Guide to buying a property in the Principality of Monaco
Buying a property in the Principality of Monaco by foreigners
All foreigners can buy a property in the Principality of Monaco, even if they do not reside there.
They only need a bank account and a valid identity card, no further restrictions.
The profession of real estate agent in the Principality of Monaco
In the Principality of Monaco the profession of real estate agent is regulated by law.
Real estate agencies wishing to operate in this sector must obtain a licence from the Monegasque government.
In order to open a new agency, one must have Monegasque nationality.
A foreign estate agent cannot open a new agency, but he can take over the activities of an existing one.
There is a register for real estate agents in the Principality of Monaco, but in order to exercise the profession there is no obligation to be registered in it.
The preliminary purchase agreement includes all the information necessary to draw up the notarial deed, such as the details of the parties, the cadastral data of the property, the selling price, the conditions of sale, the transfer, the taking possession of the property and the indication of the Monegasque notary chosen to draw up the deed of sale.
The offer is accompanied by a deposit of 10% of the price of the property.
The offer is legally valid and, once it has been accepted and with the payment of the deposit made, it constitutes an obligation valid for both parties.
Should the buyer withdraw from the sale, the deposit will remain with the seller.
If the seller no longer wishes to sell, the deposit paid will be returned to the buyer and the seller will be obliged by the notary to pay the same amount to the buyer as a penalty.
In some cases, the preliminary contract can also be concluded directly by the notary, who adopts all the conditions of the offer as detailed as possible.
Usually a notary is consulted immediately if the conditions of sale are special.
The purchase contract or deed of sale is a deed signed by a notary public.
Before the final signature, the notary verifies the seller’s title to the property, the regularity of the property in relation to the applicable laws, all mortgages encumbering the property, the outstanding payments to the property management or to the tax authorities.
Any debts will be settled by the Notary by deducting them from the amount of the payment due to the Seller.
The notary also checks the rights and obligations arising from existing leases, the insurance policy, the rules of the community of owners, the minutes of the last owners’ meetings, the amounts of the approved works and any ongoing legal proceedings.
The balance of the price will be transferred to the notary’s account, who will credit it to the vendor once all the checks have been carried out and any corrections made.
The notary updates the land register, which allows anyone to identify the owner of the property.
Costs of the real estate purchase/sale
There are basically two types of costs when buying and selling real estate: the brokerage commission and the notary fees.
The costs associated with the brokerage commission are borne by both the seller and the buyer.
For both the buyer and the seller parties, the cost of the commission is 3% of the final cost of the property plus VAT, i.e. 3,6%.
The cost of the notary is 6% and covers both the notary’s fees and the registration costs.
For a new property purchased directly from the developer, the notary and registration costs are 2,5%.
There are no real estate taxes in the Principality of Monaco.
The only expenses that will be incurred during the year are the condominium expenses.
The Monegasque state has a right of first refusal for flats in buildings built before 1 September 1947.
After the official offer of the buyer, where the deposit has been paid, the notary sends a communication to the state, which in turn has one month to reply and indicate whether or not it will exercise its right.
If he decides to make use of this right, the state steps in under the same conditions as agreed during the negotiations and must pay the buyer’s commission + VAT to the agency.
Nothing changes for the seller.
Flats in buildings constructed before 1 September 1947 may be subject to two different laws:
This law represents a very strict restriction which considerably reduces the freedom of the owner. Flats that fall under this law can only be rented in certain cases:
- by Monegasque citizens;
- by persons who have resided in the Principality of Monaco for at least 40 years without interruption;
- by persons who are descended from Monegasque parents, widows/widowers of Monegasque citizens, former spouses of Monegasque citizens…
The rents are calculated by the state and the duration of the imposed contract is 6 years.
In spite of these restrictions, it is possible to buy a flat covered by this law for your own use, even if you are not Monegasque or resident in the Principality.
Flats covered by this law can only be rented in special cases:
- by Monegasque citizens;
- by persons who have resided in the Principality of Monaco for at least 5 years, or
by persons who have worked in the Principality of Monaco for at least 5 years;
- by relatives of the owner of the property.
This law is less binding than the previous one, so the rents are not set by the state but are determined by the owner, but even in this case the contract period is 6 years.
You can buy a dwelling subject to this law in order to live there, even if you are not Monegasque, not resident or working in the Principality.