Obtain a cadastral certificate (ficha/cédula catastral)
Agency: Cadaster office of the Municipality
Obtaining a cadastral certificate is a requirement for conducting a property transaction. This has the purpose of keeping an updated record of the ownership, the value and the physical characteristics of the property. This procedure is regulated by the Geography, Cartography, and Cadastral Law of March 28, 2000 (Chapter III, regarding the link between the Cadaster and the Public Registry) and Resolution N°019 of the Ministry of Popular Power for the Interior, Justice and Peace published on January 13, 2014 (Official Gazette N°40,332, regarding the requirements for processing and registering transactions at the Public Registries). Caracas is made up of five municipalities: Libertador, Chacao, Baruta, Sucre, and El Hatillo. The time and cost (from 0.5 to 1.5 Venezuelan Tax Unit) to complete this procedure varies depending on the municipality that has the territorial jurisdiction to issue the cadastral certificate.
Time and cost: 20 days, VES 50 (From 0.5 to 1.5 Tax Unit (Tax unit by March 2019: VES 50))
Obtain a certificate of solvency from the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS)
Agency: Venezuelan Social Security Institute (“IVSS”)
Registration with the Social Security Institute is mandatory in Venezuela. This certificate of solvency can be obtained online through the IVSS website, by providing the company’s IVSS number. If the company is already registered with the IVSS, the certificate will be issued online immediately.
Time and cost: Less than 1 day (online), no cost
Obtain the Municipal Solvency Certificate at the Municipality
The Municipal Solvency Certificate (“Certificado de Solvencia Municipal”) ascertains whether a Property has any outstanding debts with the corresponding Tax administration. It must be obtained at the pertinent tax authority of the municipality where the immovable property is located. For this, the seller must request the statement of account of the immovable property that it wishes to dispose of and proceed to the pertinent payment.
Time and cost: 3 days, VES 65 (1 Tax Unit for administrative fees + 0,3 Tax Units (Tax unit by March 2019: VES 50))
Obtain a certificate of solvency from the water company
Agency: Water Company
The seller presents his latest water bill that he has paid in order to obtain a certificate of solvency (“solvencia de servicio”) from the water company (Hidrocapital is the main supplier in the municipalities that conform Caracas). The Certificate is valid for 30 days.
Time and cost: 3 days, VES 15 (0.3 Tax Units (Tax unit by March 2019: VES 50))
Obtain a non-encumbrance certificate for the last 10 years from Registry
Agency: Public Registry
The certificate of encumbrances is not legally required, but it is usually obtained in practice (and requested by the purchaser). This example is a case of a title that covers the last ten years of the property.
Time and cost: 3 days, VES 420 (3 Tax Units for the first year + 0.6 Tax Units for each additional year (10 years needed))
Sales agreement is drafted by lawyer
According to the “Ley de Abogados” and the Public Registry Law (Article 22), all documents that are presented to the Registry have to be approved by a lawyer. In practice, the lawyer also drafts the sales agreement. The lawyer’s fees were estimated according to the “Reglamento de Honorario Mínimo”. However, these guidelines are not binding for lawyers in Caracas.
Time and cost: 2 days, VES 439,222.94
Lawyer’s fees according to the following cumulative schedule included in article 4:
- Up to Bs. 100.000,oo: Bs. 30.000,oo
- From Bs. 100.001,oo to Bs. 2.000.000,oo: 2.5%
- From Bs. 2.000.001,oo to Bs. 5.000.000,oo: 2%
- From Bs. 5.000.001,oo onwards: 1,5%
The above schedule translates into the following in VEF:
Property value (in VEF): Lawyer fees
- Under 100: VEF 30
- From 101 to 2,000: 2.5% of contract value
- From 2,000 to 5,000: 2.0% of contract value
- Over 5,000: 1.5% of contract value
Due to the last currency conversion from Bolivar fuerte (VEF) to Bolivar Soverano (VES), in August 2018, and the lack of applicability of the contract values established by law, it’s widely used in practice to apply a rate of 1.5% of the contract value.
The sale agreement is presented to the Registry Office for its revision and taxes and fees are liquidated
Agency: Public Registry
The sale agreement is presented to the local office of SAREN (Servicio Autónomo de Registros y Notarías) for the calculation of the following taxes and fees:
- SAREN’s fees, which amount to 0.6% of the property value, according to the Law of Public Registries and Notaries of 2014 (the fee provisions entered into force on May 2015), and must be paid within 60 days of assessment.
- Municipal tax, which amounts to 5 Tax Units.
An internal order of SAREN of 2008 established a “Previous Revision” procedure at the time of the assessment of the SAREN fees. This procedure was established to review the substance of the property transaction before the parties paid the applicable taxes and proceeded to present all documents for registration. Previous Revision procedures can add up to 5 days to the property transfer process, but do not guarantee that the registration application will be approved after the payment of taxes. Not all SAREN offices have taken up this procedure, since ultimately it is not established by law, and seems to contradict the legally established celerity principle that governs registration procedures in Venezuela.
Time and cost: 1 day, no cost
Payment of taxes at a private commercial bank
Agency: Commercial Bank
After the presentation of the sale agreement to the Public Registry, the fees due to SAREN are paid in a private bank. The Income Tax must also be paid at the same private bank (0.5% of purchase price). Finally, a fee equivalent to 5 Tax Units has to be paid to the corresponding “Hacienda Pública Municipal” on its account at the bank.
Time and cost: 1 day, VES 322,346.82 (0.6% of purchase price (SAREN fee) + 0.5% of purchase price (advance payment of Income Tax) + 5 Tax Unit for Municipal Tax)
Present all the documents to the Registry
Agency: Public Registry
The user must go to the “Departamento de Presentaciones” in the Registry’s office and present the following documents:
- Sale document (obtained in procedure 6);
- Receipt of payments;
- Municipal Solvency Certificate (obtained in procedure 3);
- Cadastral certificate (obtained in procedure 1);
- Solvency certificate from the water company (obtained in procedure 4);
- Solvency certificate from the IVSS (obtained in procedure 2);
- Copy of the means of payment for the transaction (check or bank transfer).
This list of the required documents is regulated by Resolution N°019 of the Ministry of Popular Power for the Interior, Justice and Peace published on January 13, 2014 (Official Gazette N°40,332).
The documentation is reviewed carefully by the Revision Department, verifying the identity of the owners, boundaries, the fulfillment of judicial decisions related to the property, and other information. The date for the signature by the registrar is set and parties must come back on that day for the final step. Since 2005, staff at the Registry is inclined to use discretion (“jurisprudencia”) in dealing with cases and may ask the clients two times for extra documents, thus delaying this procedure. The documentation shall include copy of RIF (“Registro de Información Fiscal” or Fiscal Information Register) of both buyer and seller. If there is any authorization by the meetings of the pertinent companies, copies of those authorizing the sale of the immovable must be included. If acting through an attorney-in-fact, a copy of his/her identity card and a copy of the power-of-attorney is required.
The sale document is signed by the Registrar under the presence of the parties and two witnesses.
Time and cost: 28 days, no charge
Seller must inform the Municipality of the change of ownership
Agency: Municipality (Cadaster)
According to Gaceta Oficial N° 37.002 chapter II, article 31 the owners of properties, as well as the officials responsible for the administration of real estate belonging to the State, are obliged with the cadastre to register the property in the respective municipal cadastre office. Properties that are not registered in the Cadastre office may be sanctioned with a fine of 5 to 200 Tax Units.
Time and cost: 1 day, no charge