When buying land always engage the services of a trusted real estate agency or lawyer based in the Gambia before entering into any property purchase, paying of advances and signing any documents with anyone. Potential buyers have been known to have been tricked into ‘buying’ land that does not belong to the person ‘selling’!
Process of buying a plot of land in the Gambia:
When looking to buy land in Gambia the first thing you should make sure of is that it does not fall within the Tourist Development Area (TDA).
Establish Title Deeds
Once you have decided on a piece of land that you are interested in buying you should try and first get a copy of the title deeds and paid taxes or written verification of ownership of the plot from the Alkalo and get a real estate agency or lawyer to examine the ownership documents in detail.
You must remember that the procedure for purchasing from customary owners is somewhat different to that of leased land (preferable & more straight forward.)
1. Check with neighbours next to and near the land you want to acquire if they know who owns the property.
2. Go to the Alkalo of the village to determine from him or her who currently owns the land.
3. Ask the owner for photocopies of the papers for the plot, especially the receipts relating to “rates payment” for the previous and current year.
4. Check with the relevant area council who owns the property, and also show them the copies of “receipts for payments of the rates” (this would show who is the current owner of the land in a direct way since the name of the ratepayer is the name of the person who is stated to be the owner of the property.)
5. After determining who the owner is check their “original ID card” or passport against the name of the “Transfer of Ownership Form”.
Process of Paperwork:
The document that initiates the land-buying activity in The Gambia is the ‘Transfer of Ownership’ form.
There are 6 copies and these should be signed by all parties and witnessed. Before you sign this form it must be accompanied 6 plot sketch plans showing the area you wish to purchase.
The documents should then be signed by the Alkalo (local chief), Seyfo (district chief) and the relevant local government body.
Please note that a plot could be owned by a number of people from the same family called a Kabilo, so their consent to sell their jointly owned property must be given to you in writing, witnessed and signed accordingly.
The land buyer is expected to pay a fee of around £125 which should accompany the Transfer of Ownership Form and is payable at the local government level. After this stage there are other documents involved in the buying process along with other fees.
• Other Documents
Certificate of Occupancy
Land Use Clearance and Transfer
Income Tax Clearance from the sellers
Once you have purchased your plot you must try and get the property fenced as soon as possible and if possible paint NOT FOR SALE on all four sides. This is to discourage anyone trying to ‘re-sell’ your what you already own. It might be an idea also to put your mobile telephone number on the wall and build a small single room on the landed property with no frills at all.
Buy land carefree and with documents checked
Selling and Buying land in The Gambia is on a high right now but as a buyer, you need to make sure that all documents are in order to prevent disappointments or problems after you bought.
Know that buying a piece of land or a new home in The Gambia can be a lot less stressful and easier with GamRealty. Though the horror stories in the market can make you believe otherwise, buying land with proper paperwork is surely possible. GamRealty indicates plots for sale with a Documents Checked label.
We want to ensure every buyer a satisfactory and hassle-free buying experience. When you buy with us; you are guaranteed that all documentation is seen by us and verified.
All land for sale listings on our website of which we have checked paperwork have a green Documents Checked label.