Dominican Real Estate Purchase Closing

On the day of Dominican Real Estate Purchase Closing the seller may be asked to furnish the buyer in addition to the original certificate of title (owner’s duplicate) a series of legal documents which are most commonly gathered, requested and obtained by the seller’s attorney.

Among these documents is the certification issued by the title registrar of the jurisdiction where the property is located and which reveals the legal status of the property, and whether there are any registered third- party liens, encumbrances, mortgages or privileges affecting the title to the property.

Another important document is the certification issued by the DR Tax Administration and states whether real estate property taxes have been paid and/or if the property is tax exempted.

If the seller of the property is a legal entity, the same shall deliver to the buyer a copy of its tax certification, a copy of its business register certificate and an original written minutes of the shareholders or directors of the company authorizing the sale and designating the company officer authorized to execute purchase sale agreement on behalf of the company.

This document must normally be registered before the local business register.

Finally, other relevant documents for a property closing may include, the personal identification card or passport of seller and its representative, a certification of no debts issued by the condominium or project manager, evidence of payment of all utilities or services (such as electricity, water, garbage disposal, cable, telephone) used in the property as well as a copy of the condominium or project blueprints, by-laws and regulations.

Filing of a Request of Transfer before the Title Registrar

The completion of any Dominican real estate acquisition will require verification that the property has been surveyed (deslinde) and payment of property transfer taxes, (unless it is tax exempt) and the filing of a request of transfer before the title registrar of the jurisdiction where the property is located or from the Central Title Registrar offices located in Santo Domingo. Such request of transfer shall include most of the documents requested by the Title Registrar and to seller at the time of closing (above).

Title Registrar Regulations and internal memorandums explain the documentation and legal formalities to be met for Dominican real estate property transfers. They are subject to amendment from time to time and must be observed by legal representatives to avoid rejection, unnecessary request of transfer delays if title registrar requests new documents in substitution of former documents that do not meet legal and regulatory requirements.
Due to the above, it is best to retain a qualified Dominican real estate lawyer and avoid complications and delays, not only from a tax perspective but also because title registrar requirements for real estate title transfers are very detailed and specific and those formalities need to be present when filing a request of transfer before the Title Registrar.

Processing Property Transfers before the Title Registrar

Once a complete and accepted application for transfer of property is filed before the title registrar, the title registrar official will provide petitioner or its representative with an estimate of time, promise or projected deadline for delivery of title.

The amount of time will depend on work load at the local title registrar and will usually take about two months’ time provided no additional documents are requested by the title registrar.

Obtainment of Certificate of Title or Deed to the Property

On the day of the promise of delivery of the new certificate of title before the title registrar office and provided there are no delays and complications in the process, the new owner presents its official identification document and if done through a representative, the latter shall present an executed and legalized original of the power of attorney granted by the new owner in order to be able to receive the new original certificate of title from the title registrar.

When the certificate of title is delivered by the title registrar, it is important to verify (at that very moment) that the property description and owner information contained in the certificate of title are correct to avoid the risk of having to go through a new administrative process for the correction of the material errors appearing in the certificate of title.

Delivery of clear and marketable certificate of title to the new owner or its representative will conclude the process for purchasing real estate property in the Dominican Republic.

After delivery of the new property title, real estate property owner should stay informed of applicable property laws and regulations and legal alternatives, allowing for its full use, enjoyment and possible disposition of its Dominican real estate property moving forward.

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© 2016. Arthur & Castillo | Dominican Law