Puerto Rico: Real Estate

This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of Real Estate laws and regulations applicable in Puerto Rico.

  1. Overview

  2. What is the main legislation relating to real estate ownership?

  3. Have any significant new laws which materially impact real estate investors and lenders come into force since December 2022 or are there any major anticipated new laws which are expected to materially impact them in the near future?

  4. How is ownership of real estate proved?

  5. Are there any restrictions on who can own real estate?

  6. What types of proprietary interests in real estate can be created?

  7. Is ownership of real estate and the buildings on it separate?

  8. What are common ownership structures for ownership of commercial real estate?

  9. What is the usual legal due diligence process that is undertaken when acquiring commercial real estate?

  10. What legal issues (if any) cannot be covered by usual legal due diligence?

  11. What is the usual process for transfer of commercial real estate?

  12. Is it common for real estate transfers to be effected by way of share transfer as well as asset transfer?

  13. On the sale of freehold interests in land does the benefit of any occupational leases and income automatically transfer?

  14. What common rights, interests and burdens can be created or attach over real estate and how are these protected?

  15. Are split legal and beneficial ownership of real estate (i.e. trust structures) recognised

  16. Is public disclosure of the ultimate beneficial owners of real estate required?

  17. What are the main taxes associated with commercial real estate ownership and transfer of commercial real estate?

  18. What are common terms of commercial leases and are there regulatory controls on the terms of leases?

  19. How are use, planning and zoning restrictions on real estate regulated?

  20. Who can be liable for environmental contamination on real estate?

  21. Are buildings legally required to have their energy performance assessed and in what (if any) situations do minimum energy performance levels need to be met?

  22. Is expropriation of real estate possible?

  23. Is it possible to create mortgages over real estate and how are these protected and enforced?

  24. Are there material registration costs associated with the creation of mortgages over real estate?

  25. Is it possible to create a trust structure for mortgage security over real estate?