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Venezuela is a country on the northern coast of South America with diverse natural attractions. Along its Caribbean coast are tropical resort islands including Isla de Margarita and the Los Roques archipelago. To the northwest are the Andes Mountains and the colonial town of Mérida, a base for hiking Sierra Nevada National Park. Caracas, the capital, is to the north.

33.4 million

May–Oct Salto Ángel and the Gran Sabana waterfalls gush, swollen with rainy season flow.

Oct–Nov Low season travel brings the best prices before the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Feb/Mar The whole country vacations during Carnaval, with special festivals in some cities and towns.

 

Venezuelan bolívar

Spainish

Any foreigner can buy a property in Venezuela with just a valid passport, a tourist visa and a Registro de Información Fiscal (RIF).

The RIF is a fiscal identification for all persons, and can be obtained for free by request at any Tax Administration office or the Servicio Nacional Integrado de Aministración or through a lawyer. Foreigners may also buy indirectly, through local companies or through foreign companies.

Obtain a cadastral certificate (ficha/cédula catastral) 
Agency: Cadaster office at the Municipality 

Obtaining the cadastral certificate is a requiste for conducting a property transaction. This has the purpose of maintaing an updated record of the ownership, the value and the physical characteristics of the property. This procedure is regulated by the Geography, Cartography, and Cadastral Law of March 28, 2000 (Chapter III, regarding the link between the Cadaster and the Public Registry) and Resolution N°019 of the Ministry of Popular Power for the Interior, Justice and Peace published on January 13, 2014 (Official Gazete N°40,332, regarding the requirements for processing and registering transactions at the Public Registries).

Obtain a certificate of solvency from the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) 
Agency: Venezuelan Social Security Institute 

Registration with the Social Security Institute is mandatory in Venezuela. This certificate of solvency can be obtained online through the IVSS website. Once the application is submitted the company needs to pay the outstanding balance indicated by the system and wait approximately 72 hours and then request the certificate to IVSS which can then be printed by the taxpayer.

Obtain the Municipal Solvency Certificate at the Municipality 
Agency: Municipality 

The Municipal Solvency Certificate (“Certificado de Solvencia Municipal”), showing the tax solvency on urban immovables, must be obtained at the pertinent tax authority of the municipality where the immovable is located. For this, the seller must request the statement of account of the immovable that he wishes to dispose of, and proceed to the pertinent payment. The tax unit was increased as of February 2014 from VEF 107 to VEF 127 (Official Gazette number 40.359).

Obtain a certificate of solvency from the water company 
Agency: Water Company 

The seller presents his latest water bill that he has paid in order to obtain a certificate of solvency (solvencia de servicio) from the water company, Hidrocapital (in the case of Caracas). The Certificate is valid for 30 days.

Obtain a non-encumbrance certificate for the last 10 years from Registry 
Agency: Registry 

The certificate of encumbrances is not legally required, but it is usually obtained in practice (and requested by the purchaser). This example is a case of a title that covers the last ten years of the property.

Sales agreement is drafted by lawyer 
Agency: Lawyer 

According to the “Ley de Abogados” and the Public Registry Law (Article 22), all documents that are presented to the Registry have to be approved by a lawyer. In practice, the lawyer also drafts the sales agreement. The lawyer’s fees were estimated based on the “Reglamento de Honorario Mínimo”, but are not binding on lawyers in Caracas

The sale agreement is presented to the Registry Office for its revision and taxes and fees are liquidated 
Agency: Registry 

The sale agreement is presented to the local office of SAREN (Servicio Autónomo de Registros y Notarías) for the calculation of the following taxes and fees: a) SAREN's fees, which amount to 0.4%-0.5% of the property value. These fees include the 0.4% registration fee plus extra costs such as photocopies and witnesses. The payment to SAREN is legally based in the Law of Public Registry Offices and Notaries of 2006, and must be paid within 60 days of assessment. b) Municipal tax, which amounts to 5 Tax Units. This means that the municipal tax amounts to VEF 635, given the current value of the UT (VEF127) since February 2014. An internal order of SAREN of 2008 established a "Previous Revision" procedure at the time of the assessment of the SAREN fees. This procedure was established to review the substance of the property transaction before the parties paid the applicable taxes and proceeded to present all documents for registration. Previous Revision procedures can add up to 5 days to the property transfer process, but do not guarantee that the registration application will be approved after the payment of taxes. Not all SAREN offices have taken up this procedure, since ultimately it is not established by law, and seems to contradict the legally established celerity principle that governs registration procedures in Venezuela.

Payment of taxes at a private commercial bank 
Agency: Commercial Bank 

After the presentation of the sale agreement to the Registry Office, the taxes due to SAREN are paid in a private bank. The Income Tax must also be paid at the same private bank (0.5% of purchase price), and as a tax of VEF 535 (equivalent to 5 Tax Units) is due to the Hacienda Publica Municipal and paid to its account at the bank.

Present all the documents to the Registry 
Agency: Registry 

The user must go to the “Departamento de Presentaciones” in the Registry’s office and present the following documents: - sale document, - receipt of payments - Municipal Solvency Certificate - Cadastral certificate - Solvency certificate from the water company - Copy of the means of payment for the transaction (check or bank transfer) This list of the required documents is regulated by Resolution N°019 of the Ministry of Popular Power for the Interior, Justice and Peace published on January 13, 2014 (Official Gazete N°40,332). The documentation is reviewed carefully by the Revision Department, verifying the identity of the owners, boundaries, the fulfillment of judicial decisions related to the property, and other information. The date for the signature by the registrar is set and parties must come back on that day for the final step. Since 2005, staff at the Registry is inclined to use discretion (jurisprudencia) in dealing with cases and may ask the clients two times for extra documents, thus delaying this procedure. The documentation shall include copy of RIF (Registro de Información Fiscal or Fiscal Information Register) of both buyer and seller. If there is any authorization by the meetings of the pertinent companies, copies of those authorizing the sale of the immovable must be included. If acting through an attorney-in-fact, a copy of his/her identity card and a copy of the power-of-attorney is required. The sale document is signed by the Registrar under the presence of the parties and two witnesses.

3% of the purchase price plus agency fee circa 2%

Common Expat Areas - The areas where affordable, desirable rentals are most likely to be located within Caracas are:  Colinas de Valle Arriba, Colinas del Tamanaco, Lomas San Román, La Castellana, Palos Grandes, Sebucán, Los Chorros, Lomas de Chuao, Lomas del Mirador, Colinas de La Alameda, Mirador de Los Campitos.

  • Most landlords require a guarantor or bond.  If the company doesn’t serve as the guarantor, the landlord may request up to three months up front. 
  • A new regulation passed by the government in January 2012 dictates that the government, not the landlord, will stipulate rental prices.
  • USD is a restricted currency; all rents must be paid locally in Bolivares Fuertes (VEF).

Q&A

  • Who pays rental commission? The landlord pays the rental commission, although some realtors will charge the tenant if it is not their listing
  • How much is the rental commission? The rental commission is one month
  • Is an advance rent required? Yes, up to two months if there is no guarantor
  • What is the standard lease term? The standard lease term is one year
  • What is the frequency of payments? The payments are made monthly
  • Is there a security deposit? The deposit will be two months
  • Who holds security deposit? The landlord holds the security deposit
  • Lease written in what language? The lease is written in Spanish
  • Lease is normally prepared by? The lease is prepared by the Destination Services Provider, preference is to use the corporate template if one is available to insure that the legal aspect has been approved
  • Is a business release clause accepted? Yes, but with some resistance.  Landlords that do not accept the business clause may request a penalty of up to two months

 

UTILITIES
Utilities are generally not included as part of the rent.  A passport is required in order to connect services and in some cases a credit card.

Agency fee is equal to one months rent payable by the tenant