Real Estate Matters
American citizens who have purchased or sold land or real estate in The Bahamas have reported difficulties in securing or maintaining clear title to their property or proof that the sale was properly recorded or documented with the Real Property Tax Department. When purchasing a property, The Bahamas does not have title insurance. A deed purportedly documenting property ownership may not be clear or undisputed. Some Americans report they lost large sums of money after “purchasing” property in The Bahamas, only to discover that the seller did not have clear and/or undisputable ownership of the property. Court proceedings related to rightful ownership can be costly and time consuming. When selling a property, the same is true.
In the absence of title insurance, prospective purchasers are advised to check the veracity and status of the prospective seller’s ownership through various Bahamian government offices, even if a lawyer has been hired for that purpose. A prospective purchaser may request that the Registrar General’s Office for Deeds and Documents verify the name under which a deed is registered. A prospective purchaser or seller may contact the Valuation Section of the Real Estate Property Tax Office (P.O. Box N-3017, Nassau, Bahamas) to check for any discrepancies in ownership of property, assessment for taxes, and when taxes were last paid. For additional information regarding real estate law in The Bahamas, please refer to Bahamas Laws.