Property rights in Costa Rica

What are my property rights when buying real estate in Costa Rica?

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Property rights when purchasing land in Costa Rica

Costa Rica real estate has long been a safe haven for foreign investment because of strong property rights for investors.  In almost all cases, foreigners in Costa Rica get fee simple title when purchasing property. This offers the most complete form of property ownership for the buyer.  Fee simple title gives the buyer 100% ownership of the land and improvements forever.  This is the same type of property ownership as in North America, and the same as Costa Rican citizens enjoy.

What is concession land?

The exception to fee simple title is concession land. The majority of the beachfront in Costa Rica is concession land which means it is held through long-term ground leases with the government. These concession properties require thorough due diligence done by the closing attorney, and must comply with the law of the Maritime Zone (Zona Maritima). Many of the most desirable beach properties fall into this category.

In Costa Rica, public property and legal information is listed in the National Registry (Registro Nacional). This public database is where you find owners, mortgages, easements and other legal information for all the private property in the country.

For additional information on investing in Costa Rica you can download our buyers guide to Costa Rica here!

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