While many now look to online real estate marketplaces like meQasa.com to find a house to buy or a house to rent, buying land in Ghana is still something many aspire to.
The land is a highly coveted property in Ghana with several people seeking to purchase a parcel, be it to develop residential or commercial buildings.
This high demand for land is not just from locals, even some expatriates seek to be landowners in Ghana and to own one of the only assets that appreciate with time. If you are looking at buying land, you can find land options here.
In Ghana, lands are attained as leasehold property, meaning ownership is for a limited time frame (50 years for expatriates and 99 years for citizens). The process of trying to acquire private land from an individual is a rather tricky one, seeing as there is no set standard admitted by the Ghana Lands Commission. People must take precautions to implement their own checks and balances to make sure a seller indeed owns the land, in order to avoid future land dispute ordeals. Woes of a landowner having sold the same area of land to multiple people is one that is heard far too often.
There are four types of land in Ghana:
- Government land
- Vested land
- Customary/stool land
- Family/private land
If you approach a private land seller who is interested in selling off his/her land to you, find out all you can about this seller and his business. Be sure to check with the Lands Commission to validate from their records if this person truly owns the piece of land you are interested in buying. It’s also advisable to check with government land overseers to ensure the land has not been taped for future national development projects. It is not unheard of for people to post a notice of inquiry in the newspapers to ask if there is anyone who has that particular land piece registered to their name. At the same time, request that the seller provides
At the same time, request that the seller provides you with a certified site plan demarcating the precise location of the land including its coordinates. He/She should have had a professional surveyor to do this and you are advised to also work with one to double-check everything. No money should have exchanged hands yet for the purchase of the land up to this juncture.
If you feel quite assured at this point, then you can negotiate on sales terms with the seller and when you comfortably reach an agreement on buying land, then work with your lawyer to draft a purchase and ownership transfer contract/Deed of Conveyance which both you and the seller will sign. Once that is done and you make payment, you are now the legal owner of the land. You need to make multiple copies of the indenture (your ownership agreements, lease details detailing parties to the transaction, witnesses, price paid and ground rent) and have them endorsed by a land lawyer who also professionally stamps them. Each copy should have a land surveyor certified site plan attached.
To complete the process, after buying land, you need to register the land and deed with the Lands Commission and attain the title certificate to prove ownership. Land registration is the recording of rights and interest in land as evidenced by documentation so that your right to ownership is established and protected. Registering your land reduces litigation issues and renders your documents admissible in court. You should also obtain a tax clearance certificate at Internal Revenue Service. Whatever you do, you have to heed these tips to conduct a safe and smart online property search.
You may contact the Ghana Lands Commission:
Address: Second Circular Rd, Cantonments Accra (adjacent Cantonments Post Office)
Tel.: 024 032 0119 / 020 876 0311
Learn more about real estate in Ghana’s capital in the meQasa Accra Housing Guide.