Saint Lucia is an attractive place to buy real estate, but this process holds many regulations and fees that could inhibit foreign investors. It is a very expensive place for non-natives to buy property, but this is nonetheless possible.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
A local attorney in Saint Lucia is required in this process to register the Alien’s Land Holding License (see below).
A good real estate agent can be helpful in the process of buying real estate in Saint Lucia, but is not necessary.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
Foreigners buying real estate in Saint Lucia are required to obtain an Alien’s Land Holding License. This is a long and complicated process that must pass through four different bureaus. It must first be submitted to the Planning Department, then the Attorney General’s Office. If the property is over one acre in size, the paperwork must then go through the Prime Minister’s Office, and then finally through the Governor General’s Office. After it is granted, this license is required to be registered by a local lawyer. Once the Alien’s Land Holding License goes into effect, it is permanent, and it only pertains to a single property owner over a single property.
This license costs thousands of US dollars for both application and final approval, and gets more expensive according to how large the real estate is. Lots of paperwork is required to obtain it, including passports, professional employment information, a banker’s reference, a police background check, a Statutory Declaration signed by the buyer, four passport photos, a full set of finger prints and the purchase price of the property (and possibly more).
The first step in this process is to settle on a property and make an offer to the seller. If this is approved, then an Agreement for Sale must be drawn up and signed by both parties. The buyer should then put down a deposit, which is 10% of the final purchase price, to secure the transaction. The buyer and and buyer’s attorney are then responsible for obtaining the Alien’s Land Holding License (see above).
The process of obtaining this license should take between six to eight weeks, but in extreme cases can last up to six months. After everything is clear, the information on the license can then be submitted to obtain the Deed of Sale. The Deed of Sale can then be registered, and the buyer must pay stamp duties, taxes and some legal fees, along with the balance of the property price to the seller.