If you intend to purchase a commercial property or private lot of land you may want to engage a lawyer to assist with all the necessary legal documentation and safeguard your business interests. If you are applying for a financing facility to fund the purchase, your bank will assign a lawyer to prepare the security documents.
Step 1: Checking encumbrances
Your assigned lawyer will conduct a land search and a bankruptcy search at the Lands Department. This is to ensure that the property you intend to purchase is free of encumbrances before proceeding with the preparation of legal documents, such as the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
This can be done within a day and will carry a nominal charge of BND$1.
Step 2: Submit Application for Transfer of Land Ownership Online via LARIS
Next your assigned lawyer will need to complete online application forms and submit the
required documents via LARIS (Land Application and Registration Information System).
If you intend to purchase a piece of land that has been developed with a building(s), your lawyer will need to submit
additional documents for valuation purposes.
The Lands Department will then process your application to obtain approval from the Higher Authority, which will take approximately 2 to 3 months.
Step 3: Sign Memorandum of Transfer
Once application submission has been acknowledged by the Lands Department, applicants can come to the Lands Department to sign the Memorandum of Transfer (MOT) any time 3 days after submitting application.
Applicants who fail to sign the MOT within 21 days after their applications received by Lands Department will not have their applications processed further.
Step 4: Pay Stamp Duty
Once the transfer of land ownership has been approved, the Lands Department will notify the amount of stamp duty that you need to pay and assign you a date to visit the Lands Office for making the payment.
The amount of stamp duty is charged at 0.6% of the property value.
You are required to register at the Registration Counter with a fee of BND$1 before you proceed with stamp duty payment.
Step 5: Collect Title Deed
After the MOT is signed, the Land Department will register you as the new land owner in the Land Registry and will issue a Title Deed, a legal document that constitutes the ownership of the land.
This will take approximately 5 days. Your lawyer will be notified to collect the Title Deed at the Lands Department.