Property Registration

Verify the identity of the seller and any encumbrances affecting the property at the Land Registry

Agency: Land Registry (Direction des Titres Fonciers)

The Selling company must prove that it is the rightful owner of the property. It is common that the parties go to the Land Registry (Department des Titres Fonciers) to check if the property is indeed registered to the present owner. The buyer also requests proof that the property is not encumbered by mortgages, liens or other securities.

Time and cost: 2 days, no charge

The notary drafts the sale and purchase agreement and it is signed by both parties

Agency: Notary’s Office

Once the notary has verified the identity and the judicial capacity of the parties as well as the possession of the original property title by the seller, the notary prepares the sale and purchase agreement which the parties sign at his presence.

Time and cost: 2 days, BIF 29,000 (BIF 10,000 (drafting fee) + BIF 7000 (original) + BIF 3000/page (4 pages))

The buyer requests to register the property transfer at the One-Stop Shop Agency for the transfer of properties

Agency: One-stop shop for the transfer of properties (Guichet unique de transfert de propriété)

The buyer goes to the one-stop shop for transferring properties (Guichet unique de transfert de propriété) with the notarized transfer deed and the original property title. The one-stop shop includes the services of the Land Registry (Département des Titres Fonciers), the Municipality of Bujumbura, and the Burundi Revenue Authority (Office Burundais des Recettes, OBR).

The following documents need to be submitted to the Land Registry to proceed with the property transfer registration:

  • Original title of the property.
  • Letter requesting transferring the property (Lettre de demande de transfer).
  • Notarized sale and purchase agreement.
  • Copies of statutes of both companies.
  • Copy of the ‘procès-verbal de bornage’. The seller should have one in his possession.

Both parties need to obtain a tax clearance certificate from the municipality proving that all city-level taxes are paid. The certificates are obtained from the same person from the representatives of the municipality at the one-stop shop for both parties and they can be obtained at the same time. Both parties must be present at the municipality to request tax clearance certificates on both.

An expert is designated by the Land Registry to check whether the price in the transfer deed is correct. The OBR will also designate an expert to inspect the property. The objective of the inspection is to ensure that the price in the transfer deed is not underestimated or overestimated.

After the inspections, the expert of the Land Registry writes a valuation report (rapport d’expertise) that is transmitted to the Director for signature. If for instance the price on the transfer deed is lower, the transaction tax will be paid based on the appraisal value provided by the expert from the Departement des Titres Fonciers and not on the agreed price between the parties.

The expert of the OBR will also write a valuation report (rapport de contre-expertise). This report is necessary to issue tax clearance certificates for both parties (Attestation de non redevabilité delivree par les services des impots) showing that all taxes at the national level are paid and that neither the seller nor the buyer owes any debt to the OBR.

According to the Decree N°121/VP2/038 of April 29, 2013 the preparation of the valuation reports cannot exceed 4 working days.

Time and cost: 12 days, no charge

The Land Registry and the Burundi Revenue Authority inspect the property

Agency: Land Registry (Direction des Titres Fonciers), Burundi Revenue Authority (Office Burundais de Recettes, OBR)

Experts from the Land Registry and OBR inspect the property at the same time.

Time and cost: 1 day, BIF 5,000

Obtain the new title from the Land Registry “Direction des Titres Fonciers”

Agency: One-stop shop for the transfer of properties (Guichet unique de transfert de propriété)

After obtaining the tax clearance certificate from the OBR the buyer proceeds to pay the transfer tax to the OBR. The registration fees for real estate transfers at 3% was enshrined in Law No. 1/16 of 06 August 2008 amending certain provisions of Legislative Decree No. 1/13 of 24 November 1986 establishing the rights to registration in land matters. Once the payment is made the Registration Division proceeds to the creation of a new title for the buyer.

Time and cost: 7 days, BIF 733,033.06 (3% property value (tax to change the Property Title to the buyer’s name))