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Laws and Regulations When Buying Property in St Lucia

Alien's Landholding License - General Information

The property purchasing procedure in St Lucia is similar to that in the UK, with the exception of the Alien’s Landholding License. Foreigners wishing to purchase land in St Lucia must first acquire an Alien's Landholding License. Laws were recently changed in St Lucia to make this process quicker and more flexible. Please note the following:

A local lawyer must register the licence.

It is a permanent licence, which does not require renewal.

The licence is granted for a specific property or plot of land and is not transferable.

There is a non-refundable licence application fee of EC$1,500.00.

The license fee is EC$5,000.00 for properties measuring less than one acre.

There is a future tax liability of 10% of the cost of the property or plot of land, when eventually sold. Note that the payment of the 10% tax can be avoided by making the purchase through a company, which can be formed at the time of purchase. Company formation takes approximately 6 weeks and cost EC$3,200.00.

License applications take 6 to 8 weeks to process and is normally done during the early part of property purchasing process.

Procedures for Acquiring an Alien's Landholding Licence

The application is vetted by the Physical Planning Office of the Ministry of Physical Development, Environment & Housing, before being sent to the Prime Minister's Office for approval. After the application has been granted the draft license is sent to the Office of the Attorney General for approval.

The list below indicates what will need to be submitted with the licence application form:

Completed application form.

Full details of the property or land to be purchased.

A value assessment of the property or land.

Statutory declaration.

Four passport size photographs.

Certification of character - report from your local police station on information or lack of information on file.

Certified finger prints - from a police station.

Treasury receipt for payment of the application fee (EC$1,500.00).

Approval in principle, from the Development Control Authority (DCA) in relation to the use of the property or land.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty on property is 2% of the purchase price.

Purchase Deposit

The normal deposit for purchase is 10% of the purchase price. To prevent gazumping, a forfeiture clause is introduced into all purchasing contracts as follows:

If the buyer pulls out the deposit is forfeited.

If the vendor pulls out then a sum equal to the deposit must be paid to the buyer. The buyer would receive their original deposit plus the 10% forfeited by the vendor.

If the buyer is unable to proceed due to non-granting of the Alien's Landholding License, then the 10% deposit is refunded. Note that this is a rare occurrence.

Solicitor Fees

Local solicitor fees range from 3% to 5% of the purchase price.

Start-up Cost

The start-up cost for property purchase is approximately 15% of the property price, made up of, 10% deposit + 2% stamp duty + 3% solicitor fees.

Purchasing Off-Plan

When purchasing properties forming part of a new development, the developing company would put in place an escrow account for owners to make their deposits into, so that the money is totally safe. The development stage payments is typically as follows:
10% deposit
20% On completion of foundations
30% On completion of structure
20% On completion of roof and exterior
20% On completion of building

Vendor's Tax

When selling property vendor's tax need to be paid at a rate of 5% for St Lucian citizens and 10% for non-citizens.


You can avoid the Alien's Landholding License by becoming a citizen of St Lucia. If you are not resident in St Lucia you can qualify for citizenship if you fit into one of the following categories:

You or your parents were born in St Lucia.

You are married to a St Lucian citizen.

If you don't fit into one of the above categories, owning property on the Island is one of the main qualifications when applying for citizenship.

For further details on any of the above, please contact us by email.

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