What type of property ownership exists in Fiji?
The two fundamental types of interests in land which can be registered in Fiji are a freehold interest in land (which denotes ownership of the land) and a lease hold interest in land (where the right to exclusively occupy land for a period of time is granted). In Fiji freehold or leasehold is via a Torrens title land-registration system with the title guaranteed by the State.
What is the type of property ownership at Vunabaka?
Vunabaka is leasehold land. The developer, Vunabaka Bay Fiji Limited (VBFL) has entered a lease with the itaukei Land Trust Board (iTLTB) and a Foreshore Lease with the Fijian Department of Lands (DOL). A separate sublease will be registered and transferred to you for the part of Vunabaka where your property is situated. The sublease will be for the term of the Head Lease less one day. The Head Lease is for 99 years with right of renewal for a further 99 years under substantially the same terms and conditions. Terms of the sublease mirror the head lease. The sub lease has been approved by ITLTB and DOL.
What happens to my lease if VBFL transfers the Head Lease to another party or the Head Lease is cancelled?
In the event that the Head lease is deemed defective and/or cancelled before the expiry of the full term of the Head lease, the iTLTB and Lands Department will legally recognize the sub-lease for the remainder of its full term under the same terms and conditions.
Can a non-resident buy property in Fiji?
You do not need to be a citizen of Fiji to purchase land in Fiji. Non-resident investors can purchase real estate.
What is the purchase process?
Once you decide to purchase a Lot you will execute an option agreement or a pre-contract agreement. The option if used is the vendors option and triggered by the requirement to obtain consent to sub-lease from ITLTB/DOL. When the DOL approval is given the substantive agreement will be executed and settlement will be within 15 days of signing. On settlement you will receive a sub lease in the name of your nominated entity and such entity will become a member of the body corporate.
Can I purchase in the name of my family trust or my company?
Yes. In the case of family trusts, the trustees themselves will have to sign the option/pre contract agreement and the power of attorney attached to the Sale Agreements and will be liable on behalf of the trust. While, for legal reasons, the name of the family trust itself cannot appear on the registered ownership documentation you will acquire, the trustees are perfectly entitled to themselves hold their ownership interest for trust purposes. In the case of a company, purchasers can choose either to establish a Fiji company to hold their investment, or to use an existing or new company established in some other country such as Australia or New Zealand.
Is there stamp duty payable?
There is no stamp duty applicable.
How much are legal fees for conveyance?
Legal fees for conveyance and obtaining appropriate government approvals for non-resident purchasers are approximately US$4,000.
Is there a VAT (Value Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) payable on good and services in Fiji?
Yes, currently the VAT payable on goods and services in Fiji is 9% which you will have to pay when purchasing land at Vunabaka. Should you purchase for investment purposes, you may be able to claim a refund on the VAT.
While I have my property at Vunabaka do I get automatic residency in Fiji, or do I have to apply?
An investment in Vunabaka does not automatically give you a VISA but you can apply.
Can I work in Fiji if I own a property, or is this a separate application?
No, a work permit is required.
If I don’t have residency, how long can I stay in Fiji?
4 months stay for holiday purposes are given upon arrival for countries that do not require a visa. Australia, NZ, USA and such are visa on arrival.
Designing, building and furnishing my villa
Is there a time period I have to build within after my sublease is signed?
Yes, you are expected to have completed building the villa within 2 years of purchasing the sublease.
Does Vunabaka have a recommended designer and construction company?
Yes. Richard Priest is the approved architect completing these designs. VBFL can also coordinate all building and landscaping requirements saving cost, time and hassle.
Can we use our own architect, landscaper, and builder?
VBFL wishes to create a strong sense of identity and consistency of design aesthetic. Detailed architectural plans, elevations, landscape plans, colour scheme and model are required if you wish to use your own architect and construction company. Your own architect and/or builder will need to comply with the directions provided by VBFL and will need to obtain approval from VBFL.
What are the expected villa build costs?
Building costs per villa will be approx $US3,000—$4,000 per m2. plus VAT depending on level of specifications. Pool and landscaping will be an additional cost. A more detailed breakdown of costs are available upon request.
Are lines of sight protected?
Yes, buildings or landscaping cannot be constructed or grown to unreasonably block neighbouring land or property view. This will be covered within the body corporate.
What infrastructure exists at Vunabaka such as power, water, and wastewater?
Infrastructure includes water, solar power, gas, and fibre telecommunications.
How is marina space allocated and what does it cost?
Each Lot includes water rights for a marina jetty of up to 7m. Each homeowner will pay for the floating structure. It is expected that each pontoon and jetty will cost approximately $US 30,000 plus VAT depending on size. This will be charged at the same time utilities are charged. The license for the space will be for the same duration as the land (i.e 99 years) and not the standard 25 -30 years given to most marina berths. Bigger marina berths are available, but there will be an additional charge for the space and floating structure. VBFL will allocate the spaces to each Lot depending on the location of the Lot and what spaces are currently available.
Can I get insurance for the villa?
Yes, as long as the design has been certified by an approved engineer in Fiji. All VBFLs designs will be approved by a certified engineer and all villa owners are expected to maintain relevant insurance cover.
How can we furnish the property?
If the property is in the hotel rental pool, there will be specific requirements for furnishings and fittings as they will need to meet the requirements for commercial operations. This will be discussed with you during the design process. VBFL can provide interior design and furniture, fixtures and fittings packages saving cost, time and hassle.
Can you recommend a type of boat and golf cart?
Yes, VBFL will be coordinating the purchase of boats, golf carts, and other sporting equipment. Various options will be provided by VBFL depending on your requirements and budget, saving cost, time and hassle. For instance there will be no combustion engine vehicles allowed, apart from service vehicles required for the hotel and Body corporate manager. All other vehicles must be battery powered.
Using my villa and the resort
Can I use the Six Senses Fiji Facilities and the beach?
Yes, property owners are entitled to use all the resort facilities including food and beverage options, activities, kids club and babysitting services. Villa owners will have access to the beach via the resort and specified access roads.
What water based activities are available at Vunabaka?
Water based activities include world-class surfing, sailing, scuba diving, kite-surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, stand up paddling, boating, sea kayaking, game fishing and anything else you can think of.
What land based activities are available at Vunabaka?
Land based activities include tennis, running, walking, yoga and mediation, tropical island adventure picnics, massage therapy, golf on the mainland, helicopter tours and even sky diving.
What is our entitlement for usage per annum?
You can use the property as much or as little as you like.
How are utilities priced and charged?
For fair use there are no charges for use of water (50,000 litres per month) and power (32 kWh per day). There will be body corporate charges which covers the maintenance and operation of all common facilities.
Who will run the Body Corporate?
The Body Corporate has its own management team which runs the overall Body Corporate operations as required. The Body Corporate is run according to the Body Corporate budget which is approved by all members at the AGM. The Body Corporate is a not for profit company where all surplus at year end going towards a reserve fund for future requirements.
What does the Body Corporate cover and how much is it?
The Body Corporate will cover the maintenance and up keep of all common areas, beach cleaning, common lighting, road upkeep and cover services, but not limited to, such as security, rubbish disposal. Body Corporate will be charged on a cost recovery basis.
What happens to the resort if it is damaged in a cyclone?
All villa owners and the hotel are required to hold adequate insurance and are required to re build within 2 years of any buildings being damaged. The Body Corporate will also maintain adequate insurance for the infrastructure it owns.
What happens if I have a dispute or disagreement relating to the Body Corporate?
The Body Corporate will make every effort to listen and work through any ideas for improvement or issues raised by villa owners. If agreement cannot be reached an arbitration process will be followed.
How can I organize repairs and maintenance on the property?
This can be organized through the resort (if in rental pool), or the Body Corporate can help organize this on your behalf.
What general housekeeping, garden, and pool maintenance services are provided and how much do they cost?
The Body Corporate provides all general landscaping maintenance, exterior pest control and pool maintenance services. Prices are based on cost recovery. The resort provides housekeeping options. Villa owners also have option to share or directly employ maids.
What Food, Beverage, and Other retail supplies will be available at Vunabaka?
There is a general store at Vunabaka that provides all general household provisions including food, alcohol, fresh fruits and vegetables, cleaning products etc. The Six Senses Fiji will operate world-class restaurants and bars.
How can I get around the resort?
Villa owners will be allowed to own and operate electric Golf Carts. In order to minimize noise and maximize enjoyment other types of vehicles will not be allowed.
How can I organize transfers from Nadi International Airport to the island?
The Six Senses Fiji will provide both ferry, water taxi, and helicopter transfers. Alternatively, your own private boat can pick you up.
What emergency services exist?
The Body Corporate has installed and operates a Tsunami warning system. Fire control apparatus is also owned and operated by both The Six Senses Fiji and the Body Corporate. Helicopter evacuation can be organized to a private hospital in Lautoka or Suva in the case of medical emergencies.
Do I have a say in management of LBRMCL or the Island Grace?
The Six Senses Fiji and the Body Corporate value your feedback and will want to know if you have suggestions to make the resort more advantageous for everyone.
Renting my villa
Can I rent out my villa?
You can choose to either keep your property for personal use only or make it available for the resort rental pool. A Rental Management Agreement will be entered with the Liku Bay Resort Management Company Limited (LBRMCL) and operated by the Six Senses Fiji. All rental income has to be through the Six Senses Fiji. Prices for each villa will be set by the Six Senses Fiji and the property must meet standards set by Rental Management Agreement. Note that LBRMCL is the entity that appoints the resort operator at Vunabaka.
Do I need government approval?
Should you decide to rent your villa you will need to get a foreign investment certificate from Investment Fiji the statutory authority charged with allowing foreigners to carry on business in Fiji. The approval process takes about 6 weeks. You should speak to your lawyer regarding this aspect of your investment.
Will we receive an annual return of investment?
It is our intention that you will receive a return on investment. The return generated will fluctuate depending on the achieved occupancy, villa rate, availability to the rental pool and operational costs. A return on investment will not be available if your property is not in the resort rental pool.
What rental returns can we expect?
Returns on investment are dependent on resort occupancy rates, room rates, availability in the resort rental pool and operational costs. Detailed expected returns are available upon request.
How will the Six Senses Fiji market my property?
The Six Senses Fiji have a wide range of media channels supporting and growing the brand that drives your investment.
- Brochures and in-house collateral
- Press campaigns
- Database management of current and past guests of the Six Senses Fiji
- Alliance and Partnership Marketing
- Digital Marketing and Online exposure
- Dedicated sales and revenue teams
What insurance cover do I need if the Six Senses Fiji manages the property?
It is a requirement of the Six Senses Fiji letting agreement that all Owners have adequate Landlords insurance. This type of insurance is specifically for investors with rental properties and most policies include the Owner for cover such as contents (damage and against fire, theft by tenant), loss of rent and public liability.
Are there any ongoing charges?
Yes. As with any property investment, ownership costs accrue including body corporate fees, landlord insurance, general maintenance, repairs etc.
Can I remit my profits to my location of choice outside of Fiji?
Yes. From 1 January 2013 you do don’t need Reserve bank approval to remit funds overseas up to the following limits:
- dividends and profits up to $500,000 per business per annum
- withdrawal of investment up to $500,000 per applicant per annum
Over these limits require approval from the Reserve Bank and approval is easily obtained if all taxes in Fiji have been paid.
Selling my villa
Can I sell my property?
Villa owners can sell their villa at any time after settlement, subject to the terms of the Sublease agreement and obtaining all necessary Fijian regulatory approvals.
Is there capital gains tax when I sell my villa?
Currently, capital sales are subject to a 10% capital gains tax.
Can I remit my proceeds of sale to my location of choice outside of Fiji?
Yes. From 1 January 1, 2013 you do don’t need Reserve bank approval to remit funds overseas up to the following limits:
Dividends and profits up to $500,000 per business per annum
Withdrawal of investment up to $500,000 per applicant per annum
Over these limits require approval from the Reserve bank and approval is easily obtained if all taxes in Fiji have been paid.
Local community benefits
How do locals benefit from my purchase at Vunabaka?
10% of the purchase price goes to the Mataqali and 1% (inflation adjusted after 10 years) of the initial land value for subsequent sales. The Mataqali also own 21% of LBRMCL and gets share of income generated by LBRMCL. Local staff will be trained and employed where ever possible. The Body Corporate also sponsors 3 mataqali students for tertiary education each year.
How is Vunabaka protecting the environment and natural beauty of Fiji?
Green technologies and designs are being used throughout the resort from solar power generation through to low energy waste water processing. All development will adhere to strict Environmental controls. VBFL is also replanting Fijian Kauri around surrounding hillsides and has begun extensive coral and marine life propagation program.
How does the marina work?
The main marina is divided into two sections, A and B. Marina A will now accommodate most yachts and almost all motorboats up to 25 meters at all tides. Marina A’s new maximum depth is 4.65m at the Highest Astronomical Tide and 2.35 at Chart Datum (Lowest Astronomical Tide). Depths at Mean High Water Neap are 3.95m and Mean Low Water Neap are 3.05m.
The Vunabaka marina is designed to exceed the PIANC (The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure) and Australian design standards. Construction of the marina was completed in October, 2014 and can accommodate 56 vessels. Each site purchased at Vunabaka includes a marina berth for up to a 10 meter vessel.