Buying a Condotel in Bali

Text by Edward Poh

Buying property in Bali means negotiating a minefield of complex rules. Previously, before the Omnibus Law took effect, there had been horror stories of ‘nominee ownership crisis’ where Indonesian nominees took off with the property. Going to court is quite useless as decisions always seem to favour the locals as evidenced by some reported cases.

With fresh uncerta inty surrounding the Omnibus Law due to a court’s decision that it is unconstitutional, the status quo appea rs to favour the new Omnibus provisions for the time being – until it is changed. As they say, in Indonesia, ‘anything can happen and does happen’ or ‘things can change at any time in Indonesia’.

It’s also a known thing for ownership title fra ud to happen at the land office especially when digitalization of land certificates has not yet been undertaken.

Thus, I would tread very carefully if I intend to purchase any property in Indonesia. Most expatriates agree that to save from any potential heartbreak, just rent. There are just too many grey areas to deal with, including even having to deal with lawyers and notaries who give the wrong advice as evidenced by previous cases.

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