When it comes to real estate in Lebanon the zoning laws are quite strict. But before knowing them it is good to know what zoning means. When we have to buy a property in Lebanon and want to know the zoning of the property that we are interested in buying, first thing to do is visit the Cadastre Department at the Moukarzel building situated in Tabaris. Here we can get a copy of the cadastral plan of the property that we are planning to buy. Here we can also ask for the document about the area of the property.
But here too we may come across different measurements that will contradict with the owner and the developer of the property. This might make us wonder about the zoning laws related with the real estate in Lebanon. Which figures can be considered as true? The municipalities of Beirut and Tripoli are responsible for recording the official area of the properties. The General Directorate of Urban Planning and all its branches also carry out the records about the actual area of various properties. The scale on which the area is measured by these two is different. The urban planning uses the scales 1/50 and hence it is the most accurate one. While the cadastre department uses scale 1/200.
Hence while dealing with real estate in Lebanon we might come across different recordings of the area of the same property. The cadastre department only measures the actual area of the property while the urban planning measures the area including the common areas like stairwell. Hence the area measured by the urban planning will be certainly more compared to that measured by the cadastral department. Hence the urban planning will consider the elevators, roof, column below a building, generator room while measuring the area.
But one question arises here which is can the common area be up for sell? The common areas will be used by all those who will reside in that property. This is the point on which most of the professionals disagree. There are two groups here one who thinks that common areas are used by the buyer and hence it should also be considered while counting the area of the property. Others think opposite to it. But not all the properties in Lebanon follow the zoning laws. We can find the details about whether a particular property is zoned or not by visiting the town planning office.