Buying Property in Barbados

Whether you’re looking to relocate, invest, or are looking for your perfect holiday home, our specialist Barbados property lawyers can provide bespoke advice and handle and arrange all aspects of your transaction on your behalf.

Buying property in Barbados is not too dissimilar to buying property in the UK because Barbados’ legal system is broadly based on the English legal system. However, there are some key differences, making it absolutely essential you consult a lawyer with specific expertise in purchasing property overseas.

We are proud to be a leading law firm in international property law matters with experience dealing with Bajan property and real estate professionals, including development and off-plan purchases.

We can provide clear, understandable advice on applicable taxation including Land Tax and succession planning advice on leaving Barbados property in your Will. Our property lawyers are also familiar with the legal intricacies unique to Barbados property transactions, such as registering funds borrowed by non-nationals with the Central Bank of Barbados.

If you need help buying property in Barbados, get in touch with our expert Barbados property lawyers by calling (insert phone number) or emailing us on

Buying property in Barbados FAQs

Is the Legal System the same in Barbados as in the United Kingdom?

Yes and No.

Barbados in an independent Commonwealth nation whose legal system is based historically on the English system of common law. Post independence, the laws have been crafted to suit the social, economic and political objectives of a post independent nation.

In particular, the system of transfer of title is substantially similar to that of the UK system of unregistered conveyancing. It is to be noted that registered conveyancing also exists in some areas. We will provide tailored advice on the conveyancing process for your particular purchase.

Do I need to engage an Attorney-at-Law in order to purchase property in Barbados?

No you don’t but you would be foolish to purchase a property without using one.

An individual should retain an Attorney-at-Law in order to sell or purchase any real property in Barbados. The Attorney-at-law must be duly licensed to practise Barbados law.

Our team includes a highly skilled Barbados attorney, Nigel Bennett, who has considerable experience dealing with the sale and purchase of property in Barbados as well as providing advice on financing and property development for both individuals and organisations.

What is the process of buying property in Barbados?

As previously mentioned, the process of buying property in Barbados is relatively similar to buying property in the UK. A typical transaction proceeds as follows:

  • Offer – the Purchaser makes a verbal offer to purchase which is followed up in writing
  • Appointment – an attorney who is licensed to practise law in Barbados is instructed to prepare the purchase and sale contract
  • Exchange – the Purchaser and Vendor exchange sale contracts and the Purchaser pays the deposit (usually about 10%) to the Vendor’s attorney within 2-4 weeks.
  • Completion – all formalities are completed and the purchase price is paid to the Vendor

Are legal fees and expenses of purchasing property in Barbados more than in the United Kingdom?

It depends on the transaction value.

Legal fees and taxes are calculated based on a scale of fees set by statute. The rates vary and typically are smaller as transaction sums increase. Generally, these fees will fall between 1 and 2% of the purchase price, however, these can be complicated to work out and we can provide further advice.

Title Deeds

Most conveyancing transactions are based on the unregistered system of conveyancing. Consequently, when ownership changes from one party to another, the original title deeds must be transferred from Vendor to Purchaser.

In some areas, the registered system of conveyancing applies. In that scenario, the state guarantees the quality of title and no title deeds are transferred. Your attorney-at-law will determine which system applies and act accordingly.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a Vendor's expense only. It is calculated at a rate of 2.5% of the transaction sum or the Land Tax Value, whichever is greater. For real property, there is an initial rebate of U$ 75K.

Costs and Timings

Conveyancing transactions are typically contracted for a ninety (90) day period. This timeframe can be shortened or lengthened at the discretion of Purchaser counsel. The Purchaser counsel must be satisfied that his professional responsibilities are fully discharged to the client before a closing date is proposed.


Some Barbados financial institutions offer mortgage facilities to non-resident purchasers. The equity and injection rates tend to be higher due to a perceived higher risk profile.

Alternatively, many non-resident purchasers secure equity from their primary homes in order to finance their foreign property purchase.

You should always seek independent financial advice before committing to any form of finance.

Who can own property?

Real property can be owned by individuals over the age of majority, a company or a trust. Property cannot be owned by minors except through their legal guardian who must be at least 18 years old.

You can also purchase property in Barbados through an offshore company structure which can be financially beneficial for high-value properties (over U$1 million).

Recurrent expenses

Apart from standard utility bills (electricity, water, natural gas), homeowners must pay an annual land tax. This is based on the value of the property and is calculated on a regressive scale. There is no council tax nor local government tax.


For ease of computation, the U$ currency is used. However, all transaction values are documented in BD$. The BD$ is pegged to the U$ at a rate of approximately BD$2 = U$1.00, however, this is likely to vary when buying or selling property.

Why use Judicare for buying property in Barbados?        

Judicare is a leading firm of international property lawyers with the interests of our clients kept close at heart. We understand how complex and confusing buying property overseas can be. Our CEO, Neil Heaney, originally founded Judicare after his own frustrating experience buying property overseas with the aim of making future purchasers’ experiences as straightforward as possible.

Below are just a few more reasons to instruct our skilled Barbados property lawyers:

  • Barbados qualified Attorney-at-Law – within our team we have Nigel Bennet who is has multi-jurisdictional experience in buying and selling property, particularly in Barbados and other Caribbean islands
  • UK regulated – although we’re able to handle your property transaction in Barbados, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the UK.
  • Members of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) – AIPP is an organisation dedicated to developing principles of good practice in the largely unregulated international property market to protect property Purchasers and Vendors
  • Independent – we are not allowed to also act for the Vendor of the property you are purchasing, meaning our advice is completely independent and trust-worthy

Contact our Barbados property lawyers today

If you need help buying property in Barbados, get in touch with our expert Barbados property lawyers by calling (insert phone number) or emailing us on

Notice:  Please be advised that this information is valid as at June 30 2020. It is provided for general guidance only. It does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought based on your specific circumstances.