Can I purchase beach-front property in Nicaragua?

According to Law No. 690, for the Development of Coastal Zones, coastal properties belong to the State of Nicaragua; however, there are some beach-front properties that were purchased in the past by individuals or corporations who hold legal title to the properties, which are recognized by Law No. 690 as valid. Those properties are available for purchase with full property rights.

The situation is different for most coastal properties, which are owned by the State and cannot be purchased, but only leased from.

Beach-front property is made up of public and restricted coastal areas. Public coastal areas are not available for private use, and are those between low tide and high tide, plus fifty meters from the average maximum tide mark to the mainland.

Restricted coastal areas are properties located on the mainland within 200 meters from the point where the coastal public use area ends. Those properties are available for leasing (obtaining concession in terms of the Law) from Municipal Governments on the pacific coast, and Regional Independent Councils on the Caribbean Coast. The lease period is of 20 years (renewable upon request) and of up to 59 years for large projects.

A Nicaraguan citizen or resident, or a Nicaraguan company may apply for concessions. Concessions may be for private use or for commercial development.

Lessees must pay an annual fee to Municipal Governments or Regional Independent Councils, and are required to use the property within 90 days from the lease date, as otherwise the lease may be revoked. A lease may also be revoked if the property is abandoned for one year, if the lease is transferred to a third party without authorization, if the property is sub-leased, if the annual lease fee is not paid, if the property is not used according to the terms of the lease, if applicable environmental laws are not observed, if works on the property are carried out without authorization, if the general public is prevented from using the public beach next to the property, if illegal acts are carried out or consented to within the property, if a legal inspection on the property by the authorities is not allowed by the lessee, and for not complying with the terms of the lease.

When acquiring the right to a concession from a third party, a proper due diligence must be carried out in order to ensure that the lessee has complied with the terms of the lease, that all annual fees have been timely paid, and that the lessee has obtained authorization from the Municipal Government or Regional Independent Council to assign the concession to a third party.

Regulations of Law No. 690 also apply to coastal properties by lakes Managua (Xolotlan) and Nicaragua (Cocibolca), artificial lakes created of acquired by the State, crater lakes (lagoons), as well lake and ocean islands with a permanent population.

Please contact us for additional information.

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