Documents needed when purchasing property in Egypt

Dalia,  Wednesday, 6 November 2013

 

This article is part of a series of 8 articles about buying property in Egypt. The other articles in the series cover the following topics:


It is a relatively easy process for foreigners to buy property in Egypt based on Law No. 230 of 1996. In addition, the Egyptian government has facilitated the procedures, introduced incentives and advantages for overseas investors which makes it all the more lucrative.

Freehold property can be purchased in most areas in Egypt except for areas around the Red Sea, like Sharm el Sheikh where foreigners are not allowed to purchase freehold property. However, they may only acquire a 99-year lease. This procedure is called ‘signature validity court verdict’ which is also known as ‘Usufruct’. More and more overseas investors have opted for this ‘usufruct’ even in areas where freehold property purchase is allowed because it does not limit the number of properties bought, sold, or rented unlike the freehold property process which limit foreigners to purchase only two properties with a maximum of 4,000 square meters.

Yet whether you purchase a freehold property or lease it, the documents needed to finalize the purchase/lease are basically the same. It all starts with your passport. This is because you must apply for residency visa which will grant you the right to enter the country as well as sign a document which gives your lawyer power-of-attorney. This is one of many important documents which you will need to complete your purchase. The first document that will be drawn up will be by the seller who will release a private purchase contract which must be in both English & Arabic, and supply the paperwork relating to the title, boundaries, planning permission, building license, furniture pack and rental guarantee option. In the contract, there will also be a section relating to the payment method.

The contract will be several pages long and must be issued in two or three original duplicates. One for the buyer to present in court, one for the seller or developer of the property who must fill out his/her full details, such as ID no, address, and the company he/she is representing, if any. The buyer’s details should also be included which will be obtained from your passport.

The next document in line will be the legal suit which your lawyer will draw up certifying that the seller’s signature on the purchase/lease contract if verified and legally sound. This legal suit can take anywhere from 6 to 8 months.

Afterwards, and before the property can be transferred from seller to buyer, an official property tax statement must be obtained from the local Property Tax Authority office. It is referred to as a ‘negative’ certificate because it states that the property has no mortgages or other registration rights to anyone else. This process takes one day to complete and costs 2.25 EGP if you choose the fast track option.

This certificate is a crucial part of the application process at the Land registry. It is also a national requirement according to the Egyptian Law no.114 of 1946. It serves as proof that the property has been assessed by the tax authorities and is properly registered there.

After the seller and buyer have agreed upon a price and delivery date, the buyer goes to the Real Estate Registry to fill out a form to request registration of the property. The fee for this registration is 2,000 EGP. Once this request is processed and registered – which usually takes only one day – they transfer the request to the Egyptian Surveying Authority for a complete survey of the property. Filling out the survey report usually takes up to 15 days. After surveying the property, the Egyptian Surveying Authority prepares a report of its findings and delivers it to the Measurement Department.

The Measurement Department must approve the survey report, and then it is transferred once more back to the Real Estate Registry. Once the Registry grants approval to both the inspection report as well as the request for registration, then the documents are given the stamp of approval “approved to be authenticated”. These documents are then released to the buyer along with a special, stamped form on which the final contract will be printed. This final step usually takes about 21 days.

The lawyer receives these documents and drafts the contract on the special from obtained from the Real Estate Registry. Then the lawyer must take the contract to the lawyers syndicate to verify it. The verification process takes 4 days and requires the lawyer who drafted the contract to write his syndicate identification number on the previously stamped form. This last step is to protect the buyer and to ascertain that the lawyer is indeed registered with the syndicate. The fee for this verification process is 0.5% of the property value, but should not exceed 5,000 EGP.

Next, the contract is obtained from the Lawyer’s Syndicate after 10 day working days and at no additional cost then returned back to the Real Estate Registry for review. Once accepted, all of the documents will be stamped as “approved to be registered” by the Registry.

The contract is then taken to the local Notary Public office to be signed and authenticated. This takes about one day and is free of charge. Finally it is delivered one last time to the Real Estate Registry for review and a final “legalization of the contract”. This last leg of the registration process lasts about 10 days and is free of charge. Only when the Registry grants its approval can the registration number be issued finalizing the registration process.

The last thing to do after that is take a deep breath and enjoy your newly-bought home.


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All types of property for sale in Egypt by private sellers and estate agents. Find your perfect villa, condominium or apartment in Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh. 
Good book

no diving sign egypt Egypt does not have as many taxes as other countries. Buying and selling is not restricted with harsh tax laws and obligations. There is property tax, property sales tax, and tax on rentals. Yet they all follow simple procedures and they all must be filed between January 1st to March 31st. 
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