The ever growing real estate market in the kingdom of Bahrain has forced The Survey and Land Registration Bureau (SLRB) to revise the Legislative Decree No. 15 of 1979 of the real estate registration law where it issued a new law, Legislative Decree No.13 of 2013.
Most of the old law’s provisions haven’t been changed, however; clear and refreshed revisions were implemented in the new law to cope with the market’s change.
We have listed below the changes implemented in the new real estate registration law with regards to the registration transactions.
1. Registration fees
The new real estate registration law has come to reduce the registration fees required on all property sales with no regards whatsoever to the property’s price.
According to the old law, a tiered registration fee that increases whenever a property price increase, however, the new law has set a fixed registration fee of 2%.
This will make it easier for investors seeking to purchase huge properties to invest.
2. Registration discount for early payment
Encouraging more investments, the new law has clearly stated that any early registration will be subjected up to 15% discount and that is for all applications submitted to SLRB within two months from the signing of the transfer forms before a Notary Public.
In case of registering within the two months period, the buyer will only pay a registration fee of 1.7% instead of the flat 2%.
3. Multiple copies of the title deeds
By the provisions of the old law, only one title deed copy was issued per property no matter how many parties were involved in the purchase.
However, the new amendments state that all involved parties in the purchase are now permitted to obtain copies of the title deed from SLRB.
By applying, all stakeholders will obtain a certificate that details their share in the property.
4. Cornered plots
In the past, cornered plots under 200 square meters were only allowed to be sold to neighboring land owners or considered as public property, however, the new law came to set things straight.
As from 2013, cornered plots under 200 square will be merged into the title deed of the neighboring land, preventing their disposal.
5. Exemption from registration fees
There are a few situations by which specific transactions will be exempted from paying the SLRB registration fees and they are as follows:
A- Transferring the title deed of a property to the government
B- Transferring the title deed of a property to any Arab, Islamic or foreign governments to be used for political or consular activities in Bahrain.
C- Transferring the title deed of a property to charities.
D- Transferring the title deeds of the property to any financial institution that is authorized to own a property by the Central Bank of Bahrain as well as having a license for Islamic lending.
E- Transferring the title deed of a property from one company to another with the same stakeholders.
F- Transferring the title deed of a property from an individual to a company owned by the same individual or up to their fourth-degree relatives.