The Real Estate Legal Framework in the Dominican Republic

The commercial activities related to the holding, purchase and sale, rentals and commercial development of real estate properties over the years has gained special importance since it is one of the main drivers of the country’s economy. It is a market in constant development and, despite the health crisis of 2020, the real estate market is booming and growing gradually.

Our country promotes a favorable environment for real estate investments, we have a legal framework that offers protection to domestic and foreign investment, which has allowed a significant growth of the real estate market.

Property rights and real estate operations in the Dominican Republic are governed by 1.- the Constitution of the Republic, 2.- the Civil Code, 3.- Law 108-05 of Real Estate Registry and its regulations, modified by Law 51-07 of April 23, 2007, which regulates the registry of real estate rights, implementing the real estate publicity system of the country; 4.- Law No.5038 of 1958 and its modifications, which regulates the registration of real estate rights, implementing the real estate publicity system of the country; 4.- Law No.5038 of 1958 and its modifications, which regulates the registration of real estate rights, implementing the real estate publicity system of the country; 5. of 1958 and its amendments, which regulate condominiums (horizontal property), as well as several resolutions, regulations, agreements, provisions and certain laws that complement some tax and fiscal aspects such as Law No.158-01″ for the Promotion of Tourist Development and its amendments and Law 189-11, for the Development of the Mortgage and Trust Market.

The Constitution recognizes and guarantees the right to property. This right is granted to every person, being able to enjoy, enjoy, access and dispose of all registered real estate property.

The Real Estate Registry system is based on the Torrens system, whereby the State creates and maintains a registry of real estate properties, which have been previously sanitized and a certificate of title has been issued to the owner of the property, as proof of his rights over it. The registered properties are governed by the Real Estate Registry Law No. 108-05, which is also in charge of regulating the reorganization process in our territory. This law offers a legal framework of protection through the registration of property rights.

The State, in order to guarantee the legality of the operations that affect real property rights, makes use of the competent bodies that integrate the Real Estate Jurisdiction, which has exclusive competence to know about real property rights and their registration.

The Regulations and Resolutions serve as a basis to guarantee the proper functioning of the laws governing real estate matters, such as the Regulations of the Title Registry No. 2669-2009 dated September 10, 2009, which modifies the General Regulations of the Title Registry, Resolution No. 3461-2010 on the Regulations for the Parcel and Registry Update of Complex Real Estate and Resolution No. 628-2009 on the General Regulations of Cadastral Measurements.

Likewise, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Dominican Civil Code govern the matter and the process to protect the right to property and possession.

The Foreign Investment Law No. 16-95 and its implementing regulations allow the acquisition of real estate by foreigners in the country, without limitations. Law 158-01 on Tourism Development and its amendments, grants investments in the tourism sector, relevant tax exemptions for a period of 15 years, both for the construction of hotels, residential and commercial real estate developments, as well as for the complementary tourism offer.

In addition, we have incentives on the exemption of the Property Tax (IPI), being the following properties exempted from its payment: (a) rural land dedicated to agricultural exploitation; (b) homes whose owner has reached 65 years of age, provided that it has not been transferred from owner in the last 15 years and it is the only one owned by its owner; (c) homes subject to the tax on assets.

In the Dominican real estate market, foreign investments are increasingly increasing as a result of the attractiveness of the Dominican Republic for foreigners due to its geographic location, its climate and culture, the level of income, and the relative cost of living of the destination country compared to the investor’s country of origin, among many other factors. It is the duty of the State to continue promoting a safe environment for such investments and our job as a lawyer is to offer the solutions that the law makes available to ensure the protection of your investment in our country.

 

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