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Registering Property in

Rwanda

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

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

    Conduct a title search at the District Land Registry

    Agency: District Land Registry

    The buyer should perform due diligence before entering into a sale agreement with the owner of the property by making sure that the property has no charges against it. The buyer will request a title search with the Office of the Registrar of Land Titles District Land Registry. A letter will be issued by the Office of the Registrar providing information on the status of the property.

    At this time if the potential buyer is satisfied with the search, he/she will pay the total amount of RWF 27,000

    Transfer Fees: RWF 20,000 (Art. 16 of the Official Gazette nº Special of 27/07/2012 – Page 67)

    Notary Fees: RWF 2,000 (art. 17 of the Official Gazette nº Special of 27/07/2012 – page 70) - Presidential Order N°25/01 of 09/07/2012 Establishing the List of Fees And Other Charges Levied By Decentralized Entities And Determining Their Thresholds

    Fees to establish a new Registration certificate: RWF 5,000 (Art. 16 of the Official Gazette nº Special of 27/07/2012 – Page 69)

    There is no more need to pay for additional copies; the RWF 5,000 includes the fees for 3 copies + the cost of the cancellation of the old registration certificate. This information is posted in the Land Registry.

    2 days Transfer Fees RWF 20,000 + Notary Fees RWF 2,000 + Fees to establish a new Registration certificate: RWF 5,000 as established by Presidential Order N°25/01 of 09/07/2012 Establishing the List of Fees And Other Charges Levied By Decentralized Entities And Determining Their Thresholds (Official Gazette nº Special of 27/07/2012)
    2

    The sale agreement is notarized

    Agency: Notary at the Sector level

    The law requires that the sale agreement be authenticated by a notary.
    Article 35 of the property law specifies that for the transfer of any property, any adult of 21 years or older, must give their consent to the transfer of property. It is the practice that parties ask the notary to draft the sale agreement himself.

    In order to facilitate land transfers, the District Land Registry set up a short form of 2 pages, fulfilled by the parties to the contract. In principle, the contract shall be made of 3 mandatory copies, 2 of which are given to the parties (the buyer and the seller), the remaining (which is actually the minute) is kept by the land notary in his/her records.

    The buyer and seller will meet with the notary at the Sector Level to sign the sales agreement. There must be two witnesses signing on the sales agreement as well.

    2 days Paid in procedure 1
    3

    Finalize registration at the District Land Registry and obtain new deed

    Agency: District Land Registry

    The seller takes the authenticated sale agreement, the registration receipt and the certificate of good fiscal standing to the Land Registry and files a request of the transfer of property.

    The documents to be provided are the following:
    (1) Completed form to request the transfer
    (2) Original property title
    (3) The notarized sale agreement
    (4) Copies of identification of the buyer and seller
    (5) Proof of payment of transfer and notarial fees equivalent to twenty seven thousand Rwandan Francs paid into the bank account of the district where the land is located.

    Once the request is made at the District Land Registry level, the document will be scanned and sent to the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority where it will be approved and the new title signed. The new title will then be sent to the District Level where the new owner will come and pick it up.

    8 days Paid in procedure 1

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 28.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 8.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Rwanda Natural Resources Authority- Land and Mapping Department -Office of the Registrar of Land Titles
    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/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    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/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    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? Different databases but linked 1.0
    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) 4.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    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: www.rnra.rw
    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: Presidential Order n°25/01 of 09/07/2012 establishing the list of fees and ...
    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, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://rnra.rw/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/land_doc/service_standard.pd...
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? Yes 1.0
    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: 14914
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    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: Presidential Order n°25/01 of 09/07/2012 establishing the list of fees and ...
    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, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://rnra.rw/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/land_doc/service_standard.pd...
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? Yes 0.5
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 8.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 7.5
    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? 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? Yes 0.5
    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.
    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.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    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? Intermediate Court of the location of the plot
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Less than a year 3.0
    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