Buying Real Estate

Look at the "nitty-gritty" before you make any decision to buy!

  • Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are permitted to buy property freely, but should always work with a professional Broker to guide them through what can be a challenging process. At this time, real estate agents are not required by law to be educated or registered/licensed so “caveat emptor”!Villa overlooking Englishman’s Bay
  • Foreign nationals, according to the Foreign Investment Act of 1990, are currently permitted to buy up to one acre (one parcel only) for a private dwelling house and up to five acres for commercial purposes - but you must first apply for a license to purchase if you are buying in Tobago (not Trinidad). This need for a licence in Tobago was introduced in February 2007 and under the terms of the Cabinet Order, an automatic licence (subject only to proof of good character) will be granted on application for all purchases by foreign nationals within Designated Development Areas. Purchases outside of these areas will be discretionary and dealt with on a case by case basis. Application forms are available online from the Ministry of Finance and applications can be made through your real estate Agent or your local Attorney. Out of an abundance of caution, and because the time to issue a licence is not guaranteed, all Sale Agreements entered into by a foreign national should clearly state that the purchase is subject to licence.
  • The Designated Development Areas where foreign investment is permitted are broadly described in the licensing Regulations and Guidelines as shown on the website of the Ministry of Finance, and include :
    • Englishman's Bay Estate; Culloden Estate; parts of Arnos Vale; parts of Grafton; Mount Irvine Estate; Buccoo Estate; Golden Grove Estate; Lowlands Estate including Tobago Plantations Resort; Diamond Estate including Indigo Bay Resort; parts of Bacolet Estate.
      UPDATE: Since this list was published on the Ministry of Finance website, an additional DDA has been created in Crown Point, but only applies to tourism property such as hotels and larger guest houses in the immediate area of the airport.
  • Should you inherit a property in Tobago, you have one year to apply for a licence to own it, or to put it on the market for sale. Remember that it is the buyer who is licensed, not the property.
  • Foreign nationals wishing to invest in larger properties of over five acres can apply for a development licence through the Tourism Development Company (TDC). Again, a professional real estate Agent can help you deal with TDC who will facilitate all applications and advise on matters such as fiscal incentives for hotel and resort developments.
  • Foreign nationals must purchase in an internationally-traded foreign currency and proof of transfer of funds is needed by the Ministry of Finance. Your attorney will handle this along with registration of title. Permission to buy land does not confer residency. Buying a commercial property does not confer the right to work (earn an income) in Trinidad and Tobago. Work permits are needed for any work that lasts longer than 30 days.
  • If you are intending to live in Tobago, foreign nationals should contact the Trinidad & Tobago High Commission in their country for information on immigration and/or work permit requirements.
  • If you are planning to come on holiday to enjoy your new property, a non-resident is usually allowed up to three months in T & T, with or without the need for a visa, which depends on your country of origin. Discretionary extensions can be applied for.

WHETHER BUYING OR SELLING, WHETHER LOCAL OF FOREIGN NATIONAL, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED BY YOUR BROKER TO COMPLETE A CLIENT DUE DILIGENCE FORM ON BEHALF OF THE FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE UNIT OF THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE. THIS IS CALLED FOR BY ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISLATION OF 2010 UNDER WHICH SEAJADE INVESTMENTS IS DULY REGISTERED AND COMPLIANT AS A “SUPERVISED BUSINESS” UNDER THE ACT.

Sanctuary Villa Resort in Grafton

SeaJade investments2
Real Estate Brokers and Property Consultant

FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) Registered and Compliant
Member of AREA (Association of Real Estate Agents)
Tobago Hotel & Tourism Association (THTA)

P : (868) 639-6636 / (868) 631-JADE (5233)
P.O. BOX 1107 Bon Accord, Tobago, W.I.
Email:
seajadeinvestments@gmail.com

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