Contracts, Documents and Fees

Information on how to make sure that the contract on your property purchase is legal and binding, as well as the additional fees that will be incurred...

As with any property purchase, contracts should be drawn up or verified by a lawyer. Legal documents in Qatar are always written in Arabic. A lawyer should also be tasked to carry out a due diligence process on all relevant aspects, such as obtaining and verifying any necessary building licences, planning permission consents, and company registration documents of developers or sellers, and a secure payment agreement should be set up for any instalment or deposit transactions (particularly when it is an off-plan purchase).

Registering the property

The process of registering the property is quite complex, so again the advice of a good property lawyer or reliable estate agent or developer’s representative is helpful. After contracts have been exchanged, the purchaser must take the property title deeds, signed contracts and either final payment confirmation (if buying off-plan) or mortgage and deposit details to Qatar’s Real Estate Registration and Authentication Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning. Various application forms need to be completed and documents verified, and at least one of the parties needs to be present in person. Registration must then be completed at the Ministry of Justice’s Real Estate Registration Department.

Note: expatriates buying leasehold properties will also need to visit the Office for Registration of Real Estate for non-Qatar nationals, located in the Doha Municipality office in Al Sadd.

Fees

Although there is no property tax as such in Qatar, the buyer at this stage must also pay a transfer fee of 0.25 percent of the value of the property, and then a final, binding confirmation contract is approved.

Fees may also be charged by the developer for ‘extras’ such as ongoing maintenance, car park fees or other facilities, so it is important to be aware of these before the purchase is agreed on.