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System & Law

The system of property ownership in Gibraltar is based on that of the United Kingdom. Both leasehold and freehold ownership are available with the former, by far, being the most common. Title deeds of properties showing the historic and current owners are registered at our Land Registry. Property law in Gibraltar is governed by the Land Law & Conveyancing Act 1895.

Title deeds of properties showing the historic and current owners are registered at the Supreme Court of Gibraltar and with our Land Registry. Property law in Gibraltar is governed by the Land Law & Conveyancing Act 1895.

Leasehold Ownership

Purchasers who buy directly from a developer will normally be granted a lease or underlease for a fixed term of years; typically 99 or 149 years.  Subsequent purchasers will be granted an assignment of the number of years left on the lease/underlease.  

There is no restriction on the possible number of assignments which can be made.  By buying a leasehold property you are effectively buying the right to remain in the property for a set period of time.  All your rights and obligations will be contained in the lease/underlease.  

If the lease/underlease expires, the property will revert to the original owner.  In practice, however, a new lease/underlease granting a further term is negotiated with the original owner.  In effect, this is a new purchase.  A further sum of money will be payable to the owner but this tends to be much less than the original purchase price.

The lease/underlease will almost certainly include the requirement to pay both service charges and ground rent.  Service charges normally cover the cost of the maintenance of the building and common parts as well as building insurance.  The lease/underlease will normally state how the service charge amount is calculated and what costs it covers.

Ground rent is normally paid to the Gibraltar Government although the amounts tend to be minimal.

Freehold Ownership

Buying a freehold property means you own the property and the land that comes with it for an indefinite period. With freehold property there are no leases or underleases and the document by which title is acquired is known as a conveyance.

Who Can Own Property in Gibraltar?

There is no national, residential or other restriction against any particular individual or company owning property in Gibraltar.

Selling Property in Gibraltar?

As there is no Capital Gains Tax in Gibraltar, when a property is sold no tax whatsoever is payable in Gibraltar on the profits made. 

Mortgages

In practice, most property acquisitions are carried out with the assistance of mortgage finance.  It is thus very important that your lawyers should be authorised to represent the bank or building society in question as well as you.

Ellul & Co are on the panel of all building societies and banks in Gibraltar (many of the smaller firms are not).  This means that no matter who you obtain your mortgage with we will be able to represent you and handle the mortgage transaction as well.  Firms which are not on the panel of a bank or building society can represent you but will have to instruct a different firm to handle the mortgage which means you will be paying much higher legal fees.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax on property purchases payable to the Gibraltar Government.  Depending on the value of the property, different levels of stamp duty need to be paid as set out below.

Stamp duty on the property

  • Properties of £200,000 or less - no stamp duty.
  • For first or second time buyers, properties of £260,000 or less - no stamp duty.
  • Properties of more than £200,000 but less than £350,000 - 2% on the first £260,000 and 5.5% on any amount above this.
  • Properties of more than £350,000 - 3% on the first £350,000 and 3.5% on any amount above this.

See our Conveyancing Calculator to work out your full expenses.

Stamp duty on mortgages

  • For mortgage advances of £200,000 or less - 0.13%.
  • For mortgage advances of more than £200,000 - 0.2%.
  • For repayment of existing mortgages - 0.03% irrespective of the amount.

See our Conveyancing Calculator to work out your full expenses.

Registration costs

There are various costs which need to be paid to the Land Registry in order to register your deeds as set out below.  See our Conveyancing Calculator to work out your full expenses.

  • Land Registry - £125 per deed
  • There are also commissioner’s fees and miscellaneous disbursements which on average range from £20 to £40.
  • If obtaining a mortgage, there is also a £10 charge for notifying the interest of the finance institution on the buildings insurance of the property.

Legal Fees

Our fees are competitive and will vary depending on the value of the property and the complexity of the transaction.  Please contact us for a free quote.

Conveyancing Calculator

Please fill in the value of the property being purchased and the amount of the mortgage advance (if any) to work out your expenses. The stamp duty figures will be accurate but the registration charges will be an estimate. There may also be some other expenses such as the costs of the lawyers of the management company of an estate and of the original developer signing deeds. These can range from around £100 to £200.

Once we have given you a quote for our fees you will know what the total cost of your proposed property purchase will be.

Purchase Details


Stamp Duty on Assignment / Conveyance

 

Stamp Duty on Mortgage:

 

Stamp Duty on Release / Surrender of Mortgage:

 


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