March 30, 2013

Idle land customers face hefty penalties

March 30, 2013 03:50:40 PM

Customers who want to resell vacant land within two years from date of purchase will be penalised, Fiji's Housing Authority said today.

The move comes after the Housing Authority amended its ‘Consent to Dealings Procedure’.

Housing Authority CEO Alipate Naiorosui said the change is to encourage land only customers to build their homes through a Gold Package home loan.

The “loan enables low income families who earn $16,500 or less per annum to access an affordable home loan package,” Naiorosui said.

Customers who build a home will claim 100 per cent VAT refund if they build a house up to the value of $120,000 to live in.

The authority highlighted three conditions that must be met before a lot can be resold.

Firstly, for a residential leases, a fixed penalty of $3,000 or 10 per cent of the sale pricemust be paid to the authority.

For commercial/industrial leases, $5,000 or 10 per cent of the sale price must be paid.

Secondly, the amount is to be paid to the authority prior to the endorsement of the authority’s consent on the Transfer document.

The penalties, however, are not applicable to transfer of vacant land if its being transferred to their next of kin. The penalties will also not apply if the transfer is by way of administration of an estate and not by way of sale.

The new owner, the authority says will need to be a first home buyer and not own any other property. He/She should also provide a written commitment to build a dwelling within two years from the date of registration of the proposed transfer and provide the building plans and evidence of finance for the construction to the satisfaction of the authority.
The housing authority further said it will closely monitor its customers to ensure the conditions are adhered to.

By Mereani Gonedua 

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