Guide to buying property in Sri Lanka for foreigners and expats
What are the rules and regulations for buying property in Sri Lanka for foreigners and expats (non-citizens) ?
There is a 100% tax on any property purchased by non citizens, or a company incorporated in Sri Lanka with more than 25% of foreign participation in the equity. This is on top of the 3% legal tax (Please see the links below on Stamp Duty for full details). So, if a property is valued at $100,000, you will need to pay $203,000.
This may be circumvented by arranging a 99 year lease, or in condominiums(apartment blocks), by buying above a certain story(floor).
Sale of land to foreigners has been prohibited from the 2013 budget. Instead the land can only be leased out. Any land leased to foreigners will still incur a 100% tax. Update 13/05/13 - Foreigners can now buy land if their investment in the project is over $10 million. Alternatively they can lease the land (for up to 99 years) and pay a tax of around 5-10%.
Foreigners will be exempted from the tax under the following circumstances:
Investment in a project is over US$10 million
A joint venture company incorporated in Sri Lanka (with foreign participation) is not liable to pay the tax
Condominium units of residential or non-residential accommodation on or above the 4th floor of a registered condominium apartment constructed with the approval of the UDA
Land for the development of large housing schemes, hospitals and hotels with a minimum investment of $10 million
Exporting companies with a minimum investment of $1 million
Large infrastructure projects with a minimum investment of $50 million
17/02/13 - Sri Lankan expats holding foreign citizenship can now buy land in Sri Lanka. More>
LankaPropertyWeb.com is Sri Lanka's mostly visited real estate/property website and contains the largest property listings of houses for sale, houses for rent/lease (on short and long term), apartments/flats/condominiums (condos) for sale/lease, Lands for sale and other property for sale/lease in Colombo and across Sri Lanka for foreigners, expats (expatriates) and locals alike. You can advertise to rent or sell your property for free on the website. Since you can contact the seller/landlord directly, you will be able to cut the middle man and get cheap prices with no agent's commission.