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February 13, 2017 in Real Estate |

Buying Real Estate in the Dominican Republic: Legal Considerations

Buying a Property in the Dominican Republic   When buying real estate property in the Dominican Republic, it is important to consider various legal provisions in order to ensure that the transaction is successfully concluded. The following are among the main points to confirm:

  1. That the seller can sell

 The seller's position is critical to the successful purchase of a property. For example, if the seller is a natural person, it is important to obtain his spouse's signature. If the seller is a trading company, you must review the bylaws and proceed accordingly.

 

  1. That there are no mortgages or liens

 In the Dominican Republic, mortgages and liens remain in force for the property, even with a new owner. It is therefore critical to ensure that the property is not encumbered. If you have any doubts, you should insist that the seller proves the balance.

 

  1. That no tax is owed

 Tax debts on a property impede the change of ownership thereof due to the bureaucratic requirements of the DGII (Dirección General de Impuestos Internos — Dominican directorate general for internal taxes).

To close the sale, it is therefore essential to have evidence that all tax payments for the property are up to date.

 

  1. That there are no pending disputes

 The results of any dispute in relation to the property are binding on the new owner. It is therefore important to adopt the corresponding contractual provisions and determine the real legal status of the property.

 

  1. Whether there are boundaries

 In the Dominican Republic, the cadastral boundaries of some buildings are not officially determined. Such a situation is liable to have unpleasant practical consequences if the necessary precautions are not taken. These often include making the definition of property bounds a requirement for sale.

 

  1. That there are no cadastral errors

 As a result of the evolution of Dominican real estate law and the recent adoption of new technologies by the Jurisdicción Inmobiliaria (the Dominican administrative body for real estate property), reliable cadastral analysis is recommended before purchasing a real estate property, especially for rural premises, farms, plots of land or villas.

 

  1. That the appropriate legal vehicle is used

 The vehicle used to transact the sale is important for fiscal and operational reasons. The instrument chosen should be appropriate in the sense of maximizing the tax advantages, providing security for the initial payments and ensuring the greatest post-sale flexibility possible.

The legal outcomes vary dramatically depending on whether the sale is structured under a promise of sale, a trust, a local or foreign company, or another legal tool available in the Dominican Republic.

 

  1. That the transfer is made immediately

 Property with a Title Deed protects the interests and rights of the holder in multiple ways. It is therefore pertinent to make the change of ownership as quickly as possible. To do this, you must comply with all the formal requirements of the titles registry.

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