Categories: Featured

by CurtlyF


by CurtlyF


About Ghana

The country is located on the west coast of Africa, The capital city of Ghana is Accra, which is located in the southern part of the country along the coast. Ghana is also bordered by the Gulf of Guinea to the south, which is part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ghana is a fascinating destination with a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. From the friendly locals to the stunning beaches, and the rich heritage, Ghana offers an unforgettable travel experience. You can explore traditional festivals, visit historic sites, indulge in delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture. Whether you’re interested in adventure, relaxation, or learning about a new culture, Ghana has something for everyone.

Buying Property Overview

The process of buying a property in Ghana can be stressful and complicated if due process is not followed appropriately. As a property investor in Ghana, one should make themselves familiar with the following:

  1. Land ownership
  2. Conditions Of Ownership
  3. Due Diligence
  4. Purchase And Transfer Agreement
  5. Property Registration
  6. Paying Property Taxes

  1. Land Ownership

Ghana’s land ownership structure is very different from many other countries. The government is not the sole owner of the land, instead, the majority of land in Ghana is owned by clans, families and individuals.

The government as a proportion of the landowners is the smallest group and rarely sells its land holdings.

Land ownership is classified into the following groups:

  1. Private Land
  2. Family Land
  3. Government Land
  4. Stool-owned or Customary Land

Private Land

Private land ownership is the legal concept that allows individuals, businesses, and organizations to have exclusive rights over a piece of land. It is the legal right to possess, use, and dispose of a particular piece of land as one wishes, subject to certain restrictions and regulations imposed by the government.

The 1992  Constitution of Ghana was a key moment in property law, prior to 1992 Customary land sold or bequeathed to private entities is now considered private land.

Private land is minimally regulated by the government, however, as with all ownership structures, ownership must be land registered.

Important Note:

The Land Commission of Ghana should be consulted to verify the private land being sold is owned by the entity.

Government Land

Government land ownership refers to the land that is owned by a government. Typically the government would have acquired these lands for development purposes – infrastructure for the good of the people of Ghana.

The Government in acquiring the land would have either taken full ownership of the land from or partnered with traditional leaders or individuals that own the land.

Government land typically is not for commercial sale, however, if it is, an application can be made to purchase the land via the Land Commission Office.

Family Land

Family land refers to land that is owned and managed by a family, usually passed down through generations. It is a form of private land ownership that is often associated with traditional or cultural practices.

Family land is considered sacred and is often managed communally, with each member of the family having a say in its management and use. Family land can also be a source of social and economic stability, providing a sense of identity and continuity for families and communities. In some cases, family land can be subject to inheritance laws, which can determine how the land is divided among family members after the death of the owner. Family land is an important aspect of many cultures and can play a significant role in the social and economic well-being of families and communities.

Import Note:

When seeking to purchase family land, the recognised family head of the family must be identified as they will be the key individual facilitating the transaction. It is advised to get family elders to confirm and endorse the individual’s status as head of the family and have the authorisation to run the transaction on behalf of the family.

Extensive due diligence should be carried out in this matter to ensure that as a buyer you are not caught up in family disputes and subject to years, and even decades of litigation and serious financial losses.

Customary Land

Customary land refers to a type of land tenure system where ownership, access, and usage rights are determined by long-standing traditions, customs, and practices within a particular community or indigenous group. Customary land is also known as Stool land.

Under this land ownership structure, it is typical that the Chief of the particular community is the administrator of the land. In this role as an administrator, he/she has the authority to arrange the sale of land.

Chiefs, on behalf of the communities, are often open to working with developers to develop the community with things that would be beneficial for its inhabitants.

To purchase land, the buyer must deal directly with the chief.

Import Note:

The administration and development of customary land / stool land is overseen by the government via the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands. Offices that can provide assistance on this matter can be found across the country.

2. Conditions Of Ownership

Conditions of ownership refer to the legal, social, and cultural aspects that define how a person, entity, or community can acquire, hold, and transfer property, including land and other assets. These conditions may be governed by formal laws, regulations, and contracts, as well as customary or informal practices.

Afro property will address the following specifically:

  1. Property ownership rules for foreigners in Ghana
  2. Property purchasing rules for foreigners in Ghana
  3. Types of ownership interests on land

Property ownership rules for foreigners in Ghana

Foreigners can buy property in Ghana.

Foreigners do not have any restrictions when it comes to purchasing property in Ghana.

Important Note:

Investors should take note of the land ownership structures because certain land types cannot be owned, or the conditions for ownership are very specific and stringent.

A significant proportion of litigation in the courts is land litigation cases, so it is imperative to seek legal assistance and due extensive due diligence.

Property purchasing rules for foreigners in Ghana

The steps are pretty simple in buying a property as a foreigner, however, it is imperative that each step is done thoroughly with the assistance of professionals with extensive due diligence.

The steps are below:

  1. Find out who owns the land
  2. Find out if the land is wholly owned or mortgaged

To get a view of the above, prospective buyers should request a search on the land in question at the Land Commission of Ghana. The search is a thorough investigation carried the Land Commission of Ghana.

Important Note

The Land Commission of Ghana needs as much information as possible to be able to do a thorough search and come back successfully with assurances that the land ownership is as expected.

Sellers of the land should provide the prospective buyer with a certified copy of a cadastral or indenture plan of the land, this should be provided to the Land Commission of Ghana to assist in the search.

A cadastral / indenture plan is a comprehensive and detailed representation of land ownership, property boundaries, and other relevant information within a specific area.

3. Types of ownership interests on land

Foreign investors can only own property under a leasehold, with the maximum term being 50 years. However, in the lease contract, an option can be documented to entitle renewals.

Types of Interest in Land

There are multiple types of interest in land in Ghana.

1. Allodial Title

The most senior title in the land recognised by Ghanaian law. Only traditional leaders, families or the Ghanaian government can hold such a title.

2. Customary Freehold

This is an interest that individuals or groups hold in a land, where the interest holders are members or subjects of the allodial owner.

The land is however owned by a larger traditional community – the allodial owner.

This interest can be transferred to successors of the individual or subgroups until there are no successors.

3. Common Law Freehold

This is an interest that individuals or groups hold in a land, where the interest holders can be either strangers or members of the community of the allodial owner.

A stranger in this regard refers to a Ghanaian who is not a member of the land-owning community.

Since the 1992 constitution, new freeholds cannot be created in stool land.

This interest can be transferred to successors of the individual or subgroups until there are no successors.

4. Leasehold

A leasehold is a form of property tenure where a person or entity (the lessee or tenant) is granted the right to occupy and use a property for a specified period under a lease agreement with the property owner (the lessor or landlord).

The leasehold will stipulate a variety of conditions and covenants, the purchaser is obligated to stick to.

4. Due Diligence

Due diligence is essential, and a continuous process.

The first step was to get the search completed with the Lands Commission of Ghana, this process may take as long as a month.

Once the search has been completed successfully then have a private surveyor draw a site plan of the land to ensure the size and boundaries of the property match the size communicated by the seller.

5. Purchase And Transfer Agreement

A purchase agreement is a legally binding contract between a buyer and a seller that outlines the terms and conditions for the transfer of ownership of the property.

This process should be completed under the witnessing and in the presence of reputable lawyers.

After signing the transfer agreement, a deed of conveyance is prepared by a lawyer to be signed by both parties. This document attests to the fact that the title of the land has been passed on to the buyer.

To complete the transaction the payment terms would also be agreed. A buyer can choose either to:

1. Pay fully

Paying fully can offer an advantage by allowing you to receive a favourable price so a discount

2. Pay in instalments

Paying in instalments can be an advantage by allowing you to allow time to elapse so that time will pass to allow more time for any issue to arise.

Paying in instalments as a slight disadvantage is that the price wouldn’t be as good as paying fully.

5. Registering Property In Ghana

Registering property is the final step of the property purchasing process. The newly purchsed land should be registered with the Lands Commision of Ghana so that a land title certificate is acquired. The process of registration can take up to a year.

The is an official document that provides evidence of a person’s legal ownership of a parcel of land or property.

Import Note:

Having the land title certificate serves multiple purposes, with the priority being: proof of ownership & dispute resolution. It serves to be the ultimate tool against litigation.

6. Property Tax

Ghana requires property owners to pay an annual levy. The tax payable is passed on the estimated value of the property and also the location of the property.

The tax will range from 0.5% to 3% of the estimated value of the property.




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