When conducting due diligence on a Punta Cana property, it is important for the buyer or their attorney to obtain certain documentation from the seller.
This includes a copy of the property’s Certificate of Title, official survey, identification of the seller and their spouse (if applicable), and proof of current property taxes or tax exemption. Additionally, if the seller is a corporation, corporate documentation, up-to-date registration with the Mercantile Registry, and proof of current tax obligations should be obtained.
In the case of a property that is part of a condominium, the buyer should also obtain a copy of the condominium declaration, regulations, approved construction plans, certification of current condo dues, and minutes from the last three meetings. For properties that are houses, approved construction plans (if pre-construction) and an inventory of furniture should also be provided. Copies of utility contracts and receipts to confirm that the seller is current on payments should also be obtained.
Once the necessary documentation has been obtained, the attorney should review the following items:
- Title Search: Verify the status of the property through certification from the Title Registry Office, confirming the ownership and any mortgages, liens, or encumbrances.
- Survey: Confirm that the property being sold matches the survey provided by the seller, unless it is located in a previously inspected subdivision.
- Inspection of Improvements: Have a qualified builder or architect examine any improvements to the property to ensure they are in good condition and comply with the plans presented.
- Permits: Ensure that the property can be used for the intended purposes and that all necessary permits have been obtained. Certain legal restrictions such as building in a maritime zone or tourist areas should be considered.
- Possession: Confirm that the seller has legal possession of the property and that there are no squatters’ rights or other issues.
- Employees: Ensure that any employees working on the property have been paid their legal severance, as the buyer may be held liable otherwise.
- Utilities: Confirm that the seller is current on utility payments and that there are no outstanding bills or issues.
Overall the Due diligence process is a meticulous task that requires to consider a lot of factors and ensures that the buyer is making a well-informed decision and that the transaction is on legal grounds.