Setting up your home: Buying a property in Qatar
New to Qatar? Looking for a place to stay? In this four-part series, JustHere will guide you through the different aspects of finding a home for yourself.
In the second part, we discuss about purchasing freehold property in Qatar.
There are a few freehold developments in Qatar such as The Pearl-Qatar, West Bay Lagoon, Al Khor Resort Project with more coming up. Before starting on the purchasing process for any property, you should check with the Doha Municipality whether it is legal for a non-Qatari to purchase the particular plot you are looking at or get the opinion of a reputed Real Estate agent.
Home-owners can then apply for a home-owner’s residence permit. It is valid for 5 years and needs to be renewed periodically. You will still require a medical certificate for a residence permit as a home-owner. Once you obtain the confirmation that the property you intend to buy is in a legal area and it is registered, you should go to the office for Registration of Real Estate to transfer the ownership. The visa will then be processed by the Ministry of Interior.
The process of registering property is as follows:
- At least one party must bring the following documents to the archive office of the real estate office and pay an application fee of QR15
- A copy of the title of the property
- ID Cards of the buyer and seller and their signatures
- Other necessary documents like power of attorney etc.
- Fill the sale-purchase agreement that is available in the real estate registry
- The Archive officer checks for any encumbrances
- The buyer pays the transfer fees at the Customer Services counter which is 0.25% of the purchase price and document authentication fees (QR5 riyals per document)
- Checking ownership of seller and verification of the transfer agreement
- It is common to buy property while it is still under construction as the rates are cheaper then, but it involves risks like the plans may be changed or the project may be delayed.
- Get the advice of a good property lawyer or a reputed real estate agent to get your property registered to complete the process smoothly.
- Some extra charges or fees may be charged for parking or other facilities, be sure to discuss these extra costs before signing the agreement.
- As per Sharia law, Islamic banks do not charge interest but the terms of their repayment are generally shorter.
After paying the registration fees, the buyer is given a receipt that will need to be shown to the Authentication department in the Real Estate Registration building. The contracting parties need to appear in person before the director of the department. The director verifies the capacities and identities of the contracting parties and witnesses as well as the legality of the application and agreement and shall review the submitted applications, documents and title deeds. If they are found to be valid, legal and complete, the director shall approve the application and verify the contracting parties’ acceptance of the application and make sure they understand the contents. The director shall then draw up minutes of the contract and have it signed by the contracting parties in the presence of two adult witnesses.
- The buyer takes the approved transaction to the registrar office for final records
- Buyer receives the final title in his name
Mortgages in Qatar
Many banks offer mortgages for the purchase of property in the country. The terms and conditions vary from bank to bank. Some developers may have a tie-up with certain banks, so they will require you to take the mortgage from that particular bank. The bank will confirm the mortgage value and terms once it has assessed the value of the property to be purchased.