The difference between Titled & Concession Properties:
Depending on the type of property that you purchase you will hear terms mentioned such as Titled land and Concession Properties.
In Costa Rica, Foreigners can own titled property in their own name and share the same rights of ownership as a Costa Rican citizen. There are two components to gaining title (fee simple /titled property, both are outside the beach zone) to the property you are interested in. First the title or escritura, titles are registered in the National Registry or Registro Nacional and they show ownership of the property and any liens that may be attached. Second, the registered survey map or plano catastrado, commonly called the plano serves the purpose of recording the measurements, size, and location. Also additional information could be included that would advise you if your property falls inside restricted areas like IDA land (co-op owned lands with the government) or inside protected areas like national parks and reserves.
In some cases the Plano or escritura may differ with each other since the ownership of land is recorded in a separate department of the national registry. In some situations the map may reflect the original owners name and it may look like there are different owners. In this situation it is normally a case of not having the Plano map updated with the latest owner. If this is the case, it is a very easy situation to remedy. If a property is titled for the very first time (original inscription) there is an initial three year period where a third party can make a claim. However, any new claim must carry strong proof before title can be challenged. Even after the initial three year time period claims can still be made, but they have to have extra ordinary circumstance to mount such a challenge. It's always best to consult with an attorney about any situations like this.
Concession Properties and the Permis de Uso of Beach Properties:
Beach properties are under the control of the Maritime Zone Law or Ley Zone Marima, which is commonly called the “Concession Law”, which was established in 1977. The Maritime Law is defined by two parts, (1) the first 50 meters is public domain or public zone and it cannot be developed or claimed by private citizens. It's intended for use by everyone. (2)The next 150 meters or “restricted zone” of beach lands were only granted Permiso de Uso, which is essentially a lease that runs indefinitely as long as your “occupation tax” or cannon is maintained. When you applied for your Permiso de Uso the buyers also submit for a Solicitude De Concession. The reason to submit for Concession was to establish your property a place in line for the possibility of gaining title from the municipality in your area if this is an issue under consideration. The main difference between Concession and Titled ownership is how titles are taken. Costa Ricans or Foreigners having 5 years of residency can registry their beach property in their own name. All other foreigners must register their beach properties through a
Costa Rican Corporation formed by an attorney, which normally can take anywhere from 7 to 30 working days. When you are establishing your corporation a board of directors will need to be formed, but the corporation must have at least 50 percent of the shares held by a Costa Rican resident. At the time of this writing, titled property have been granted in Jaco since the properties in this area were deemed “tourist development”. Currently a number of High Rise Towers, Condominiums, and Town Houses are being offered as titled properties. A number of other areas of the Pacific and Caribbean Coast are going through this process to evaluate and establish titled beach areas, but at this moment there are no titled beach front properties in the area from Limon to Montezuma. Currently everything is Permiso de Uso which means if you maintain your property and pay your taxes, you enjoy the same rights as titled property owners, with the right of survivorship and transfer-ship of ownership.
Closing the sales:
Listed below are the main items that need to be paid, performed and recorded.
1.A copy of the tax receipt (Impuesto territorial) proving that all taxes and registration fees are paid at the time of purchase.
2.A certificate (constancia municipal) issued by the municipal authority of the municipality where the property is located.
3.Sufficient funds to pay all necessary taxes and registration fees, including notary fees. Usually one half (1/2) paid by the seller and one half (1/2) is paid by the
4.Evidence that all prior encumbrances (liens, judgments, mortgages) have been removed.
5.At closing a notary must be present. In Costa Rica, notaries are attorney accepted by their Supreme Court.