Land Transfer Act Fiji
The Land Sales (Amendment) Act 2014 has caused a lot of concern and confusion since it was introduced by the government in December 2014. The change in Fiji land ownership laws came without warning and places a requirement on all foreign (or non - resident) owners of vacant residential land in Fiji to build within 2 years of ownership and to a minimum of FJ$250,000.
Those who don’t abide could face penalties of 10% of the value of the land, or fines up to FJ$100,000. This rule applies to current foreign landowners and any non-resident wishing to buying freehold land in Fiji now or in the foreseeable future.
This in itself has proven confusing as the term non-resident relates to anyone who is not a Fijian citizen.
Who is a non-resident?
So, even if you have applied for and been accepted as a resident of Fiji and have a resident visa you are not exempt from the new Fiji land sales act when it comes to buy or owning freehold land.
Does This Effect You?
If you were planning on building anyway and already have plans drawn up and a Fiji construction company in place then this probably won’t affect you. However, there are many people who have bought residential freehold land in Fiji, some, large acreages on separate titles, who have not yet built, or were hoping to sell the land before actually putting any sort of dwelling on it and it is these people who are experiencing the most anxiety.
Some of those affected have already sold their slice of paradise and moved on whilst others are sitting tight to see what will happen next or are making arrangements to build something as quickly as they can.
If you are thinking of buying freehold land in Fiji then you may benefit from the many “bargains” out there as a result. However, before you do, make sure you familiarize yourself with the Land Transfer Act and the things you absolutely need to know about buying land in Fiji and how it might affect you as a non-resident (or foreigner).
In a Nutshell
If you are still unsure about how the new rules relating to the Land Transfer Act might affect you then check with a licensed real estate agent and/or reputable legal entity operating in Fiji before committing.
Some of the Land Transfer Act amendments are very ambiguous and lawyers and their clients continue to work through it. In the meantime the clock ticks for many who genuinely want to build but are hitting the common brick walls around actually building their dream home, holiday rental or secluded getaway.
Basic building materials are becoming more and more scares which naturally increases the cost of building a house in Fiji, and Fiji construction companies with a good reputation are usually very busy or very expensive.
PPS is working with 2 of New Zealand’s leading designers in kit homes to bring you over 40 building options suitable for Fiji. If you live, or are purchasing land in an area of Fiji where a 20ft or 40 ft container can be delivered to site, then you can purchase a kit home and have all the components you need to start your build.
You can download and review the free catalogues on our home page and choose from a whole range of kit homes to suit all tastes and budget.
The Fraemohs Fijian collection is very easy to build and does not require a full construction team. Those of you who are practical could probably build one of these houses yourself! For the Fraemohs Timbermode Homes and TRENZ South Pacific collection you will need a construction team, but it will be much easier and quicker as all components come prefabricated and ready to assemble with a full set of architectural drawings. You can even present us with your existing concept plans and we can look at getting your unique home pre fabricated.
So if you are affected by the Land Sales (Amendment) Act 2014 and need to build, or are contemplating freehold land for sale and building your new house in Fiji you need to talk to the team at PPS about your kit home options and choices.
PPS carried out extensive research and believes the above information to be true at the time of writing. However, rules and regulations can change quickly and we strongly recommend anyone purchasing freehold land in Fiji use a licensed and ethical real estate or land agent, and receive necessary guidance from a recognised legal entity.