Panama is a country on the isthmus linking Central and South America. The man-made Panama Canal cuts through its center, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to create an essential shipping route. In the capital, Panama City, modern skyscrapers, casinos and nightclubs contrast with colonial buildings in the Casco Viejo district and the rainforest of Natural Metropolitan Park.
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Panamanian law allows for both nationals and foreigners to purchase titled property in Panama. However, the law does prevent foreign persons or Panama corporations with foreign ownership from purchasing islands or property located less than 6.2 miles from the borders.
Step 1: Confirm the title. Prospective buyers should always confirm title first. Once you have found the property for you, ask the owner for two documents—the public deed containing the title (Escritura) and the Ownership and Encumbrances Certificate (Certificado de Registro Público) from the Public Registry. If these documents are not available, ask the seller for a property (finca) number. With this information, your lawyer will be able to search for the title at the Public Registry.
Step 2: Enter into a Promise to Buy-Sell Agreement. Once you have verified title, the next step is to sign a Promise to Buy-Sell Agreement. This usually entails giving the seller a down payment (often 10% of the agreed-upon purchase price) and setting a date for the transfer of title. Normally there is a penalty if either party backs out.
Step 3: Transfer the title. Once the Promise to Buy-Sell Agreement is completed, your lawyer will draft the final purchase and sale contract. All parties will then need to go to a notary public to sign the deed.
Step 4: Transfer the funds. The safest way to pay the balance of the purchase price is through an irrevocable letter of payment from a local bank in Panama. Your lawyer should be able to assist you in obtaining this document in which the bank irrevocably promises the seller to pay the balance of the sale price upon the transfer of the title to the buyer.
Step 5: Record your purchase at the public registry. Finally, your lawyer or real estate agent can help you record your purchase at the public registry (the sale isn’t final until you do this.) This process normally takes a few weeks
information from internationalliving.com
(1) the legal property transaction fee of US $1500.00-$2000.00 (includes: title search, buy/sell contract, closing, & property title transfer service),
(2) public registry title transfer fees of approx. US$250 to US$350,
(3) escrow fees from 0.5% to 1% of the transaction amount (vary depending on amount of transaction, see www.panamatitle.com for details), and
(4) incorporation fee of US$600 - $1000 + tax to setup the Panama corporation. However, if the property is already held by a Panama corporation, and the buyer is purchasing the shares of the corporation, then the transaction is relatively simple because there is no registration of title transfer, meaning that there is no title transfer tax, and no public registry title transfer fees. In this case, the closing costs would include:
(1) the legal property transaction fee (includes: title search, purchase of shares contract, and closing for US$800 - $1200),
(2) change of directors / resident agent of the corporation (approx. $200 - 350), and
(3) escrow fees from 0.5% to 1% of the transaction amount.
oreigners have the same renting rights as Panamanian citizens. The tenant and landlord sign a bilateral contract, which must include the following:
The following documents are needed to sign a contract:
Sometimes a reference letter is needed. Generally, an owner/landlord wants proof that a tenant can pay the rent. The owner/landlord may ask for additional documents, but this request is at their discretion, and is decided on a case by case basis. The tenant gives the landlord a security deposit, usually the same amount as a month's rent, as well as the first month's rent.
The length of a rental contract tends to be negotiable, but standard leases range from one to three years. Laws tend to benefit the renter and with 30 days' notice, which must be given in written form to the owner/landlord, it is possible to move out regardless of the lease contract. For both furnished and unfurnished properties, the notice period can sometimes be negotiated and then included in the contract.
A leasing contract should be registered with the Ministerio de Vivienda (MIVI), Panama's housing department. As soon as a contract has been signed by both parties, it should be registered with the MIVI by the owner; a copy of the stamped contract should be given to the renter after this has been done.
There is no regulation for rental increases in Panama. If an owner wishes to increase the rental rate, the renter is informed. They then have the option to pay the increased rent, negotiate, or find a new property to rent.
Other rental costs
There are no additional fees when renting a property in Panama.
Fees are paid by the Landlord