How difficult is the property purchase process in Namibia?
Except for agricultural land, there are no restrictions on nonresident foreigners and legal aliens owning property in Namibia. Most property ownerships are freehold.
Real estate transactions are negotiated and concluded in Namibian dollar (NA$). South African rand (ZAR) is also accepted as legal tender in Namibia, with the exchange rate pegged at NAD1 = ZAR1.
The seller is usually represented by a conveyancer (lawyer), and negotiations done with a real estate agent. The conveyancer executes a Deed of Transfer for the purchase.
Upon signing of the Deed of Sale, the buyer is expected to pay a deposit of 10%, usually held in escrow by the real estate agent. The balance is fulfilled on the closing of the transfer, or once the transfer has been registered. Transfer costs are paid directly to the seller´s conveyancer. The legal fees and Transfer Duty are usually paid one month before the actual transfer.
The Title Deed should be endorsed “nonresident” to allow the foreigner to freely transfer out of the country the proceeds of any future sale of the property.
Both the seller and buyer are expected to produce identification documents and the seller to present the original Title Deed of the property.
According to common law, the seller is liable for any latent defects in the property which exist at the completion of the sale, even if the seller has no knowledge of them. Latent defects are those not easily discernible and not clearly visible, such as leaking roofs, dampness and structural design faults. The seller, however, is not liable for patent defects, or defects clearly visible upon inspection. In the event of patent defects, the buyer can cancel the contract and/or claim repayment of a portion of the purchasing price.
In the event of misrepresentation or false statements about the condition and quality of the property, the seller can be held liable by the buyer. The buyer has the right to set the sale aside, or abide by it and claim a reduction in the price or damages. If defects arise after the completion of the sale, the seller is not liable for any repairs or replacement of the damage.