Sri Lanka property restrictions on foreigners relaxed: Budget

Nov 11, 2016 (LBO) – The Finance Minister in Budget 2017 announced measures to relax restrictions placed on property and land with regard to foreigners, and to allow companies to lease land.

“The Government would remove freehold right restrictions from the ground floor and also allow foreigners who will be purchasing condominiums to raise 40 percent of the cost from a domestic bank,” Ravi Karunanayake, finance minister said.

“However, such debt servicing should be in foreign currency.”

He also added that the condominium industry was a growing sector in the country with significant potential for foreign investment and laws would be introduced giving Public Limited Companies freehold right of land.

“I also propose that private companies with majority foreign holdings be allowed to lease land on a long-term basis.”

However, such companies should have invested at least 250 million rupees excluding the value of land providing employment to at least 150 people, and have maintained this for at least three years, he said.

“If the conditions are not fulfilled after three years, 100 percent of the lease will have to be paid up front,” he added.

“Such lease payment will be based on the market value of the land as determined by the Government valuer.”