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Registering Property in

Iraq

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

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

    Obtain a new form for the property title and a cadastral map at the Real Property Registry

    Agency: Real Property Registry

    A new title elucidation (statement of data relevant to the property under registration) is drafted. This is free of charge.
    A competent team is formed to estimate the value of the property. This does not involve an inspection of the property. The team consists of the following persons:
    - The Director General of the Real Property Registry of his representative
    - The representative of the State Commission of Income Tax
    - The applicant for survey or his representative.

    - A request is submitted to the registry manager to obtain new title elucidation
    - The seller and the buyer must be present in person or their legal representative together.
    - Checking the seller record in the computer Database to identify if he was former official in the previous regime and if the property was inalienable.
    - Checking on computer whether there is any mortgage, encumbrances or not, then fix the information on the new deed title draft.
    - checking the IDs issuance for both the seller & buyer. (Proof of identity is obtained by sending a letter sent to the nationality authority - jinsiya).
    - Food card, Baghdad resident card, Iraqi Nationality Certificate, Jiseea, Land Deed. The cadastral map of the property should be in the file and send sent to the zone municipality.
    Note: sometimes the old file & documents of the property are missing from the archive and checking requires more time.

    7 days IQD 5,000 (copying Map and Deed)
    2

    Obtain an approval determining the type of the real property and zoning restrictions

    Agency: Municipality

    An approval to the transfer should be obtained from the Municipality Office, determining the type of the real property and the way to occupy it (zoning restrictions). It is quite easy to obtain this approval because it will not alter the way to use the property but only confirm that the way to occupy the property will be as per the purpose being set by the Municipality.

    The Municipality will check for any inconsistency on the property, if there are any required charges have to be paid.
    An investigation team from the Municipality will visit the property to confirm its status and if there were any changes done since its last investigation and in correlation with the old property map. Investigators are governmental employees only. Arrangement of the investigation team and fulfillment of the visit take 2-3 days. The new investigation report will be attached to the new cadastral certificate.
    The Municipality will check all services charges owe by the property owner in order to be paid prior to the approval that the property is free from any outstanding charges, such as Electricity, Drinking water, waste water and road asphalting.
    Unless the Seller have the receipt that the asphalting charges were paid, even it was done more than 10 years ago, he will have to pay about 2000 ID / meter length of asphalted road in front of the property, in addition of time delay.
    After completion all requirements, Municipality will send the New Cadastral Certificate ( NCC )by mail to the Cadastre.
    The overall time elapsed from receipt of the NCC by the municipality by mail - property investigation - pay all due charges until reception by the Cadastre by mail as well, the average time is 21 days.
    A committee to visit the property for inspection to check if there is any changes or additions with reference to the original construction map, this will determine the amount of fines to be paid.
    - inspection fees 4000 IQD.
    - numeration fees 6000 IQD.
    - paving fees = the front of the property m2× 2455 IQD / m2.
    - in case of fines impsed in the past , all fine should be paid.

    21 days IQD 10 000
    3

    Assessment of the property value by the Real Estate registry

    Agency: Real Estate Registry

    Upon receipt of the New Cadastral Certificate from the Municipality, a competent team is formed by the cadastre (Real Property Registry Office) consisting of the following persons in order to estimate the current value of the property. There is fixed day for the purpose of property evaluation of each area covered by the same property registry office.
    (i) Representative of the real property registry office.
    (ii) Representative of the Province Main real property registry office.
    (iii) Representative of the state commission of income tax.

    The evaluation team have regulations for the evaluation range of each land location depending on the degree of civilization, how close to the city center, type and level of the property building, how old it is, the type of roofing and finishing with endeavor of evaluation with the minimum price / meter square or higher. From the time the New Cadastral Certificate is received by the Real Estate Registry and the time the inspection appointment is confirmed, it will take approximately 3 days. The team will collect several cadastral certificate for several buyers , and leave to inspect them all at one time , so the time will depend on the availability of other buyers.
    The inspection will take place, and the team will provide a report that will be used for the evaluation of the property. However, if the buyer objects to the estimate, then there is another inspection and a final report will be re-issued. All documents will then be sent to the Tax Authority once the report is final. This report will be used as a base by the Tax Authority to estimate the amount of taxes to be paid. Transmission of documents to the Tax Authority is done by mail.
    Note: The buyer will provide transportation for the evaluation team and will be charged an amount between 10000-15000 Dinars. This is an unofficial cost. There is possibility to request a certificate showing that the property is free of mortgage and encumbrances from the Registry Office by a governmental authority only.

    10 days no cost
    4

    Assessment of the property value by Tax Authorities

    Agency: Income Tax Authority

    The Seller or his representative has to follow up on the receipt and measures in the Tax Commission Office. First, the Tax commission will check whether the property is occupied or not and compare with information they have in their files.
    Then both the Seller and the Buyer must obtain several tax clearances even from other Tax Authorities offices. And all documents are sent to the Tax Authority by mail. The time needed is 2 days on average for this step.
    The Tax Authority might or might not object the evaluation of the Property Registry Office. If they decide to evaluate the property with higher price, the seller cannot object and the tax calculation will depend on the new evaluation, whichever is higher.
    The seller pays the tax for the property evaluation according to the following fee schedule (this amount is apportioned among partners if the land is owned jointly);
    First 20 million dinar exempted.
    3% up to 30 million dinars;
    4% of any amount over 30 million up to 60 million dinars;
    5% of any amount over 60 million up to 90 million dinars; and
    6% of any amount over 90 million dinars.

    Payment is made by certified check from a named Bank (Governmental) by all amounts of tax decided by the Tax Authority. The final Tax cleared Cadastral Certificate will be resend to the Property Registry Office by mail.

    10 days Income Tax is paid according to the following cumulative property values (in IQD):
    - First 20 million dinar exempted
    - 3% on the next 30 million dinars;
    - 4% on the following 30 million up to 60 million dinars;
    - 5% on the following 60 million up to 90 million dinars; and
    - 6% of any amount over the following 90 million dinars (in practice for property values over 110 million dinars).
    5

    Apply for registration at the Real Property Registry

    Agency: Real Property Registry

    The buyer applies for registration and a new title at the Real Property Registry. Afterwards, the transaction process will be recorded in the official registers and the buyer will then be granted a new title of property on the same day.

    The same section which opened the new cadastral document will calculate the amount of property transfer fees which is equal to % 3 of the property evaluation, Payment is made by certified cheque from either Named Governmental Bank or Named Private Bank. Payment can also be made in cash at the Property Registry Office.
    Once payment is received, the Property Registry Office will issue a new Property Deed in the name of the Buyer, then the process regarded finalized. The Property Registry Office will send later the new ownership details to the Main property registration office.
    The registration fee, equal to 3% of the value of the property, is paid by means of an endorsed cheque to the account of the Real Property Registry before applying for registration.

    3 days 3% of property value (Registration fee)

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 10.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 1.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Real Estate Registration 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)? 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? Different databases but linked 1.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 0.5
    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, on public boards 0.5
    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? Yes, in person 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) 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) 5.0
    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? 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? Civil court
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
    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