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I want to buy a piece of land on the beach and build a villa. What is available?

The government’s policy is that land on a sandy beach is reserved for tourism and/or commercial development. You may however purchase property on a rocky coastline, cliffside, or inland with views.

How much land may I buy and there any restrictions?

Foreigners are allowed to purchase up to 0.5 acres for building a villa. You must build a minimum of 2000 sq. ft. of gross external floor area and have construction completed within 18 months from the date the License is issued. After that date, a penalty (currently EC$500.00 per month) is charged during the first 12 months.

Thereafter, the penalty is doubled. If the building is still not completed at the end of eighteen months from the agreed completion date, forfeiture proceedings may be started which will result in the land being transferred to the Government.

I have found some property I want to purchase. What is my next step?

You must obtain an Alien Land Holding License from the Government. If the application is for undeveloped land then Planning Permission is required of the proposed building before an application for Alien Land Holding License can be submitted. Planning Permission is obtained from Lands and Surveys – Planning Board and they meet every 3 weeks.

The next step would be submitting the License application to Government in duplicate with the required fee of US $400. Guidance notes and a copy of the application are available on this site. At Lands & Surveys the value of the property is established and noted on the application and then forwarded to the Registry office where it is then taken to the Chief Minister’s office. An interview with someone from the Chief Minister’s office is required for every applicant. These are simple interviews usually only 15 minutes or so in length especially if the property being purchased has already been alienated.

After the interview the Application is taken to Executive Council for discussion and decision. Once a decision has been made, the minutes of the Executive Council must be approved and then the Applicant is notified by the Government of the decision. If the Application is approved, then the Applicant is sent a letter noting the amount of taxes due. A second letter will be written for the applicant to pick up the license. The applicant then goes to the Chief Minister’s office to collect the license.

Once you have the license you take it along with the RL1 Land Transfer Forms to Lands & Surveys where the documents are stamped to confirm the taxable value of the property. You then take this paper to The Treasury to pay the taxes noted and obtain a receipt. You take the receipt and paperwork back to Lands & Surveys and they will then transfer the land to your name. This whole process takes about 3 months if there are no problems.

What are stamp taxes and transfer taxes on purchasing land and/or a house?

There is a 12.5% Stamp Duty for Alien Land Holding Licenses. In addition, there is a Transfer Tax of 5%. The taxes are paid on the designated value of the land and/or property but not the furnishings, etc.

Effective January 1, 2020 the Government of Anguilla has reduced the stamp and transfer tax to 10% for foreigners purchasing a developed property  for a period of 2 years.  For Anguillians /Belongers it has been reduced to 2.5% for a period of 3 years.

For undeveloped land the stamp and transfer tax for foreigners is 11.25% and for Anguillians/Belongers is 5%.

What does it cost to build a house in Anguilla?

The general rule of thumb is $300 per square foot plus land, plus cistern construction, landscaping and furnishings.

I only plan on staying in my villa for a couple of months per year. Can I rent it short term to tourists?

Yes, you can rent your villa. The government has recently revised their rental policies for villas. When purchasing a villa, the buyer must designate if it will be a private villa or a rental villa and the owner of the villa must apply for a business license which is renewable annually. 10% accommodation tax must be collected from all rental guests and submitted to Inland Revenue on a monthly basis.

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