FAQs about Buying and Selling Real Estate in St Lucia

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions with answers. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us.
Buying property in St Lucia
What is the sales process when the property is owned by a company rather than a private individual?
If the property is owned by a company there are some savings for both purchaser and vendor.
 
  • Because the handover is just a transfer of the company shares, the vendor does not pay vendors tax (10% for foreigners, 5% for nationals)
  • The purchaser pays only a 0.5% share transfer tax, rather than the standard 2% stamp duty.
  • If the company is a local company, but the purchaser of the company is a foreigner, the company will need to acquire an alien landholding licence.
  • However, if the existing company is owned by a foreigner, they will have already had to acquire an A.L.L , so the purchaser will not need to obtain a licence.
  • In this case the handover involves just a simple share transfer, the value of shares as disclosed in the financial statements should equal the value of the property.

 
It is important, if something is owned by a company, to establish two things:
 
Whether the company is a local or foreign owned company.
Whether the property in question is the sole asset of the company (in which case a simple share transfer is possible), or whether the company is an operating business with multiple assets, turnover etc
 
Apparently, the share transfer, when an A.L.L is not required is a speedier process than a normal sale between two private individuals.
Is Vendors tax payable on Profit made or on total sales price?
Total sales price - 5% Nationals, 10% non-nationals
What (vendors / transfer taxes) are paid by a LLC and IBC?
Share Transfer Tax for a LLC is 0.5% of the Net value of the company (If it owns a US$1Million property = US$5000)
Is there Stamp duty in St Lucia?
Yes this is 2% on the purchaser (for a property held in LLC See Above)
Is that Everything, if / when they wish to sell?
Why did I get a huge bill for Notary fees?
What are the costs and timescale for setting up a LLC and IBC? and why do both?
Costs vary on setting up an LLC, however clients should be advised that depending on the lawyer it is between 3,500 and 5,000 EC$. Can take between 2-6 weeks.
An IBC has the benefit of keeping your investment confidential.
Why would a Buyer be advised to pay a split price, e.g. 900K house and 100K furniture?
A Non national selling could save 90K in vendors tax! so including some furniture would seem sensible.
What are the rules relating to a Duty Free Container for building materials / Furniture/ Own Goods and a Vehicle?
You can bring in personal possessions ( one container) duty free within 6 weeks of taking residence.
Please Explain the Tax Holidays, which properties do they relate to?
Tax holidays are normally for 10-15 years this is granted by the government to certain developments.
Raffles and Le Paradis have these, being larger developments they have negotiated with the government to allow their clients this benefit. What it basically means is that the client does not have to pay tax on their income from the property. However clients have to be advised that they still have to take advice in their own country of residence as taxes may be payable there.
What happens if I buy land and don't build in (2 or 4)? years?
You can be fined, however between us this is rarely enforced The law is that you must show that you are commencing the building process, this can be something as little as submitting your plans to planning. The law for non-nationals is to commence the building process within 2 years and complete within 4.
What is the planning process?
The planning system is not so enforced as the UK. Applications typically take 3 months.
What is the current mortgage rate?
Mortgage rates are currently around 8%, lowest is 7.5%
What is the sales process if a property is owned by a company rather than an individual?
to share with you some information given to me by Mr Chong today regarding the sales process when the property is owned by a company rather than a private individual
 
If the property is set up as owned by a company there are some savings for both purchaser and vendor.
 
  • Because the handover actually involves just a transference of the company shares, the vendor avoids paying vendors tax (10% for foreigners, 5% for locals)
  • The purchaser pays only a 0.5% share transference tax, rather than the standard 2% stamp duty
  • If the company is a local company, but the purchaser of this company is a foreigner, the company will need to acquire an alien landholding license
  • However, if the existing company is owned by a foreigner, they will have already had to acquire an A.L.L , so the purchaser will not need to obtain an additional license.
  • In this case the handover involves just a simple share transfer of the value of shares as disclosed in the financial statements , which should equal the value of the property

 
It is important, if something is owned by a company, to establish two things:
 
Whether the company is a local or foreign company
Whether the property in question is the sole asset of the company (in which case a simple share transfer is possible), or whether the company is an operating business with multiple assets, turnover etc
 
Apparently, the share transfer, when an A.L.L is not required is a speedier process than a normal sale between two private individuals. However, I couldn’t get a specific timescale, because it obviously depends on the speed at which both parties and their lawyers act. Therefore I am a bit wary of using the word “speedier”! Perhaps “less painfully slow” might be more appropriate!!!
Mortgages

Mortgages

When purchasing property it is important to find a loanwhich supports your individual needs. Many banks provide different loan planswhich will meet your requirements. In St. Lucia, eligible applicants formortgage loans will find that the legal fees are quite reasonable. However, in orderto be a qualified applicant many banks require the following documents:

• duration of service and income must be verified by aletter from employer 

• Most recent salary slip 

• an estimated 10- 20% equity/down payment towards theacquisition of the property is expected by most banks 

• Two recent salary slips 

• Picture ID 

• If self employed - evidence of income 

• price and condition of property as stated by the dealer 

• Copy of dealer’s deed of sale 

• the most recent copy of land register 

• Copy of survey plan 

• Development Control Authority’s approval with reverence tothe use of the property 

• Letter from Income tax in St Lucia stating that alloutstanding

Aliens License Application - Support Documents
Foreigners whishing to purchase property in St Lucia would require an Aliens Land Holding License Below are the requirements:

(1) Particulars of present ownership of land
(2) Purpose for which the land is to be utilised
(3) A survey plan of land
(4) The $1,500 XCD application fee
(5) Police certifate of good character from applicant's country of domicile(this can take some time to obtain and can be provided after the application is made)
(6) A statutory declaration of good character by the applicant
(7) An Aliens License application form duly completed 
(8) Four photographs of the applicant
(9) A full set of fingerprints of the applicant
(10) A banker's reference for the applicant
(11) A Personal reference by someone who has known the applicant for a resonal period of time
(12) Copies of the information pages of Applicant's passport
Creating & Managing Listings
Do I Have to Register to Create Listings?

Yes. You must be a registered user to create listings. Registration is free.

I created a listing, but it does not show up in search results. Why?

You need to run your listing. Go to My Account and click on Run to the left of the listing you wish to run. The system will ask for your credit card information, and your listing will run as soon as your payment is processed.

I sold my stuff. How do I stop my listing from running?

From the My Account page, click on the Stop link to the left of the listing.

What Category Should I Put My listing In?

Choose the category that best fits.

Pricing & Payment
How much do listings cost?

Please see our Pricing page for information about listing plans.

How Long Does a Listing Run?

Please see our Pricing page for information about listing plans.

Privacy
What is your privacy policy?

See Privacy Policy for details.

I don't want my name, phone number or email address to appear on your site. What should I do?

You can have all your personal information remain private. Update your personal privacy preferences from the My Account page.

If all my information is private how can a buyer contact me?

When your ad appears, instead of showing your contact information the following appears: "This seller has chosen to remain private. You may contact this seller via anonymous email by clicking here." The prospective buyer completes an on-line form and the system sends you an email without revealing your information to the prospective buyer.

Registration
How much does it cost to register?

Nothing. Registration is FREE.

Do I have to register to use the site?

No. You can browse and search ads without registering. You should still register, to save time, as the site will remember various preferences for you. If you want to create ads, you will need to register. Registration is FREE.

MLS.lc is the official site of the Multiple Listing & Real Estate Services of St. Lucia (MLRES), with real estate offices located in Soufriere & Dennery. Multiple Listing & Real Estate Services is a member of the Realtors Association of St Lucia , Inc.