Doing Business in Mauritius
Discover business opportunities and learn how to make money as a MauritianJoin Community
Steps and precautions when buying a plot of land
So you have decided to buy your own piece of Mauritius. But you are confused or unsure about the steps you have to take? Rest assured! Here comes the right guide.
Whether it’s an agricultural or residential land, the best way to make a safe deal is to, deal directly with the owner of the land. Don’t be fooled by people who represent the owner, as, once you have bought the land by listening to the words of the person who represents the owner, it is extremely difficult to prove a contract void (i.e. proving that you were misled in buying the plot of land).
Go to the Registrar Building (Address: Registrar Building, Emmanuel Anquetil Building, Port-Louis). Once there, you should find the department where you can check the following details: on whose name is the plot of land, is there any ‘liens’ or ‘debts’ on the plot of land, i.e. if the owner took a loan upon the plot of land. You have a small fee to pay to check it but it is worth checking as you’ll sleep comfortably afterwards. The department is the Registrar Department itself, on the 6th floor. The fee is around Rs100.
Check if there are no footsteps on the land. Why is it important? Because if there are footsteps on the land it means that some persons use this land as a 'road' to go or cross a place. If this is true then you won't be able to build or cultivate anything on the land. This is the law.
Go to a notary. Tell him that you have agreed to buy a plot of land. He will make all the necessary arrangements. Be sure to tell your notary to put wherever possible the reasons which induced you to buy the plot of land (i.e. the words of the owner of the plot of land. This is really important as if there is a problem later regarding the plot of land, you can sue the owner for misrepresentation.) Ask your notary if there are any covenants on the land. Covenants mean that there are conditions on using the land for any purpose. For instance, a condition might be to restrict construction of a building only to ground floor.
The valuation officer will analyse if the selling price is right. You will be inclined to under evaluate the land in order to pay less tax. The tax is currently at 11%. But it is preferable to act in a moral and legal way (the valuation officer is good at spotting under valued and over valued prices!)
The final step is making the payment. The preferable way of doing a payment is by check. No worries of having bank notes stolen. Payment should be made in the presence of a notary always and for better protection bring a trusted person with you.
We are five heirs to a plot of land which belongs to our grandfather.One of the heirs has prescribed the land in question since some 17 yrs.Can we still apply for division in kinds despite this situation
Good article Khush. I've got a few questions though which will make this even more useful:
- Do you know how much the fee is to check details of the land you wish to buy?
- Emmanuel Anquetil is a huge building. Which floor do you need to go to? And which department?
- How much would a notary charge for his services? Does that depend on the value of the land?
- I thought only the seller was liable to tax (sale tax)? What tax is imposed on the buyer?
- Instead of cheque, can you pay by bank transfer?
Thanks for the useful info. I still would need some advice. I am a national living abroad and I found a land being sold by an agent on the eve of my departure which I would like to buy. I am now in contact with the agent who told me upon my request that there are no 'liens' on the land, however, I would like to have this in writing. He told me that only a notary can get the paper on my behalf from the Registrar. Is this so? also mentioned the notary once i send a small amount of deposit will be able to send me a letter stating that. What do you think? Moreover, I do not know the name of the land owner and would not be able to look for this info.
Is there any possibility to buy property by making bank transfer or is it only through check? I cannot imagine foreigners who are buying property in Mauritius come with cash. How is it done?
Concerning construction I was told once I have purchased the land and have a plan then I can go to the district council and seek approval. Is this how it works?
Thanks for your reply
I didn't quite understand if you are in Mauritius or not. Never believe an agent until you have tangible proof. Get the notary to show you a certificate that there is no lien then consider buying it. You will get the land owner's name on it too.
A deposit of how much is the notary asking for? If more than Rs1000 then he's a vulture.
You can buy with bank transfer. But do check what I told you above.
For the construction, check whether the land is agricultural or residential. If it's agricultural, check whether it is within the "irrigation zone" set by the government as you cannot build anything on this type of land. If residential, make sure no one will have a complain against your building permit by checking the laws of the type of building you are going to erect.
Hope this helps.
Thank you Khush for the additional information.
Not good. Need to confirm with district council about the status of the land. Zoning Request (free). Otherwise no one really knows in some cases if the land is agricultural or residential.
How to know who the real owner of a property is especially if the land is prescribed?
The Land Registry (Le Cadastre Mauricien) is not 100% reliable. Does the land in question belong to someone else or has it been mortgaged?
@Romeo_Pierre : I would really appreciate if you could post answers/comments in the language originally set by the article/question to ease the work of moderators. We do not accept the mixing of languages (see the sticky post on the homepage or FAQ) and we therefore have to either translate different languages to conform to the rules or unpublish posts and lose important contribution of our members. Please help us make the site better by adhering to the rules. Thanks.
Regarding your question, a good notary will be able to make all the necessary checks before you go ahead with the purchase. So choose one who is reliable and honest.
Good effort. You've mention that one needs to deal directly with the owner, so why can't an agent sell the house of the owner? Please note: It is even much easier to sell a house by an agent rather than you, yourself as he's very well versed in this sector.
The answer is in number 1 itself ;)
That's what I'm trying to tell you, selling your plot of land via an agent is always better than selling it yourself.
And also the cheque part, I'd recommend everyone to deal with liquid money only, as this is the best way! The payment can always be made at a safer place :)
Dealing directly with the owner is always better and cheaper, agents take a huge cut and are unreliable, also drive the price higher.
As for payment it is not common to deal with cash upfront, usually bank transfers are safer and are traceable. You get more cover from going through the banks than using cash, also who has millions lying around for the purchase of land. Many people take out loans and a mortgage to be able to afford such a luxury.
Bank transfers? Financial adviser will never advise you to effect your payments by bank transfers!! :) this is Mauritius dear friends, so act carefully :)
I have been left out by seller last mins on the deal of buying a home , dispressing ,he didnt kept his word and didnt produce last paper that was needed ,any idea if i can sue him for this as i had to wait for 6 months until he decided he want go through this sale .
The details you provided are not enough.