Purchase a Property in Montenegro

Purchase a Property in Montenegro

Updated on Monday 30th October 2023

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Purchase Property in Montenegro

Foreign individuals and legal entities can purchase a property in Montenegro. Houses and apartments are easy to acquire by foreigners, but they have to register a company in Montenegro if they want to purchase land in this country. The Law on Proprietary and Ownership Rights in Montenegro is the legal framework to regulate the conditions for purchasing a property in Montenegro by foreigners. If you want professional experience in property conveyance, our lawyers in Montenegro are willing to assist you.
Our law firm can help foreign citizens and investors interested in acquiring real estate in Montenegro for residential or commercial purposes.
Our immigration lawyers in Montenegro can answer questions about the laws for foreigners who buy property.
 Quick Facts  
Specific legislation applicable (Yes/No)  Yes, the Law on Real Estate Transactions 

 Possibilities to acquire Montenegrin properties by foreigners (Yes/No)

Yes, possible 

 Types of properties that can be purchased in Montenegro

 Apartments, houses, lands, commercial property, etc

 Real estate due diligence required (Yes/No) Yes, basic due diligence is required for: Title search; Property inspection; Zoning and land use; Environmental assessment; Legal compliance; Tax and financial review 
 Documents to draft for property acquisition

 Sale and purchase agreement; Power of attorney; Certificate of ownership; Title deeds; Tax and fee certificates; Power of attorney for utilities, etc

 Financing options availability (Yes/No)

 Yes, personal loans, mortgages, and business loans

 Special property acquisition programs for foreign citizens (YES/NO)

 Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program; Residence Permit Program; Tourism Development Program; Agricultural Land Acquisition Program; Montenegro Real Estate Investment Program

 Time frame to acquire a property in Montenegro (approx.)

 Varies depending on the type of property

 Taxes to consider upon a property purchase

 Value-added tax (21%), transfer tax (3%)

Land Registry registration requirement (Yes/No)   Yes, it is required
 Big cities to buy properties in Montenegro

 Podgorica, Budva, Kotor, Herceg Novi, etc

Residency requirements for foreign citizens buying real estate 

 Not required

 Possibility to appoint a Montenegrin representative during the transaction (Yes/No)

Yes, it is possible 

 Property tax rates in Montenegro

 3% of the real estate value as a transfer tax; 0.1 to 5.5% as an annual ownership tax; 15% of income for renting out; and 15% of capital gains tax for selling

 Support in buying a property in Montenegro (Yes/No) Yes, offered by our company formation agents in Montenegro 

How to purchase a property in Montenegro?

Several steps have to be fulfilled for buying a property in Montenegro:
  • find a property that fits your budget;
  • make an offer for it;
  • hire a solicitor and a surveyor;
  • confirm the offer/mortgage;
  • sign the buying/selling contract;
  • complete the transaction.
Our law firm in Montenegro can provide real estate due diligence services to anyone interested in buying a property in this country. Having the property investigated and assessing eventual risks attached to it is highly recommended before purchasing a property in a foreign country. Once you choose a property of your liking, a buying contract is drawn and signed by both buyer and seller. Our lawyers in Montenegro can write a legally bounding contract that suits the buyer`s needs and prevents litigious situations. Their signatures have to be authenticated by a court in Montenegro.
The Local Council Offices have to confirm the ownership and establish the value of the property. A transfer tax of 3% of the property value has to be paid by the buyer. After this tax is paid, the contract has to be registered with the Area Property Registry. The payment of the buying price is the final step in owning property in Montenegro. If you need legal help with the property acquisition process, our attorneys in Montenegro are ready to represent you.

Finding real estate for purchase in Montenegro

The first step to be completed when deciding to buy a property in Montenegro is to search and inform on the properties for sale in the desired region. Many properties are listed on specialized websites by the owners or are promoted by real estate agencies.
It is not hard to find a property for sale for residential purposes, however, in the case of commercial buildings, the buyer must pay attention to several factors.
Once the interested party has found the right property, it is best to ask for assistance from a law firm in order to have it checked with the Land Register. Our lawyers in Montenegro can perform such inquiries with the Land Register.
Immigration to Montenegro is also possible by acquiring a property. Although the visa application procedure is rather challenging, it is possible to do it online with the support of our attorneys. The maximum time the visa procedure takes is 10 days. Your passport and a copy of your travel schedule are the primary documents needed. You must have your visa with you at all times once you immigrate to Montenegro. 

The offer when buying real estate in Montenegro

After finding the property and agree with the seller on the purchase, the buyer will need to make an offer. It is important to note that in some cases the price can be negotiated, however, it is advisable to discuss with a lawyer first. Foreign citizens relocating to Montenegro and interested in buying properties for residential purposes can usually negotiate up to a certain degree the price of the chosen property.
Once the final price has been agreed, the buyer can make an offer which is best to be in writing. An advance payment should also be considered when buying a Montenegro property for residential purposes. Usually, 10% of the purchase price must be paid in advance for the property to be taken off the market and for both the seller and buyer to be sure the transaction will take place. It should also be noted that an agreement in this sense is usually signed by both parties.
In the case of commercial real estate purposes, the procedure is more complex. However, it depends if the property to be bought is sold by the developer or by Montenegrin company.
No matter the type of property purchase you are about to enter, it is recommended to have the documents related to that property verified by a law firm in Montenegro.
With a vast experience in real estate matters, our lawyers can also verify various types of agreements, including sale-purchase contracts. Besides this, your desire to relocate to the Balkan nation will need you to take an important first step, which is to get a Montenegro residence permit. Gaining residency is undoubtedly possible since Montenegro has a solid understanding that immigration will be the driving force behind future economic development. Although obtaining residence in this country is relatively tough, there are a few essential processes that must be strictly followed. Get in touch with our lawyers to learn more.

Buying real estate through mortgage in Montenegro

One of the preferred options for those interested in acquiring a property in this country is by accessing a loan with a Montenegrin bank. In this case, a mortgage agreement must be signed, and the money will be automatically transferred to the former owner’s account upon the completion of the transaction.
It is important to note that the bank can ask for various documents which prove the solvency of the buyer, however, obtaining such a loan in Montenegro is not complicated.
Another aspect to consider in order to speed up the transaction is to open a bank account with a Montenegro bank. This way the duration of the money transfer will take less. Foreign citizens or investors can also have the money transferred from the bank account in their home countries.
Our immigration lawyers in Montenegro can assist with the opening of bank accounts in this country. We can also assist those who want to apply for citizenship in Montenegro. Montenegro provides a secure way of life supported by infrastructure in the European tradition. The fact that Montenegro is on course to join the EU is a factor for many foreigners to acquire citizenship here. Montenegro has one of the lowest personal income tax rates in the world, ranging between 9 and 11%. A temporary resident who stays in Montenegro for 183 days in a given tax year is eligible for tax residency. However, gaining Montenegrin citizenship will increase your tax status clarity and resolve tricky instances of double taxation. 

The sale-purchase agreement when buying a Montenegrin property

Once the initial phases of the property purchase process are completed, the parties must have the final sale-purchase agreement drafted and signed. The contract must contain the following information:
  1.           the name of the buyer – the personal information in the case of natural persons or information related to the company;
  2.           the name of the seller – personal information about the seller must be comprised in the contract;
  3.           the total amount the property was sold for (if any advanced payment was made, this must appear in the contract);
  4.           specific terms under which the contract was signed must also be mentioned in the agreement;
  5.           the date and the signature of both seller and buyer must be found on the contract in order for it to be valid.
The sale-purchase agreement must be drafted and signed before a Montenegro public notary who will also notarize the document. Fortunately, there are no language examinations or prerequisites for citizenship by investment program. Additionally, the fact that this offer ensures freedom of movement within the whole Schengen region and throughout the EU's member states makes it particularly attractive to non-European people. Overall, it is a compelling proposition for affluent non-Europeans who wish to securely wager on Montenegro's EU membership in 2025, which would strengthen the Montenegrin passport.

Costs and taxes involved when purchasing a property in Montenegro

The total costs of selling and purchasing a property in Montenegro range between 6% and 9% of the property value. The 3% transfer tax is paid by the buyer and the real estate agent`s commission is shouldered on the seller. The Value Added Tax (VAT) tax of 19% has to be paid for the transfer of newly built properties. Notarization is compulsory for buying-selling contracts; the notary fees reach 0.01% of the property value.

FAQ on buying a property in Montenegro

1. Is it hard to buy a property in Montenegro if I am a foreigner?
No, it is not. Foreign citizens can easily purchase real estate for residential purposes in Montenegro.
2. How long does it take to complete the property purchase procedure in Montenegro?
Depending on the agreement with the seller, the procedure can take from a few weeks to a few months.
3. What do I need to do after I have bought the property?
Once the procedure is concluded, you will need to register the property title on your name with the Land Register.
4. Are there any additional fees that I need to pay when buying a property in Montenegro?
Once you have bought a property you will need to consider the real estate fee (if any) and the lawyer’s fee.
5. Do I need to be in Montenegro when signing the sale-purchase agreement?
You don’t need to be present, but you will need to appoint a proxy and grant them a power of attorney to represent you.
The common practice in Montenegro requires a hired lawyer to prepare the transaction papers. If you want honest and affordable legal services, please contact our law firm in Montenegro. You can also contact us if you are interested in immigration to Montenegro.