You might have heard that The Saudi Arabian government is considering permitting foreigners to buy properties in Saudi Arabia. According to the country’s media, the plan aims to attract investment in the real estate sector to diversify the economy.
Saudi Arabia’s Real Estate General Authority (REGA) CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Alhammad was quoted as saying in a report in the Saudi Gazette that a new law on the purchase of property by foreigners is under review.
Under this law, foreigners who are not Saudi citizens can buy property in any area of Saudi Arabia, including Macca Medina.
Hearing this, the question, Can Foreigners Buy Property in Bangladesh? It can cross your mind as a Bangladeshi citizen. Unfortunately, the answer is no; foreigners cannot buy property in Bangladesh.
The Transfer Act of Property 1882
Property transfer law is specifically used to refer to certain types of transfers of sales, mortgages, donations, exchanges, and leases. The sale of immovable property worth tk 100 or more must be completed in the registration document.
Immovable property worth less than tk 100 can be completed through registration documents or general occupancy.
In this case, the rights and obligations of the buyer and seller are mentioned in Section 55 of this Act. Under this law, a mortgage transfers rights to a particular immovable property to guarantee the performance of money paid or paid in advance as a loan or any current or future debt or may create financial liability.
The law mentions six types of mortgages: (1) non-mixed mortgages, (2) conditional sale mortgages, (3) retail mortgages, (4) English mortgages, (5) documented mortgages, and (6) classless mortgages, for all mortgages registration with at least two witnesses are required for all mortgages other than ‘documented mortgages’ if the amount deposited is one hundred or more.
The Transfer of Property Act is a common law that applies to various types of immovable property transfer and litigation claims. Any dispute related to this act is under the civil court’s jurisdiction.
Until a separate law was introduced in this regard, where the transfer of agricultural land was regulated by the Tenancy Act of Bengal (now the East Bengal Zamindari Acquisition and Tenancy Act), the transfer of both non-agricultural land and houses was covered by the Transfer of Property Act.
These separate and unique statutes are (a) the Non-agricultural Tenancy Act 1949 and (b) the House Rent Control Act 1991. The latter law is derived from the ‘Rent Control Order of Bengal’ 1942.
A complaint has to be filed with the controller (house rent) appointed under the Rent Control Act 1991 regarding disputes related to rent in the municipal area, payment of rent by the tenant, repair of a rented house, and settling it.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Bangladesh?
The purchase and sale of immovable property are generally regulated by the Transfer of Property Act of 1882, and the Registration Act of 1908 applies to its registration.
There is no directive regarding the purchase or registration of land by a foreign national in the Transfer of Property Act, the Registration Act, or any relevant law.
Article 13 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh recognizes three types of ownership under the principle of ownership: state ownership, cooperative ownership, and private ownership.
Article 42 of the Constitution gives citizens the right to acquire, hold, transfer, and otherwise distribute property.
If you read Articles 13 and 42 of the Constitution together, it appears that a citizen can buy any immovable property mainly by exercising this right given in the Constitution. “Citizen” in the Constitution means a citizen of Bangladesh.
That is, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh grants property rights in Bangladesh to a citizen of Bangladesh, not a foreign national.
As a result, a foreign national cannot buy any immovable property in Bangladesh without the government’s prior permission.
But there is an alternative system to this process; let’s dig into the details:
Did you know that NRBs can register properties from abroad? However, it is extremely important to comply with the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) when investing in real estate.
For NRBs, investing in the Indian real estate market has become lucrative. This is due to the favorable exchange rate due to the fall in the rupee. These assets can potentially create a secondary source of long-term profits and income.
But before NRBs can register property from abroad, they must have complete information to make the right decision. If you fail to comply with the mentioned rules and regulations, you are sure that you will get into legal trouble or pay a huge fine.
Which Category of Immovable Property Can NRBs Purchase?
Non-residential Bangladeshi can buy both residential and commercial properties. A notable exception is purchasing agricultural land, plantations, and similar things. If an NRB wants to buy agricultural land, they will first have to apply for additional rights, and each request will be reviewed separately.
How to Buy Property in Bangladesh as an NRB?
Advances in technology have made the process of property registration easier over time. Online property registration has proven extremely beneficial as it reduces the need for intermediaries.
However, automation has not completely replaced manual paperwork. In some jurisdictions, it is still necessary to submit an application to the appropriate authority—the sub-divisional magistrate or the sub-registrar of that district.
The initial steps you will take when buying a property are listed below.
- Hire a local lawyer.
- Choose a real estate agent in the area you want to buy.
- If you are not in India for purchase, set up a Power of Attorney.
- Find a property and set a sale price.
- Your lawyer will check due diligence and create a sales agreement.
To register a sale wheel or transfer document, you must pay stamp duty and required fees. You must record relevant documents with the local authority.
Finally, approved signatures are required for the seller, buyer, and two witnesses to complete the registration process.
These signatories must have proof of identity, such as an NID card, passport, driving license, or any other government-issued document. Finally, property cards, original documents, and proof of payment of stamp duty will have to be submitted to the sub-registrar.
Hopefully, you have understood the answer: Can Foreigners Buy Property in Bangladesh? Though it is a no, there is an alternative way for foreigners to purchase property in Bangladesh. However, the fact is, it is maybe the rarest scene ever; any foreigner gets desperate to buy property in Bangladesh.
Saudi Arabia’s government has given this permission because so many investors want to buy properties there as a part of development.
If the Bangladesh government sees such interest from Foreigners, the authority may think of giving such permissions.