GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR NATIONALS AND NON-NATIONALS PURCHASING PROPERTY IN SAINT LUCIA

A) PURCHASE OF LAND

A national may purchase land outright or go through a bank or financial institution. Commercial banks will lend money for the purchase of land to an amount of up to two-thirds of the value of the property.

  1. Get A valuation of the property;
  2. Check with the Registry to ensure that there is no claim against the property. This is compulsory when dealing with a bank of financial institution. This is normally handled by a solicitor;
  3. The purchases is required to pay two percent (2%) of the entire transaction value plus EC$1.20 in stamp duty to the Department of Inland Revenue;

    The vendor is required to pay the following taxes on the transaction, to the Department of Inland Revenue:-

    The first EC $25,000 is free
    $25,000 - $50,000: 2%
    $50,000 - $75,000: 3%
    above $150,000: 5%
    Lawyer’s and registration fees of approximately $100 to $150 respectively are extra.

  4. a) banks do not accept family lands as security
    b) before purchase, every effort should be made to determine the nature and extent of any encumberance which may be attached to the property.

B) PURCHASE OF HOUSE

For the purchase of a house, commercial banks will lend money to build on land with a minimum of $50,000. With this restriction, commercial banks will only lend up to 50% of the value of the land on which the house is to be built. The Housing Development Bank will lend money up to a maximum of $40,000 on property worth a minimum of $5,000 with the house forming part of the security.

C) LEASE OF PROPERTY

The lease agreement is drawn up by a lawyer in respect of the property. The lessee has the use and enjoyment of everything that is stated in the agreement. The lessee is also responsible for the payment of utilities. The lease specified the use of the whether it may be used specifically for residential, commercial or agricultural purposes. If the owner dies, the terms of the lease remains in force.

Details on terms of breaking the lease are specified.

Stamp duty payable to the Department of Inland Revenue is as follows:

Over EC $500 per year = Total x $1.25/$250

D) ALIEN’S HOLDING LICENCE

Non-nationals may purchase or lease property in Saint Lucia upon receipt of an Alien Landholding Licence. This transaction must be undertaken by a lawyer. The required forms are also obtainable from the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives in Castries, Saint Lucia. With the completed application form, a schedule describing the property in question must be provided. The lawyer forwards the form to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for consideration.

Seven and half percent (7 ½%) of the value of the land is payable to the Department of Inland Revenue upon completion of the transaction. At the time of application, 25% of 7 ½% must be paid as an application fee. These fees are refundable upon rejection of the applicant. The application is submitted to the Cabinet for final consideration. Lawyer’s fees for this transaction are within the region of EC$250.00 (1 US$=$2.70 EC$).

E) DEVELOPMENT CONTROL AUTHORITY

The Development Control Authority is responsible for directing and regulating the orderly development of land in Saint Lucia, under the provision of Land Development Act. Written permission is needed from the DCA prior to the physical development of any Property.

The Authority seeks to ensure that in every situation, prope standards of physical development are maintained. Information on procedures for applying to the Development Control Authority may be obtained from;

The Executive Secretary
Development Control Authority
P.O. Box 709
Castries, Saint Lucia
West Indies

It is advisable to provide full details of the nature of the development intended so that appropriate guidance on required documentation and fees can be obtained.


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