Do a thorough land search before making advance payments – Lands Commission
The Land Commission has advised natural and legal persons willing to buy land from real estate companies to carry out research to validate the interest in the land before advancing payment.
Mr. Timothy Anyidoho, the Greater Accra Regional Land Officer, advised at an editors forum in Accra on Wednesday, on the new Land Act 2020 (Act 1036).
“No matter how you feel about the credibility of the business, you must first obtain a site plan and conduct a search with the Land Commission to validate interest in the land you intend to buy before making any payment,” he said.
“You shouldn’t be carried away that it’s a real estate company advertising on radio or TV and therefore you think they have the right documentation on the ground.”
Mr Anyidoho said there have been cases where people have had difficulty registering title to land they have purchased from real estate companies. It was therefore important to carry out research to avoid losing huge sums of money through illicit land transactions.
He guided senior editors and reporters through some relevant sections of the law and encouraged them to use their media platforms to educate the public in order to make Ghana’s land administration system sound.
The law, for example, in Article 9(2) states that “A person shall not create any interest or right in any stool, skin, clan or family land which vests in that person, another person or group of persons a freehold interest in that country, however described”.
Section 98(1) states that “an action relating to land or an interest in land in the registration district may not be brought in any court unless resolution proceedings under the Land Registry Act 798 of 2010 alternative dispute resolution has not been exhausted”.
Mr. Alex Quaynor, Chairman of the Land Commission, said that the greed and indiscipline of certain land-owning Ottomans, clans and families had led to multiple land sales and the resulting protracted litigation, which had delayed development.
He called for collective efforts by all to restore common sense to the country’s land management system.
Mr. James E. Dadson, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, in his welcoming address, congratulated the drafters for availing themselves of the forum and gave them an overview of the structure and mandate of the Commission.
The Commission, he said, comprised four divisions; Surveying and mapping, public and acquired land management, land valuation and land registration.
He expressed the Commission’s commitment to effectively fulfill its mandate to complement the government’s transformation agenda as a catalyst for growth and development.
This, Mr. Dadson said, would help streamline the land administration system and promote accountability and transparency.
The objective of the new land law, signed into law by President Akufo-Addo on December 23, 2020, is to harmonize and consolidate all land laws to improve administration and ensure sustainable management.