non-Nationals ONLY)
  • Preparation and signing of  the document "Agreement for Sale"
  • Preparation and signing of "Deed of Sale"
  • Registration of "Deed of Sale"

Certificate of Eligibility for Alien Land Holding License (Non-Citizen or non-CARICOM nationals):

A Non-Citizen or Non-CARICOM national is required to make an application to the Citizenship by Investment Board for a Certificate of Eligibility to be then eligible to apply for an Alien landholding License to purchase Real Estate in Saint Lucia.
The certificate may be issued for the duration of one (1) year or ten (10) years. During this eligibility period a client can obtain multiple properties under the same certificate but would need a separate Alien Holding License for each purchase.

The Alien Landholding License is a permanent license which does not require renewal. The License is granted for a specific property and is not transferable once you have entered into an "Agreement for sale".

IMPORTANT: Once an applicant has obtained an Alien Landholding license, then they would qualify to obtain permit for indefinite stay in Saint Lucia for the duration of license (Owning property).


Application costs are as follows:

Certificate of Eligibility          -   USD 3,000 + Professional Legal Fee of USD 1,000 = USD 4,000

Alien Landholding License** -  USD 2,500 + Professional Legal Fee of USD 1,000 = USD 3,500

Total Application Fees                                                                                                   = USD 7,500

In order to make an application for an Alien Landholding License each applicant would be required to supply the following:

  • Two passport size photographs
  • Original Police Certificate of good Character from country of origin
  • Bankers’ reference
  • Certified copy of passport and citizenship details (Copy data pages of Passport)
  • The non-refundable government application fees as above
  • Complete the associated forms

** Note: The Alien License fee of USD 2,500 applies to property where the land size is less than or equal to an acre. Where the property is:

  • Greater than 1 acre and up to 5 acres the Government fee is USD 5,000
  • Greater than 5 acres and up to 10 acres the Government fee is USD 10,500
  • Greater than 10 acres the Government fee is USD 10,500

Document "Agreement for Sale" (Nationals and Non-Nationals)

This is the contract or agreement between the vendor and the purchaser. This agreement is binding in law and it determines the material terms binding the parties e.g. the deposit fee, the time period for payment of the balance of the purchase price, the terms of completion and any other necessary terms towards completion and release of the property to you with good title guaranteed with vacant possession.

On signing the "Agreement for Sale" the purchaser pays a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) which is usually held in escrow until certain condition precedents are met or even up until completion of the document "Deed of  Sale". Clauses included in the document "Agreement for Sale" ensure that if the vendor pulls out of the sale or is unable to sell the property with good title then the deposit is returned to the purchaser plus purchaser receives the 10% forfeited by the vendor. Additional remedies at law may be available to the purchaser depending on circumstances and how the agreement for sale was drawn up. If the purchaser pulls out of the sale their deposit is usually forfeited. The whole purpose of the "Agreement for Sale" is to ensure that the vendor can give good title and that he does not sell the property to another intended purchaser.

Before signing the "Agreement for Sale" the legal process is usually accompanied by in depth searches at the Land Registry (Title Search) to ensure that the property is not encumbered in a manner which cannot be cured within the period set for completion by the contract. Reputable Estate Agents welcome Registry searches to ensure that your purchase goes as smoothly as possible and according to law.

A site visit is advisable by a trusted representative, estate agent or legal representative. All searches and enquiries are aimed to ensure that the purchaser obtains good title and legal title to the property in law.


Document "Deed of Sale"
 (Nationals and Non-Nationals)

The "Deed of Sale" is the document which transfers title of the property from the vendor to the purchaser.

On the execution and signing of the "Deed of Sale" a Government Stamp Duty is paid by the purchaser to Inland Revenue, Saint Lucia, at the rate of 2% of the purchase price of the property. The vendor is also required to pay a vendor’s tax to Inland Revenue and usually an "Agreements for Sale" ensures that this tax is paid immediately by deducting the relevant amount of the tax from the purchase price before the balance of the purchase price is paid to the vendor.

The "Deed of Sale" is then registered at the Land Registry of Saint Lucia which gives the purchaser the title to the property, the right to enjoy the property and the right to dispose of it. If the purchaser is not able to be present in Saint Lucia for the signing of the "Deed of Sale" a power of attorney can be drawn up to enable the purchaser to appoint another person to conduct the property purchase in his or her absence. It can be so worded that on completion of the purchase the power of attorney then becomes null and void.

Legal fees for the conveyancing process are worked out according to the Legal Practitioners’ Tariff as issued by the Bar Association of Saint Lucia and are calculated on a sliding scale of a percentage of the purchase price of the property with individual fees for the "Agreement for Sale", the "Deed of Sale" and the "Alien Landholding License Application".

An advantage of buying property in Saint Lucia is no Capital gain tax, no inheritance nor Land tax.  

 

Stay informed, join our newsletter today