Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr Abogados
Can anyone (including foreigners) own and occupy real estate in your jurisdiction (including shares in property owning companies)? Are there any restrictions?
According to Chilean legislation there are no restrictions for foreign investors to acquire or occupy real estate in Chile. The only exceptions are: (i) Nationals of bordering countries (or entities with head offices in those countries, or those which 40% or more of their capital interest is owned by nationals of a bordering country) cannot own or hold in possession properties located in zones declared as “national border line”; and (ii) Public lands located within 10 kilometres from the Chilean borders, or within 5 kilometres from the Chilean coast, can only be owned or leased by Chilean citizens or entities.
Are there restrictions on lending for the purchase of real estate by foreign companies? If so briefly give an outline?
No, according to the aforementioned there are no restrictions or other legal requirements for foreign investors or companies to acquire or lend for the purchase of real estate in Chile, except for the cases mentioned above.
Please provide a short summary of the fees and costs (including tax) relating to buying real estate in your jurisdiction.
The main costs associated with the acquisition of a real estate in Chile are the Notary Public fees and the Real Estate Registrar fees. In both cases, such fees are calculated based on the purchase price of the property acquired. Usually, these fees are paid by the buyer, although the parties can agree to split such costs otherwise. Also, real estate purchase agreements are taxed with VAT (Value-added tax), except for certain cases described in the law. When appropriate, VAT must be paid by the buyer.
Are there taxes applicable to owning real estate and can the burden of the taxes be passed to someone else (e.g. a tenant or an occupier - not being the owner)?
As a general rule, Real estate owners have a legal obligation to pay a Territorial Tax (Contribuciones), however, the parties of a contract may agree for such tax to be paid by the tenant of the property. The territorial tax is collected every year by the General Treasury of the Republic on a quarterly basis.
Are there tax breaks or other incentives for foreigners to buy real estate in your jurisdiction? If so what are they?
There are no tax breaks or special incentives for foreigners to buy real estate in Chile.
How is the ownership of Real Estate evidenced in your jurisdiction?
There is a public registry of ownership of Real Estates named Registro de Dominio administered by the relevant Conservador de Bienes Raíces with competence in the place where the property is located. The ownership over a Real Estate is transferred to the purchaser once a legal title evidenced by public deed is registered under the purchaser´s name in the corresponding Registro de Dominio. A certified copy of the real estate ownership registration can be obtained once the legal title is registered in such registry.
Is it possible to keep the identity of owners of real estate confidential in your jurisdiction?
No. Real Estate Property Registries are public and everyone is entitled to access them and request copies of the real estate ownership registrations, in which the identity of the owners is expressly stated.