Lebanon

Registering Property in

Lebanon

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Lebanon. 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 2013.

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  • Standard Property Transfer

  • Property Value: LBP 720,859,043.2
  • City: Beirut
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Obtain an updated Real Estate Certificate from the Land Registry

Parties obtain an updated Real Estate Certificate from the Land Registry, such certificate mentions the names of the owners, a description of the property and any encumbrance or easment or inscription if any on the property. The procedure to obtain the Real Estate Certificate is a straight forward one which only requires submission of the request, and certificate is immediately issued thereafter
Agency: Land Registry
1 day LBP 10,000
2 Obtain an official cadastral map

In case the area is not specified in the real estate certificate and in the title deed, often the case, an official cadastral map and an area certificate must be obtained from the cadastre administration (in Arabic “Dairat al Massaha”).
Agency: Cadastre Administration (Dairat al Massaha)
1 day LBP 20,000
* 3 Obtain an urban plan certificate from the Urban Planning Authority and the Municipality

Parties obtain an urban plan certificate from the Urban Planning Authority and the Municipality. This is not strictly required by the law but it is usually requested by the buyer in order to make sure that no special easement or expropriation is planned on the property that he intends to purchase.

Agency: Urban Planning Authority and Municipality
10 days (simultaneous with procedures 4, 5, and 6) LBP 6,000
* 4 Inspection of the property by the Tax Authority to get an official estimate of its rental value

The Tax Authority at the Ministry of Finance orders an inspection of the property by a controller. This is done to obtain an official estimate of the rental value of the property.
Agency: Ministry of Finance
10 days (simultaneous with procedures 3, 5, and 6) no cost
* 5 Obtain an official estimate of the rental value of the property from the Tax Authority

An official estimate of the rental value of the property is delivered by the Tax Authority at the Ministry of Finance after the inspection together with a tax discharge (clearance). Sometimes, an occupancy certificate from the Municipality is also requested.

Agency: Ministry of Finance
3 days (simultaneous with procedure 3, 4, and 6) LBP 5,000
* 6 Obtain tax clearance from the Municipality

Obtain clearance from the Municipality to make sure that municipal taxes prior to the sale agreement have been paid. This is not required by law but it is usually requested by the buyer.

Agency: Municipality
3 days (simultaneous with procedures 3, 4, and 5) LBP 8,000
7 Preparation of the sale agreement

An attorney or notary public or qualified facilitator prepares the sale agreement in the official form.
It is not mandatory the participation of a lawyer. The sale contract is often drafted by the notary public or by a qualified facilitator.
However, for complex and delicate real estate transactions where either or both parties need to protect their rights, the contract is usually negotiated and drafted by both parties’ attorneys.
The Beirut Bar Association on its decision of April 26th, 2012 has set a minimum fee of LBP 1,500,000 for the drafting of a contract. Such minimum fee shall be subject to an increase taking into consideration the contract's value and importance.

2 days LBP 1,500,000 (minimum set by the Beirut Bar Association)
8 Apply for registration at the Land Registry

The contract, together with the documentation, is presented, either:
• directly to the Land Registry officer before whom the contract is signed and then the property is registered
• or to the notary public before whom the contract is signed and then both the contract and the documentation shall be presented to the Land Registry for registration of title.

If it is presented to the Land Registry, all taxes and duties are paid at the tax authority cashier, which is located at the same building than the Land Registry.
The taxes and duties to be paid if the contract is presented at the Land Registry are as follows:
• Proportional stamp duty: 0.3% of contract value.
• Bar Association tax: 0.1% of contract value.
• Various taxes, namely:
- Flat tax on contract: LBP 8,000.
- Flat tax (called in Arabic “kaydieh”): LBP 8,000.
- Flat tax on title deed: LBP 8,000.
- Flat tax on new title deed: LBP 50,000
Total of said flat taxes: LBP 74,000
- Proportional transfer tax: 5% of contract value or of the value resulting from the official estimate, which is higher.
- Proportional Municipal tax: 5% of the total amount (i.e. aforementioned 5% transfer tax + L.P. 74,000).
- Flat stamp duty on new deed: L.P. 5,000
The Contract is presented to the Assistant Land Registrar, then it will go through one or two officers before it reaches the Land Registrar who would:
(i)- either accept the contract if he/she agrees on the price that was set by the parties and finds that there are no irregularities in the documents, in which case the contract shall be immediately registered, and thereafter the new deed will be delivered to the buyer.
(ii)- or refuse to register the contract until the price is amended (i.e. increased) or the irregularities in the documentation is rectified, in which case the Land Registrar’s request shall be satisfied and the contract is to be presented once again for review and acceptance.
It is only when the Land Registrar approves the signed contract and accepts to record it that the title to property is transferred to the Buyer.
Then, once the transaction is completed, the new title deed in the name of the Buyer is delivered in about 5-7 business days. As per the express and clear provisions of the law, the buyer acquires full ownership only when the sale contract is recorded (i.e. after its acceptance) in the Land Registry, regardless of when the new deed is delivered to him.
In case the contract is delivered for signing to the notary public, then both the contract and the documentation shall be presented to the Land Registry for registration of title, in which case the above mentioned costs shall be increased as follows:
- Notary tax: 0.1% of contract value.
- Flat tax: LBP 50,000
- Notary flat tax: LBP 15,000
- Flat stamp duty on contract: LBP 10,000
- Flat tax (called in Arabic “Tahrir wa tanzim”): LBP 34,000
- Flat reconstruction tax: LBP 2,500
- Flat stamp duty on second copy of contract: LBP 1,000
- Notary public fees: LBP 200,000
All taxes and duties are paid directly at the notary public’s office, except for the stamp duty that is paid at the Ministry of Finance if its amount exceeds LBP 200,000
The documentation shall include:
• Title deed, as proof of ownership (held by seller)
• Real Estate Certificate (obtained in Procedure 1)
• Official cadastral map (obtained in Procedure 2)
• Official estimate of rental value of the property (obtained in Procedure 5)
• Municipal tax clearance (obtained in Procedure 6)
• Sale agreement (prepared in Procedure 7)

Agency: Land Registry
About 10 days LBP 74,000 (Flat taxes) + 5% of property value (Transfer tax) + 5% of the sum of Transfer Tax and Flat Taxes (Municipal Tax) + LBP 5,000 (stamp duty on new deed) + 0.3% of property value (stamp duty) + 0.1% of property value (bar association tax)
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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