Land Law in Tonga

Land in Tonga is administered by the laws defined by the Land Act of Tonga. The Kingdom of Tonga has a unique system of land ownership and management and it is important for any land agreements to be processed to the letter of the Tongan law.

All of Property Tonga’s land agreements (leases or land exchanges between Tongan nationals) are processed by legal practitioners who are fully licensed and qualified in the Kingdom of Tonga. Land leases and transfers are processed according to the Land Act of Tonga. If you wish to invest in Tonga your land lease will be made with the original Tongan landholder and will be duly processed by law which includes the submission of the proposed land lease for the approval of the Tongan Cabinet which would then be signed by the Minister of Lands when approved.

Some important points to understand about the Land Act of Tonga are that all land is the property of the Crown. The landholder’s interest in any hereditary estate, tax allotment or town allotment exists as long as that person is alive and consideration often has to be made for any heirs. The Minister of Lands is the representative of the Crown in all matters concerning land in the Kingdom of Tonga.

According to the Land Act of Tonga, the Minister of Lands grants leases and permits with the consent of Cabinet. Only the registered holder of a town or tax allotment may grant a lease over the whole or part of the allotment, but only if the consent of the Tongan Cabinet has been given in the manner dictated by the Land Act.

As a last note, some investors and retirees may have the dream of building their own jetty or other works over the shore of a property they intend to lease, but this may not be possible: the foreshore is the property of the Crown and only with the consent of the Tongan Cabinet may the Minister of Lands grant a permit for any changes, additions or developments to be made to the foreshore. All of these issues show that the only legally valid and secure way of obtaining land in the Kingdom of Tonga is with the assistance of an appropriate and qualified legal representative, and Property Tonga can assist you obtaining land in the most hassle-free way possible.