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Registering Property in

Burundi

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Burundi. 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 Burundi to 189 other economies.

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

    Verify the identity of the seller of the property at the Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry (Registre des Titres Fonciers)

    The seller must give the original property title to the buyer for the checking (or go with the buyer at the Departement des Titre Foncier). The buyer asks the “Conservateur” at the “Registre des Titres Foncier” to check if the property is indeed registered to the present owner. The buyer also requests proof that the property is not encumbered by mortgages, liens or other securities.

    2 days no cost
    2

    The notary drafts the sale agreement and it is signed by both parties

    Agency: Notary's Office

    Once the notary has verified the identitiy and the judicial capacity of the parties as well as the possession of the original property title by the seller, the notary prepares the sale agreement which the parties sign at his presence.

    2 days BIF 10,000 (drafting fee) + BIF 7000 (original) + BIF 3000/page (4 pages)
    3

    The buyer requests transfer of the property at the one-stop shop for the transfer of properties

    Agency: One-stop shop for the transfer of properties (Guichet unique de transfert de propriété)

    The buyer goes to the one-stop shop for the transfert of properties (Guichet unique de transfert de propriété) with the sale agreement and the property title. The one-stop shop includes the services of the Land Registry (Département des Titres Fonciers), the Municipality of Bujumbura, and the Burundi Revenue Authority (Office Burundais des Recettes, OBR).


    The following documents need to submitted to the Land Registry when requesting transfer of property:

    (1) Original title of the property

    (2) Letter requesting transferring the property (Lettre de demande de transfer)

    (3) Notarized sales agreement

    (4) Copies of statutes of both companies

    (5) Copy of the 'procès-verbal de bornage' of which the seller should have one


    Both parties need to obtain a tax clearance certificate from the municipality proving that all city-level taxes are paid. The certificates are obtained from the same person from the representatives of the municipality at the one-stop shop for both parties and they can be obtained at the same time. Both parties must be present at the municipality to request tax clearance certificates on both.


    An expert is designated by the Land Registry to check whether the price in the sales contract is the correct one. The OBR will also designate an expert to inspect the property. The objective of the inpsection is to ensure that the price in the sale agrement is not underestimated or overestimated.


    After the inspections, the expert of the Land Registry writes a valuation report (rapport d'expertise) that is transmited to the Director for signature. If for instance the price on the sale agreement is lower, the transaction tax will be paid based on the appraisal value provided by the expert from the Titre Foncier and not on the agreed price between vendor and buyer.


    The expert of the OBR will also write a valuation report (rapport de contre-expertise). This report is necessary to issue tax clearance certificates for both the buyer and seller (Attestation de non redevabilité delivree par les services des impots) showing that all taxes at the national level are paid and that neither the seller nor the buyer owes any debt to the OBR.


    According to the Decree N°121/VP2/038 of April 29, 2013 the preparation of the valuation reports cannot exceed 4 working days.

    12 days (simultaneous with procedure 4) no cost
    * 4

    The Land Registry and the Burundi Revenue Authority inspect the property

    Agency: Land Registry (Direction des Titres Fonciers), Burundi Revenue Authority (Office Burundais de Recettes, OBR)

    The inspections of the experts from the Land Registry and the OBR take place at the same time.

    1 day (simultaneous with procedure 3) 5.000 BIF
    5

    Obtain the new title from the Land Registry "Direction des Titres Fonciers"

    Agency: One-stop shop for the transfer of properties (Guichet unique de transfert de propriété)

    After obtaining the non-encumbrance certificate from the OBR the buyer proceeds to the payment of the transfer tax to the OBR. The “Loi des Finances 2007” (article 35) adopted on December 30, 2007 and implemented in January 2008, has abolished the property transfer tax of 6%.

    Article 36 of the same law, authorizes the Land Registry “département des titres fonciers” to charge a 3% of the property value for all transactions.


    Once the payment is made the Registration Division proceeds to the creation of a new title for the buyer.

    7 days 3% property value (tax to change the Property Title to the buyer's name)

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 4.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 1.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Direction des Titres Fonciers
    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)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    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) 0.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    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? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    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? No 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) 0.0
    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? No 0.0
    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? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 3.5
    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? No 0.0
    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; Notary.
    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; Notary.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    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? Le Tribunal de Grande Instance en Mairie de Bujumbura
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 2 and 3 years 1.0
    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