Tonga

Registering Property in

Tonga

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Tonga. 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 Tonga to 188 other economies.

  • Standard Property Transfer

  • Property value: TOP 394,205.1
  • City: Nukualofa
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 The lawyer prepares the transfer deed and application letter
Agency: Lawyer

The lawyer prepares the transfer deed and the application to transfer the lease. The use of a lawyer is not legally required but used in practice. Lawyer fees are not regulated, but there is a non compulsory table for lawyer fees issued by the Chief Justice.Tongan land law is extremely complex. Buildings do not necessarily belong to the land and there are significant conflicts and disputes involving identical material facts.
10 days About TOP 500
2 An application to transfer a lease is submitted to the Hon. Minister of Lands
Agency: Ministry of Lands, Surveys and Natural Resources

A letter of application to transfer the lease, signed by both parties, along with the original deed of transfer mentioning the amount of the transfer and the original Deed of lease are submitted at the same to the Ministry of Land. • The Hon. Minister of Lands forwards the application to the Land Registration Section (LRS) for title search and due diligence. Once the title search and due Diligence are completed and meet the legal requirement, LRS then submits to the Hon. Minister of Lands with a brief on the outcome of the title search and due diligence with the recommendation to approve, subject to Cabinet’s consent to the lease transfer. • LRS submits to the Cabinet with the recommendation that Cabinet grants consent to lease transfer • And then the Cabinet will approve the submission. • Once all these processes are completed LRS prepare the Indenture of Transfer that must be signed by the Transferor and the Transferee
90 days no cost
3 The parties sign the Indenture of the Transfer
Agency: Ministry of Lands, Surveys and Natural Resources

All lease transfers have to be approved by the Cabinet, which can take over 3 months on average. Cabinet meets once a week. Once approved, the Transferor and the Transferee sign the Indenture of Transfer and pays the Consumption tax of 15% of the value of the sale. The Indenture of Transfer is sent to the Hon. Minister of Land for his signature.
7 days 15% of property value (Consumption tax) + 14 TOP
4 The signature of the new Lessee at the office upon receiving the Deed of Lease
Agency: Ministry of Lands, Surveys and Natural Resources

The Minister then signs and registers the lease. Once the lease is registered, the new lessee will receive an updated lease under his name. One original copy is kept at the Ministry. The rent for the lease can be revised every 5 years. The land registry is managed on paper.
5 days no cost

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