Requirements to transfer a real estate property in Dominican Republic

  • By:Vianela Morillo

In this article, our goal is to provide you with some points, to ensure you aware of the essential steps and what you should consider to transfer ownership of a real estate property in the Dominican Republic. A real estate transfer is the registration of a real estate, in favor of its buyer.

First things to consider when transferring a real estate property

Something very important to take into account, when planning to complete a real estate transfer, is that several requirements must be met. One of these requirements is to have a sale contract, which is simply a statement by which a person called “seller” transfers ownership of a good to another individual called “buyer”, in exchange for payment of an agreed amount.

To be able to complete a real estate transfer the property must be registered, given that the registered title of a property is the title that will be used primarily. There are two types of Property titles in the Dominican Republic: Registered Titles and Proof Letters. We will talk about registered titles in this article and we will cover proof letters at a different time. Something important to note is that you will not be able to transfer the rights over land that has not been properly demarcated.

Nevertheless, before submitting the file to the Registry of Deeds, the property in question needs to be registered with the General Directorate of Internal Taxes, to ensure that the taxes for the transfer can be determined and established. Once this requirement has been fulfilled, a payment of 3% of the sale value or the required amount based on the price of the appraisal made by the Real Estate Tax Registry; assuming that the payment of the Luxury Housing Tax is up to date, if applicable.

Please note that before you start a real estate transfer, you should start a process of legal and fiscal investigation of the property to be acquired, even when formalizing any type of sale contract. Additionally, everything should be done under the supervision of legal advisers, in order to avoid any type of charges or liens the property in question may have.

Documents to request from the seller

  1. Copy of the Property Title: It will be used to confirm that the seller is the owner of that property.

2. Original Certification of the Property’s Legal Status: This document will be necessary to confirm that there is no lien or opposition for the sale of this property, in addition to verifying that there is no problem surrounding said estate.

3. Copy of the Sale Contract: This is vital to verify what is stipulated therein.

4. Copy of the Identification (or Dominican ID) of the Seller: This document will be used to verify said seller, and it will also be required to fulfill all the requirements established by the corresponding offices.

5. If the seller is a company, they would need to provide you with the following:

  • A copy of the national taxpayer registry (known in Spanish as RNC).
  • Copy of the Dominican ID card (known in Spanish as Cédula) for the company’s representative.
  • Copy of the special assembly.

6. Copy of the Cadastral Map: It must be approved by the corresponding Cadastral Survey Office.

7. Verification of the Real Estate Luxury Tax on Housing and Urban Non-constructed Lots (known in Spanish as IVSS): This verifies whether the property must pay the IVSS Luxury Tax. If it is not paid, a certification must be issued stating that is the case. Conversely, if it has been paid, a certification showing that the property is current with the payment of this tax must be requested.

8. In the event that your seller is a company: You would need to add the minutes of the assembly to your file, with the shareholders authorizing the signer to sell the property to you.

Expert Lawyer Advice

You would need an experienced lawyer to draft your contract and conduct the transfer process properly. In addition, it is ideal to consult with lawyers specialized in real estate transfer management, to ensure that they can advise you on this issue.

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Posted in: Civil Law