What documents do you need to have in place in order to be able to sell your property in Trinidad and Tobago?
Of course it speaks for itself that you need to have a proper Deed (whether Freehold or Leasehold) free of all encumbrances such as outstanding taxes, water rates, debts, etc.
A Mortgage is not considered as a encumbrances, as long as you inform the Mortgage Company of your plans and do not sell the property below the outstanding Mortgage. When you get a buyer for your property, you have to notify your Mortgage Company and submit a copy of the Agreement of Sales signed by the buyer and yourself at the time the deposit was made. Make sure this is done by an Attorney-at-Law or a qualified Real Estate Agency. If there is more than one owner to your property, make sure everyone agrees to sell (have signed statements if necessary) and that everyone is still alive. In case there are more owners to the property, and one or more owners are not alive anymore, make sure that letters of Administration and Probate have been filed and granted. Also according the type of Deed (R.P.O. [Real Property Ordinance] or Common Law) an ascent has to be done and a Death Certificate has to be provided and submitted to the purchaser's Attorney.
The original receipt of the last paid Land (and building) Taxes. Needles to say that this always has to be up to date. Land and building taxes are owed from the First of January of every New Year.
Cadastral Sheet - or in more known terms "The Surveyor plan" - which outlines the boundaries, size and measurements of the land. You will need this in order to apply for the WASA Clearance Certificate (read more in 5), and you have to be able to show a prospect what and where they are buying. It is a MUST however if you are selling a parcel of land in a New Development which falls under the R.P.O.
In this case you have to submit 2 original Cadastrals of the parcel to be sold and a copy of the Approved Development.
Also in order to be able to apply for the WASA Clearance Certificate you first of all need to get a Certificate of Assessment which has to be obtained at the relevant Board of Inland Revenue (Wardens Office) or Town Hall, and depending on the district it might be free or cost TT$10. or TT$20. to get this Certificate.
WASA Clearance Certificate. As soon as an Agreement of Sale is signed and a deposit is made, you know for sure you have a buyer for your property and it is recommended to immediately apply for the WASA Clearance Certificate. This has to be done whether it is house and land, or land alone. You also have to apply even if you have no WASA connection or you never paid any Water Rates. Even if there are no WASA lines at all, you still have to apply. A property Transfer can not be done until the Seller has the WASA Clearance Certificate on the relevant property. As mentioned above, it is advised to apply immediately after you received the required deposit and the Agreement of Sale is signed.
Only then you know for sure you have a serious buyer for your property. The reason for applying after the signing is because the cost for the WASA Clearance Certificate application has to be paid for by the Seller and a Clearance Certificate is only valid for 3 months, so if you apply in advance you might waste your money. The cost for applications on Domestic properties is TT$460.00. and for Commercial and Agricultural properties TT$862.50. When your application is in and you paid the required fees you can expect to pick the Clearance Certificate up within 3 weeks. I advise however to regularly keep checking WASA by phone until they tell you it's ready.