Sri Lanka Property Buying Guide

What are the rules and regulations for expats and foreigners buying and renting property in Sri Lanka ?

Foreigners can buy apartments / condominiums from ground level up, however lands cannot be purchased on freehold and can only be leased up to 99 years. A condominium is defined as a group of residences with shared facilities. The condominiums can be purchased provided that, the entire value shall be paid upfront through an inward foreign remittance prior to the execution of the relevant deed of transfer.

Private companies with majority foreign holdings will be allowed to lease land on a long-term basis. However, such companies should have invested at least LKR 250 million excluding the value of land providing employment to at least 150 people, and have maintained this for at least three years.

Any private company with minority foreign ownership can buy or lease property in Sri Lanka. Also public companies with over 50% foreign ownership is now permitted to buy immovable property.

Under the current law, a foreigner can get in to the property market using the following options:

  • a) By leasing the property
  • b) By inheriting
  • c) By a gift from parents
  • d) Part of a private company with a local shareholding of 50% or above
  • e) Part of a public (listed) company (these have no restrictions on foreign shareholding)
  • f) Buy an apartment / condominium (any floor)
  • g) By obtaining Dual Citizenship
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