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Registering Property in

Lesotho

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Lesotho. 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 Lesotho to 189 other economies.

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

    The lawyer conduct a deeds search

    Agency: Land Registry

    Most lawyers will conduct a deeds search to check for encumbrances and indicts on the property as part of their due diligence before drafting the deed of transfer. The title search is done at the Land Registry

    1 day LSL 10 (Land Registry fee) + LSL 800 (lawyer fees)
    2

    Land transfer application filed for transfer consent at the LAA

    Agency: Land Administration Authority - Leases Office

    Requires both the transferor and the transferee to present themselves with their government IDs before the Lease office, as well as the ID of the attorney preparing the deed of transfer.

    In the case of a company the memorandum and the articles of association must be presented. When the consent has been signed, the Land Administration Authority ("LAA") prepares another form (Form LB) which is attached to the deed of transfer. The application is addressed to the Director General of the LAA who signs the consent for land transactions according to Section 12 (1) (a) (ii) of the Lands Act of 2010.

    2 weeks LSL 50
    3

    Submit the deed of transfer and application to a lawyer or legal practitioner

    Agency: Lawyer's office

    The deed of sale constitutes a private agreement between the contracting parties (seller and buyer) and is prepared by a lawyer. The deed of transfer is prepared for the purpose of registration according to the Deeds Registry Act of 1967. Therefore, only the deed of transfer is lodged to the Land Registry for registration by a lawyer.

    7 days LSL 8,500
    4

    Lodge the deed with the Registrar of Deeds

    Agency: Land Registry

    The parties lodge the transfer deed at the Land Registry for examination of compliance with the provisions of the Deeds Registry Act No. 12 of 1967. Registration fees, Stamp Duty, and Transfer Duty are paid at the Registrar of Deeds. Parties collect the original transfer deed plus one copy, and one copy is left at the Registry of Deeds.

    The formula to calculate Stamp Duty payable on immovable property is:

    Transaction amount Duty payable

    Under LSL 7000 1%

    Over LSL 7000 3%


    The formula to calculate the Transfer Duty is:

    Transaction amount Duty payable

    Under LSL 10,000 3%

    Above LSL 10,000 4%


    It is not unusual for a few people to hold a title to the same piece of land.

    3 weeks LSL 50 (registration fee); plus Transfer Duty: 3% on first 10,000 + 4% on the remaining amount; plus Stamp Duty (1% on first 7,000+ 3% on the remaining amount)

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 10.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 3.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Land Administration Authority
    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)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    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)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    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) 3.5
    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.laa.org.ls/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=66&I...
    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.laa.org.ls/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=34&...
    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? No 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? Yes 0.5
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015: 1,090
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Freely accessible by anyone 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.laa.org.ls/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=34&...
    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? No 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) 3.5
    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? No 0.0
    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; Notary; Lawyer.
    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; Notary; Lawyer.
    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? The Land Court of the High Court of Lesotho
    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