The Insider's Guide to Buying Property in Trinidad & Tobago

Comprising faster-paced Trinidad and the more laid back, tranquil Tobago, this dual island nation has a diverse real estate market spanning city pads, country estates and coastal escapes.

If you are currently considering investing in real estate in Trinidad & Tobago but you are wondering “where are the best places to buy property in Trinidad & Tobago?” or “how do I go about owning property in Trinidad & Tobago as a foreign buyer” then this guide is for you.

Our guide takes you through the process of buying property in Trinidad & Tobago from beginning to end, including an introduction to the real estate market, the buying process, and the taxes you will need to be aware of.

Boats off the coast of Tobago Beautiful beach in Tobago

Overview - The Trinidad & Tobago Real Estate Market

Situated less than 7 miles off the northern coast of South America, the twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean. While the much larger Trinidad is famous for its spectacular carnival and as the birthplace of the steel pan, the smaller Tobago is better known as a sanctuary for over 6,000 species of wildlife, from spectacular coral to rare birds.

The twin-island nation is a melting pot of cultures. Over the years, large communities of Europeans, Africans, Chinese and Indians have settled in Trinidad & Tobago, each making their mark on the country’s food, culture, and music. The most well known and celebrated annual event is the Trinidad Carnival, which is the Caribbean’s biggest party, attracting 40,000 overseas visitors – one-tenth of the total number of annual visitors in 2014.

With the tourism industry providing property owners with a rental market to tap into, buying property in Trinidad and Tobago can be a wise investment. Property for sale in Trinidad & Tobago ranges from luxurious apartments in the cosmopolitan capital Port of Spain to inviting villas in Tobago where you can enjoy relaxing by the pool, a stroll on the beach or a round of golf on either the Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course or the Tobago Plantations Golf Course.

“Property for sale in Trinidad & Tobago ranges from luxurious apartments in the cosmopolitan capital Port of Spain to inviting villas in Tobago where you can enjoy relaxing by the pool, a stroll on the beach or a round of golf”

Why Invest?

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Stable democracy with one of the largest economies in the Caribbean.

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Ideal location outside the hurricane belt offering proximity to North America, South America and the Caribbean.

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Strong rental market driven by increased airlift from key gateway cities and growing tourism arrivals.

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Relatively straightforward purchasing process for residential property buyers and incentives in place for commercial investors.

5 / 7

An unspoiled landscape with beautiful beaches, pristine rainforests, waterfalls and vibrant reefs.

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An ideal destination for all kinds of activities such as diving and snorkeling, watersports, bird and turtle watching and golf.

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A unique cultural meting pot famed for its heritage including one of the world’s most well known carnivals.

Buying Process, Fees & Taxes

Can foreigners buy property in Trinidad & Tobago?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Trinidad & Tobago and the Government of Trinidad & Tobago welcomes investment from overseas buyers. Non-citizens require an Alien Landholding License to purchase more than 1 acre of land for residential purposes or more than 5 acres of land for commercial purposes in Tobago. Licenses are typically granted almost automatically for property in Designated Development Areas but are dealt with on a case by case basis in other areas. Foreign nationals investing in over 5 acres of land for commercial purposes need to apply for a development license through the Tourism Development Company (TDC).

Buying process

Buying property in Trinidad & Tobago is a relatively simple process, which typically involves the following steps:

  1. Begin your property search.
  2. Find your perfect property and make an offer.
  3. Once your offer has been accepted, the buyer will typically be required to pay a 10% deposit which will be held in escrow.
  4. You should seek the advice of an attorney who will draw up a sales agreement. The agreement should only be entered into subject to the Alien Landholding License being granted.
  5. Thorough due diligence should be conducted.
  6. Pay all required taxes and fees.
Fees & taxes

Stamp Duty

Buyers are required to pay stamp duty which varies according to the value of the property as follows…

Residential property:

  • Properties valued up to $850,000: Exempt
  • Properties valued at $850,001 to $1,250,000: 3% on the difference
  • Properties valued at $1,250,001 to $1,750,000: 5% on the difference
  • Properties valued over $1,750,000: 7.5% on the difference

Land:

  • Properties valued up to $450,000: Exempt
  • Properties valued at $450,001 to $650,000: 2% on the difference
  • Properties valued at $650,001 to $850,000: 5% on the difference
  • Properties valued over $850,000: 7% on the difference

Legal Fees

We would recommend you seek the advice of an independent lawyer to represent you throughout the buying process.

Legal fees typically amount to 1.5% of the purchase price.

Real Estate Tax

There is also an annual 3% real estate tax on residential property.

Residency & Citizenship

How long can a foreign citizen stay in Trinidad & Tobago?

Citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, and many countries in the Caribbean are permitted to remain in Trinidad & Tobago on holiday without a visa for up to 90 days.

How do you become a resident of Trinidad & Tobago?

Individuals looking to stay longer than 90 days in Trinidad & Tobago can apply for an extension.

The spouse, parent, grandparent of a resident or citizen, a former resident or citizen or an individual working in Trinidad & Tobago under a Work Permit for 5 or more continuous years can apply to the Ministry of National Security (MNS) for Resident Status in Trinidad & Tobago.

How do you become a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago?

Individuals who have lawfully resided in Trinidad & Tobago with Resident Status for 5 years (in the case of Commonwealth citizens) or 8 years (in the case of non-Commonwealth citizens) can apply for citizenship by naturalization.

Mortgages in Trinidad & Tobago

Looking for financing to fund the purchase of property in the Caribbean?

Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible for foreign nationals looking to invest in Trinidad real estate or Tobago real estate to apply for a mortgage.

Our partner – a very well respected international financial organization – offers mortgages for qualifying non-residents buying, building or improving a second home in Trinidad & Tobago.

For more information, see our page on: Caribbean mortgages.

How to get a mortgage in the Caribbean

How to Get There

There are direct flights to Trinidad & Tobago from the USA, Canada, Europe and various other Caribbean islands.

International flights arrive at Piarco International Airport in Port of Spain, Trinidad, as well as at A.N.R. Robinson Airport on Tobago.

From North America, fly with American Airlines from Miami, with United from Houston or Newark or with Caribbean Airlines from Toronto.

From Europe, British Airways operates direct flights from London to both Trinidad and Tobago. Condor operates direct flights from Frankfurt to Tobago.

  • Barbados to Tobago 50m
  • Miami to Port of Spain 3h 55m
  • New York to Tobago 5h 00m
  • New York to Port of Spain 5h 10m
  • Houston to Port of Spain 5h 50m
  • London to Tobago 10h 45m

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Local weather

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Wed 23° | 29°

Local time

1:10PM Thursday 08th Dec 2022 (AST)
Thu 23° | 28°
Fri 23° | 28°
Sat 22° | 29°
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Mon 23° | 28°
Tue 24° | 28°
Wed 23° | 29°

Fast facts

  • Population 1
  • Capital Port of Spain
  • Language English
  • Currency Trinidad & Tobago Dollar
  • Time zone GMT-4 | ET