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Frequently asked questions

Who can purchase a property in Uruguay?

There are no restrictions against the foreign ownership of property in Uruguay. Foreign citizens are subject to the same laws as the local citizens. Individuals and Corporations (Public Limited Company, Limited Liability Company, etc.) are allowed to buy properties in Uruguay.

What kind of property can a foreign citizen purchase?

Houses, apartments, lots, lands, farms, commercial premises, etc.

Which are the typical/common contracts/titles requested to purchase a property in Uruguay?

There are many legal steps to follow in order to purchase a property in Uruguay. Most common contracts are: Purchase Contract, Exchange Agreement (Barter Contract), Donation, Inheritance Agreement, etc.

How is a property credited in Uruguay?

As a general rule, under Uruguayan law, the property is credited by a property title deed that needs to be certified by a Public Notary. On the other hand, in cases such as an inheritance, the property is credited through court rulings. And, in all cases, includes information related to the ownership of the title and the description and complete demarcation of the property. Last, but not least, the new title of the property has to be registered with the Public Property Registry.

What is a Public Notary? What does a Public Notary do?

A Public Notary is a professional who works in Civil Law but is also a legal official who is registered with the Supreme Court of Justice. As public officials, Notaries are licensed by the State to notarize legal documents, among other tasks. A Notary career is similar to a Bachelor of Laws degree plus two additional years of university study. Notaries perform activities such as draft contracts and certify the validity of signatures on documents to purchase a property or other legal procedures (e.g. advice about terms, rights, obligations, etc.). They draft and interpret other legal documents, as well as authenticate and certify the authenticity of documents. The Notary is the one who prepares the purchase contract and has the responsibility to record the purchase at the Public Property Registry. The Notary is appointed by the buyer.

What is a Public Registry?

The role of the Public Registry is to register business and legal acts which by nature are defined as transcendent by law. This means two fundamental aspects: the registration of mentioned acts and the supply of information about them to anyone who requests it. (Examples of such acts are: ownership, mortgages, leases, liens, pledges, etc.). Under the Uruguayan Law “Money Laundering”, the Real Estate Agency and the Notary must effect checks on the buyer and the origin of the funds.

Which are the most common modalities of payment to purchase a property?

  • Bill of echange
  • Checks
  • Electronic funds transfer. Subject to verification (as mentioned above).