Buying property in Sri Lanka

Hi, as to foreigners cant buy freehold land in Sri lanka. What happend if foreighner own freehold land all ready? can he sell his freehold? or if wanting to sell will he became freehold holder and have to sell lease?  Very curious to know this.

At the moment there is no decision whether foreigner could sell his Sri Lankan land to other foreigners or he must sell it to a SriLanka passport holder.

Hi 007,
Please let me have the contact details for the lawyer as soon as posable as I am going to Sri Lanka this week. My email address is RoyDixon[at]   Thanks  Roy

I was offered some land at 1.75 lak per perch before the change in the law prohibiting foreigners from buying land outright. I guess i can now take a 99year lease on it . My question is should i be paying less than 1.75 lak as i cannot buy it outright ?

I doubt it! However you will have less Land Tax to pay.

I am a Sri Lankan and have been married to an Englishman for the last 13 years. we want to buy a property in Sri lanka and settle down there. The property will be in my name. I wish to know if the property will automatically go to my husband in case he outlives me.

[Moderated: Please post in Housing section]

shukriya :

I am a Sri Lankan and have been married to an Englishman for the last 13 years. we want to buy a property in Sri lanka and settle down there. The property will be in my name. I wish to know if the property will automatically go to my husband in case he outlives me.


I have found this on the net, rules of restriction may be adjusted tax and possibility to bring back money more easily
(Source: Sunday Times)

Sri Lanka to set tax of around 10-pct for foreigners leasing land
Sri Lanka's new restrictions on foreign ownership of property will have provisions that will allow non-nationals investing in the country to lease land with a tax of 5 to 15 percent, senior government officials said.
Investment promotion minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said it was the policy of the administration to stop the sale of land outright to foreigners but foreign investors will be allowed to lease land for up to 99 years, after paying a tax.
"We will allow foreigners to lease land and we have requested that the tax be kept below 10 percent," minister Abeywardena said.

Sri Lanka on Wednesday announced the easing of foreign exchange controls to allow foreigners to repatriate capital as well as profits from real estate transactions, AFP reported.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it was making it easier for both foreigners and locals to take money in and out of the country as part of measures to spur greater economic activity. - See more at: … Mi5JS.dpuf

There is no need of partnership with anyone to lease a land. The procedure is same, you have to meet a lawyer who will arrange a contract of leasing for 99 years. You will be able to lease again to someone else during this period and the owner can't take it back. Best is to check ads for sale for example in and if previous deed is in free hold then you can have a 99 years leasing. Wish it helps

great information from your personal experience....I have lived in Sri Lanka decades ago in my twenties, then decades in my precious Hawaii, and now live In southern Andes Ecuador.  I remember Sri Lanka with 100% great memories: the food, the environment, the people, the Buddhist culture and awareness of compassion and loving kindness.   I am considering a visit again to check it out, and you seem to have the experience of being from a successfull career, retiring early, into a quality lifestyle.   Of course I have relevent questions, and they are outside the norm....(1) What is the situation with GMO and Monsanto in Sri Lanka, have they infiltrated the crops? their weed killers like Round up in prevelent usage?   (2.)Can one get organic superfoods, as well as organic grains , fruits and veges (ultimately of course growing ones own is best)  Since Ecuador has not let in Monsanto (yet ) and has no chem trails that is my 3rd question (3) are ther chem trails in the sky?   (5)  what is the situation with logging and deforestation in Si Lanka these days?  Are there significant forest preservation and eco sensitive movements and constitutional protections for Nature, (4)  How is the water, do they flourodate?  (4) The main water sheds I imagine are in Newara Eliya and hill stations, but are the rivers and public water sources pristine or polluted? (5) I too would like the contact info  of your attorney.   (5) where can I look to get a flavor of the expat community these days, is it like Bali or Maui with tons of yoga, organics, dj parties, consciousness events, sustainable organic expat communities?    Really do not know how to find out short of going there, and Ecuador to Sri Lanka is a seroius journey.  Thank you so much for your great article. If and when you have time to reply my address is Chaska[at] (Chaska Is Qichwa for Starr, my legal name) The warm Equatorial Andes also rock!   In case anyone wants to know.   They just do not have great beaches here, like you have in Sri Lanka.   Do you ever rent your house ?  Short term?  My company i started was           

[Moderated: Please post in the housing section]


I think it's very nice when people take the time and trouble to try and help someone thinking of doing the same as you.  What you wrote was very helpful and yes you despite being careful have to take some risk.

A good lawyer is a must and as you seem to have found one would you have a problem passing on the contact info?  Sometimes when you have had good service it's nice to pass on some business to them by way of a thank you. 

I moved to Thailand from the UK 10 years ago and whilst it was a learning experience it all worked out ok.

I hope and trust all your future plans work well for you in the future.

Kind regards,

II am seeking to buy a house in the outer suburbs of Colombo and to settle down in my country of birth,  I am not seeking to buy any  thing extra  by way of investments.  I have only an Australian pension to live on .  The house I am seeking to buy has to have  Govt/  supplied water,  servants  quarters  and lav/bathroom,  2to 3 bedrooms,  and beautiful   established garden-with well appointed kitchen-air conditioning is optional. Please let me know if I have to pay   any  tax  or other extra payments.  Thanks/Byron

Dear Sir
Thanks for your interesse .Of course we have
Government water supply, and electricity supply.
The House is with garden . It has a living room,
Two bedrooms , dining room , toilet , bathroom,
And a kitchen.the kitchen has an extra garden.
But sorry the kitchen is a little old.
And in Front of the House there is a Garden , too.
With Lots of exotic plants like cherry , Orange ,
There is a Little terrace in Front of the House
Just to relax.
The property Price is 20000€
It is placed in a Suburb from Colombo.
I am Looking forward to hear from you
Dilini lasz

if you realy willing to buy  i will arr it  from kandy  pl contact me on nimalshansla[at]

I had a very good time in sri lanka as an expatriate and wish i could stay more in my lovely place.

Unfortunatly, for family reasons, i am selling my beach front villa with infinity swimming pool that is an ideal investment hassle free for a foreign investor. All the documents are clear and easy to transfer, no broker fees so you can save more than 10 per cent, and i can advice you if you need.

You are right....there is currently a restriction on foreign ownership of property. But this does not apply to condominium units above the 4th floor of a subdivided building. (Car parking floors excluded)

I am a lawyer and thought of making this comment for the information of foreigners interested in buying property in Sri Lanka.


Can you give me some information about your villa.  Position , size , price photos ?

Alistair steel

[moderated: please post your ad in the housing section]

Anyone interested about my beach front villa for sale should write me a private message. There are all information in the ad published in the section houses for sale "beach front luxury villa near Galle". No intermediate is allowed to interfere. Thanks


My husband and I absolutely loved reading your post and we share the same views as yourself with the reasons for wanting to make the move across to SL from Australia.

We are hoping to purchase a piece of land in the southern end as soon as is possible, hold onto it for a while before building , we won't be able to move across on a permanent basis until our daughters finish school in 7yrs time anyway.

How did you find your lawyer, he sounded like a godsend?

We would really like to keep in touch with you :)

Many thanks

No foreigners can buy any property in Sri Lanka, but you can have a lease for 30 years!

Does anyone know if there is any more clarity about the property situation in Sri Lanka now? I am a foreigner owning the freehold of a colonial beachside villa near Dikwella, in the south of the island, which I wish to sell. I presume I can now only sell the freehold to a Sri Lankan national but I can sell the leasehold to anyone. Is it clear that the maximum leasehold is 30 years? If I do manage this what do I do with the freehold? (Assuming it does not get compulsorily nationalised at some time!) I presume I could gift it to a Sri Lankan national. I have a good friend in Galle and am minded to do this in favour of his grand daughter who has joint British and Sri lankan nationality. Also, what is the property market really like at present? Nothing much seemed to be moving earlier in the year but then it has always been difficult to get a true picture of the Sri Lankan  market which has always been opaque and subject to a remarkable degree of hype!

Hi're pretty much spot on as far as the present law is concerned on foreign nationals owning real estate in Sri Lanka. You can indeed sell the lease-hold to pretty much anyone. But if you have local friends that you trust I'd recommend you write it over to them so that when the market goes up again then you'll get the best price.

The market on the southern coast is appreciating day by day. We just bought a property (My husband is Sri Lankan)  in Mirissa and with the expansion of the southern expressway to Matara we have already seen price increases.

Thanks very much for your response. Mirissa is a lovely place!

Hi, good to hear that you are wanting to move to Sri Lanka.  I was lucky enough to be able to buy a great piece of land before the law changed regarding foreign ownership. It has amazing views looking down over the south. It's near Ella so a wonderful climate. Was going to build a hotel but then got married and now have a child so our plans have changed. Now wanting to sell this land that is 100% foreign owned.

Good day, can you please to tell me more about of investing money in Sri Lanka land and houses. I would like to buy a land  for living during winter time in Ukraine.
Will be appreciate for any advice or knowledge  about this matter.

Thanks in advance.

you have to go for a 30 year leasing. No lands are any more sold to foreigners.

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Hi Sergius,
I have land that is 100% foreign owned. I was lucky to buy it before the law changed. Ella is a beautiful place with the best climate. please call me on [moderated: avoid phone num on the forum]

Hi Sergius,
Did you receive my reply about the land I bought before the new law came into force? please let me know if you are receiving this message.


Roy Dixon

Roy Dixon :

Hi Sergius,
Did you receive my reply about the land I bought before the new law came into force? please let me know if you are receiving this message.


Roy Dixon

Hi Roy Dixon, why dont you try to post an ad to sell your land in Sri Lanka's Housing section??
Please go here … a/colombo/
all the best!!

Still Foreigners buy and sell properties in srilanka, The government have some restrictions, and rate different.
for an eg. Investing in huge projects more than 10M USD the restrictions are less, and if the foreigner wants to buy a Apartment the rates will be different for each floor. These are some examples.

Hi Kiwi  ... thanks for the really informative post of your experience buying in sri lanka. I am an aussie in Dubai .. thinking to do the same. I have some questions.. can I private message you about it? thanks a lot

I can help you with your queries.

Dear Kimbo,
I am from the UK and some time ago bought a large piece lane near Ella. It is a beautiful mountain side with great views over the south. I spent a few years developing beautiful gardens and infrastructure ready for a hotel development but have run out of steam as my personal circumstances have since changed. This is 100% foghorn owned as I bough it before the change in the law. Please contact me. Roy Dixon from Hexham in the UK. Thanks.

Thanks Roy ... I am looking only for beach side ... preferably beach frontage.

Hi kimbo2014, are you looking for properties in srilanka? because this topic is about Buying property in Sri Lanka"


Interested to buy property (apprx. 500sqr. yrds) on lease basis in Colombo on airport Road. Or any running business.

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