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Registering Property in

Brunei Darussalam

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Brunei Darussalam. 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 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Brunei Darussalam to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Checking for encumbrances by Lawyer

    Agency: Land Office

    The lawyer acting on behalf of both seller and buyer will do a land search, a Bankruptcy search, winding-up search. The lawyer will verify that the seller is rightful owner and is entitled to sell the property.

    1 day BND 1
    2

    Sale-purchase agreement is signed

    Agency: Land Office

    The sale-purchase agreement is signed by both parties in the lawyer's office. The Memorandum of Transfer(MOT) is completed at the same time.

    1 day BND 100 - 300
    3

    Submit application via Lands Department in order to obtain approval for the Memorandum of Transfer by "His Majesty in Council"

    Agency: Land Office

    Both forms "A" & "B" must be completed and submitted to the Land Office. The Land office will give an appointment to return and sign the MOT, usually within 2 weeks. Every transfer in Brunei Darussalam requires the approval of "His Majesty in Council" which is a council of officials representing the Sultan. Upon approval of the MOT, the Land office will assess the market value of the property and inform the applicant of the amount to be paid as stamp duty, the registration fee and land tax must be paid. The proof of payment must be provided to the Land Office.

    280 days BND 1 for each form
    * 4

    Visit of a property by the Land Office

    Agency: Land Office

    An inspector from the Land office will visit the property with the purpose of determining the actual stamp duty due, the activities of the building.

    1 day (simultaneous with Procedure 5) no cost
    5

    Pay stamp duty and sign the MOT at the Lands Department

    Agency: Land Office

    The Seller's nominee and the Buyer's nominee will attend to the Land Office to sign the Memorandum of Transfer (MOT), and the Full Payment Form in the presence of an officer from the Land Office.

    1 day BND 6 for every BND 1000 of the assessed value of the property + Registration fee of BND 1 + Land Tax BND 150 per quarter acre fo commercial land per year (not counted in estimations)
    6

    Register properte transfer at the Land Office/Registry

    Agency: Land Office

    The final transfer is registered at the Land Registry.

    15 days no cost

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 14.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 4.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Lands Department
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 2.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: https://laris.gov.bn/en-us/pages/faq.aspx
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://survey.gov.bn/web/survey_department/cadastral-field-survey1
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 4.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 4.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? High Court of Brunei Darussalam
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? More than 3 years 0.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0