In the past weeks, meqasa.com has been educating readers on the types of land ownership in Ghana and the processes involved in acquiring a land. Today, we would like to take you through the procedure by which a land title certificate can be acquired in Ghana and the advantages of registering your lands.
Land Title Registration
This is a system under which an authoritative record is kept of the title to a particular parcel of land in a register. This system is different from registration of instruments under Act 122; for where title to land is registered, it is the land register and land certificate which contain evidence of title. It is important to note that where title to the land is registered, the title is indefeasible.
These include but are not limited to: allodial title, common law freehold, leases, concessions, vesting assents, mineral and mining leases, mortgages.
Steps to acquiring a Land Certificate
- In Ghana, there are three laws that govern the registration of instruments and land titles. These laws include the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689); Land Registry Act, 1962 (Act 122); and Land Title Registration Act (PNDCL 152). After acquiring a land, an individual is expected to go to the Lands Commission with his/her documents to begin the registration process.
- The Stamp Duty Act, 2005 requires that the instrument is stamped within two months of execution. Stamping is a condition precedent for registration.
- After the document has been stamped, you are required to submit the document to the land registration division of the Land Commission where a yellow card is issued as a form of acknowledgement of receipt.
- A letter is given in addition to the yellow card to be sent to the Survey Department for a cadastral/ parcel plan.
- When the cadastral/parcel plan is produced, it is sent to the title office and an amount of money is paid for a publication to be made in the national newspapers. The essence of the publication is to announce to the world that someone has purchased a land and it’s registering the title. Therefore if anyone has any issues, they should come up with it before the individual is issued the title to the land.
- A search is run alongside. 21 days after the publication, the office may go ahead and issue a certificate if there has not been any counterclaim and the search did not reveal any contradictory grant.
Why should you register a land?
- It reduces litigation; if everyone knows that this land has been registered, the purchaser is protected.
- Title registration removes the opportunity for fraud on innocent purchasers.
- It gives finality and secures an individual from adverse claims.
- It allows easy transfer of interest – if someone has a land title to their land, it is easy to buy from them.
- It enables the registered proprietor to use it as security for a loan.
- Provides useful info for professionals, e.g. valuers etc.
Problems/Challenges faced in getting land title registered
- Poor customer relations from the land agencies.
- Perceived rent-seeking attitudes of land agency employees.
- Lack of info about the registration process.
- The process is expensive, takes too long and is stressful.
Source: This article was written by Kwame Ankapong Yeboah, a Land and Property Investment Consultant.