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Registering Property in

Ghana

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Ghana. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Ghana to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Seller conducts the title search and obtains the Title transfer form at the Land Title Registry

    Agency: Client Service Access Unit of the Lands Commission (Land Registration Division is responsible for this task)

    A search at the Land Registry is conducted to confirm rightful ownership and if the property is subject to a land dispute. An attorney prepares the transfer document (transfer deed) which is signed by both the vendor and the purchaser and their witnesses. The Title Transfer form is duly executed and presented at the Land Registry.

    Approximately two and half weeks GHC 100 - 150
    2

    Assessment of the property value and payment of Stamp duty

    Agency: Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission

    Stamp Duty is assessed and paid at the Land Valuation Board. The buyer presents the deed of assignment to the Land Valuation Board. The property is inspected to ascertain its current open market value. The buyer pays Stamp Duty to the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission. The Stamp Duty Act of 2005 (Act 689) established a new duty schedule for property transfers. This Act states that for the conveyance or transfer on the sale of a property, the stamp duty is 0.25% where the property value is less than GHC 10000. For properties valued between GHC 10000 and 50000, stamp duty is 0.5%, and for properties valued above GHC 50000, stamp duty is 1%.

    8 calendar days GHC 55 (Processing fee) + 1% of property value (stamp duty)
    3

    Submit application for title certificate at Land Title Registry

    Agency: Client Service Access Unit of the Lands Commission (Land Registration Division is responsible for this task)

    Submission of the application form for a Title Certificate and payment of processing fee at Land Title Registry. The documentation shall include: (i) Application form (ii) Original and one copy of the deed of assignment, duly completed (iii) Land Certificate (iv) Company’s certificate of incorporation

    1 day GHC 45 (Processing fee of GHC 40 plus form fee of GHC 5)
    4

    Publication of transaction in national weekly newspaper

    Agency: Land Registration Division of the Lands Commission

    The transaction must be published in the national weekly newspaper in order to issue Land Title Certificate. The fee for publication is GHC 80 for land the size of 5 acres or less. Where the Land Certificate is urgently required, the applicant has the option to choose what is known as “special publication”. In that case, the amount payable is GHC 360. However, if the size of the land plot is above 5 acres (but less than 4 acres), the amount payable is GHC 360.

    14 calendar days GHC 80 for normal publication. For urgent publications GHC 360
    5

    Issuance of title certificate

    Agency: Land Registration Division of the Lands Commission

    The title Certificate is issued by the Land Registration Division. The transaction is recorded on the Land Certificate, which is returned to the owner. The original of the deed of assignment, having been stamped to show that it has been registered, is also returned to the applicant. The Registry keeps a duplicate. The folio of the Register is filed and the transaction document is placed in the land parcel file. The owner will use the property after the title is issued by Land Title (in areas covered by Land Title Registration) or when the Deed has been registered under the Deeds Registration Act and Development Permit granted by the Assembly. Most often property owners do not wait to go through these processes before making use of the land.

    7 calendar days GHC 130 (GHC 100 as registration fees, GHC 30 for the issuance of a new Title Certificate)

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 8.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 1.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Ghana Lands Comission
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 3.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.ghanalap.gov.gh/index.php/fees-and-charges
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.ghanalap.gov.gh/files/Fees-and-Charges-LR.pdf and http://www.g...
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.ghanalap.gov.gh/files/Fees-and-Charges-LR.pdf http://www.ghan...
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 4.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Land Court Division of the High Court
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 2 and 3 years 1.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0