In all of Asia, Sri Lanka is unique in that foreigners can buy and hold property.
The first half of 2013 has been a difficult year for the real estate market as the Government of Sri Lanka sought to bring Sri Lanka in line with other Asian coutries with regards foreign ownership. However, since about June transactions are again taking place. Foreigners are no longer allowed to hold freehold title but they are allowed to take leases of up to 99 years in exchange for a stamp duty of up to 15%. If a foreign investor also thinks they need to ensure the title is in safe hands they can put it into a company so long as the company is 51% owned by a Sri Lankan national. Legal advice should be sought as how this can best be done safely.
Property Law in Sri Lanka is based on a combination of the old Roman Dutch Law and English Law while company law is based on British / International commercial law.
It is important to realise that there are many potential pitfalls in buying land in Sri Lanka. Buyer Beware! We at Pearl take pride in the fact that we have had no clients discover hidden, serious problems with their deeds after buying them. We put this down to working with the best lawyers and professionals in the area.
Please do be aware Pearl Properties in no way pretend to be lawyers and that any advice given in this website is given only as a rough guide and must be corroborated by properly qualified lawyers. But feel free to ask any questions you may have and we will be happy to help with advice and introductions to reputable professionals.