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The business law resource for Latin America
Select specific jurisdictions to filter on. Alternatively select no jurisdictions and select questions below to see all jurisdiction answers for them.
Select specific questions to filter on. Alternatively select no questions and select jurisdictions above to see all question answers for them.
Are foreigners and entities controlled by foreigners permitted to own real estate directly, or are there specific licence requirements or restrictions in place that must be complied with for a non-citizen to own real estate? Are there restrictions on ownership of beachfront or coastal land, or land near beachfront?
Is all real estate capable of being owned as a property right (fee/freehold), or is the land owned by a government or monarch with only the ability to acquire leasehold rights? What other forms of real property ownership exist other than property right or leasehold?
What overriding rights of the public exist that may affect land, such as inalienable rights to access certain natural resources or the use of beaches? Who owns mineral or riparian rights?
Is title insurance customary to obtain in connection with a purchase or a loan? If so, is it available?
Are boundary or other surveys typically completed delineating particular property boundaries, or is reliance placed on registered maps? How are boundary disputes customarily resolved?
What taxes or other fees are payable in connection with the purchase or sale of real property (eg, notary fees, recording, alien licensing), and what are the amounts of such taxes and other fees?
Which party customarily pays taxes and fees in connection with a purchase/sale of real property – the purchaser or the seller? What is the allocation of responsibility between a purchaser and seller of all taxes and fees payable to consummate a conveyance of real property?
Can real estate be indirectly acquired by purchasing the shares or ownership interests of a corporation or other entity that owns real estate? What taxes and fees would be payable upon a purchase of shares of a company that owns real estate as compared to a purchase of the real estate directly?
What taxes and fees are paid on the conveyance of personal property accompanying a conveyance of real property, and in what amounts? Is it more favourable to allocate purchase price towards personal property or real property for tax purposes?
What recurring annual fees or real estate taxes are payable in connection with the ownership of real property?
Are preliminary agreements, memoranda of understanding or other concession agreements typically negotiated between purchasers/developers of real property and the government? What types of matters are incorporated into such preliminary agreements, memoranda of understanding or concession agreements?
What rights of first refusal or other rights exist by law in favour of third parties or tenants of real property?
How is real property conveyed – by deed or other instrument of conveyance? What is the procedural process for completing a conveyance? Is there a registration or recording process?
When is title actually and officially conveyed to a purchaser – upon execution of a deed or other instrument of conveyance, upon submission of the instrument of conveyance to a recording office or registrar, upon acceptance of such instrument of conveyance for registration or recording, or upon the happening of some other event?
What types of governmental liens or encumbrances on title could result in a forfeiture of the land? Real estate taxes, government-owned utilities?
Upon a sale of real property, would any portion of profits or proceeds be required to be paid to any third party? For example, are employees entitled to a share of profits?
Upon a sale of real property, what taxes must be paid in connection with any gain, and are there withholding taxes? Are taxes different if the seller is an entity?
Are there any environmental regulations, and are environmental assessments customarily performed prior to acquiring real property?
Are there building, land use and zoning codes?
Are there laws permitting or contemplating condominiums or otherwise subdividing properties, or creating multiple ownership existing on one plot of land or building?
Are there any restrictions on, or specific legislation relating to, subsurface rights and air rights?
Are there any laws relating to the preservation of views or light?
Is a lender for a real estate project in your jurisdiction required to register or be licensed in such jurisdiction?
What determines the priority of a mortgage, charge- or guaranty trust – the date of the loan, the date of execution of the mortgage, charge or guaranty trust, the date such mortgage or charge is actually recorded or registered, or some other factor?
What taxes or fees are payable by a borrower or by a lender in connection with a loan secured with real estate in your jurisdiction?
What typical remedies does a lender with a security in real property in your jurisdiction have in the event of a default by its borrower?
Is there judicial or non-judicial foreclosure in your jurisdiction, and what is the foreclosure process generally?
What rights does a tenant have by law that cannot be varied by agreement or a lease?
How long can someone own property as leasehold? What statutory or legal rights does a long-term leasehold owner have with respect to its property?
What are the most common reasons for a dispute or a conveyance of real property in your jurisdiction not to be completed?
Does your legal system incorporate or defer to the laws of another country?
Is there a standard schedule of legal fees for real estate transactions? If so, what is it, and is it based on a percentage of the transaction value or some other methodology?
Fernando Orrantia Dworak
Greenberg Traurig, S.C.
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