Belize

Registering Property in

Belize

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Belize. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2014.

Compare Belize to 188 other economies.

  • Standard Property Transfer

  • Property value: BZD 467,582.1
  • City: Belize City
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Conduct a title search of the property records at the Lands Department
Agency: Department of Lands and Survey Office

A title search is carried out over the past 25 years concerning the history of the property to check that the property does not have any liens or outstanding taxes. This title search is a legal requirement for property transfers in Belize.
1 day 100 BZD
2 Tax clearance stamped on the transfer instrument
Agency: Lands Tax Department

Tax clearance is proven twice: on one hand with receipts, and on the other with a stamp from the Lands Tax Department on the actual transfer instrument.
5 - 10 days (simultaneous with Procedure 3) no cost
* 3 Obtain tax clearance from the Lands Tax Department
Agency: Lands Tax Department

Tax receipts up to the current fiscal year are obtained at the Lands Tax Department. If the property is to be transferred before the fiscal year ends, the seller may pay the property taxes up through that date, and then the buyer agrees to reimburse the seller—either through the sale price or aside.
1 day (simultaneous with Procedure 2) no cost
4 Property is valued by the Valuation Department
Agency: Valuation Department

The Valuation Department determines if the sale price in the transfer instrument is at least the true value of the property, according to its assessment. The Valuation Department assess based on actual rental value, and any factor having influence on this such as: location, condition of the building, type and size, architectural design, parking area, garage or other buildings on the property. The valuation process may consist of checking the value listed in the valuation ‘Roll’, and/or physically inspecting the property. The Valuation Department will issue a receipt stating how much they have assessed, which is presented at the time of payment of stamp duty.
10-30 days no cost
5 Justice of the Peace attests the transfer instrument
Agency: Justice of the Peace

The Government makes a transfer form available online at http://www.belize.gov.bz/public/Attachment/812231193171.pdf). The form has to be either notarized (for a fee) or attested by a Justice of the Peace. Most people choose the latter option as it is free of charge. The Justice of Peace will check the identity certificates of the buyer and the seller before signing the transfer form.
1 day no cost
6 Pay registration fees and stamp duty
Agency: Lands Registry

Registration fees and stamp duty are paid to the cashier at the Lands Registry. To pay stamp duty, the receipt obtained from the valuation department (Procedure 4) is presented and 5% of the assessed value after the first BZD 20,000.00 is charged.
1 - 2 days 15 BZD x 2 (for land certificate and registration) + 5% (property value after the first BD 20000) (stamp duty)
7 Register the transfer at the Lands Registry
Agency: Lands Registry

There are three systems of land registration operating in Belize: • The property under study by Doing Business is located in Belize City and is most likely under the Registered Land Act, whereby transfers occur by Land Certificate. In this case, the land certificate would need to be transferred at the Lands Registry in Belmopan, and would take about 3 – 4 weeks to process and receive a new certificate. The documentation required in this case is: -Receipts of payment of registration fees and stamp duty; -Transfer instrument; and -Proof of identification of the parties. • Other properties may be under ‘deed of conveyance’ or ‘certificate of title’, in which case the transfer process would be slightly different.
21 - 30 days (paid in Procedure 6)
8 Notify City Council of change in ownership
Agency: City Council

The City Council updates the property tax records to reflect the new ownership. Since 2007, with the introduction of the "Land Folio" system, changes in the Land Registry are automatically communicated to the City Council. However, the new owner still has to go to the City Council to register the property transfer.
1 - 2 days no cost
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

Explore Economy Data


- OR -

OTHER OPTIONS