How to buy a property in Laos
There are 5 critical steps:
- Finding a property in Laos
Seeking a property to purchase in Laos can be a tricky one. You would find anyone can be a real estate broker, even a taxi driver. You may receive many offers from agents who are professional, unprofessional or amateur. They are trying to approach and sell you the properties. However, you are recommended to contact a professional and reliable real estate brokers, who has a license to assist you to get a better deal in more secured manner. You will have to carefully select a right property broker company. RentsBuy was born just for this mission to help you find a right property at a right price, the best deal and secured manner..
- Property due diligence
After selecting a property to buy, you will have to check the property for the legal issue before any further commitment to find out it is clean to buy. Verifying a property is not so difficult if you have a good agent to help. RentsBuy can help you check with the related authority. It should take about a couple of hours. One property shall have only one land title which can be verified with land authority.
Foreigner can own a property in Lao or not?
By law, a foreigner is not allowed to a property in Laos. However, some foreign invested enterprises can own land with some restrictions as set out in the Land Law and Investment Promotion Law. In practice, some arrangements have been used by foreigners to hold land in Laos through Lao nominee, or marrying with Laotian. Foreign individual can join with a Lao partner to set up a new venture entity. The Lao partner has to hold more than 50% of the shares. In such a case, foreign enterprises can own land and have the land titles in their company's name. However, unlike the titles for Lao nationals, the titles for foreign enterprises will have a time limit depends on the terms of investment based on which foreigner enterprises are eligible to buy land. Normally by law, the foreign enterprise licence is limited period from 50 years to 75 years maximum and extendable. The obvious advantage of such incentive for foreigners, compared with lease or concession which is the foreign owners may transfer their lands to others (including Lao nationals) during the relevant term of investment, which would be much better than transferring facilities without land title or returning the land to the Government without compensation
Payment to buy the property
A payment negotiating with the land owner is sometimes tricky. In normal practice, payment for the property shall be divided into two parts. First payment is made for ownership transfer. It is usually about 30-50% of the total property value. After completion of the land ownership, the buyer shall settle the remaining payment to the landlord to exchange the newly purchase land deed.
- Land ownership Transfer Fee and Tax
Government has their own valued price of the land in each area and zoning for tax purpose. In addition, different location has different ownership transfer rate price. Fee is different characterized by major road frontage/minor road. It is 6% charged of purchase property to tax/custom under government assessed property price. The tax is charged when there is a new ownership transfer. This is different from the annual land tax.