Friday, 23 March 2018

Textual description of firstImageUrl

Importance of land registration

By: David Adade

Land is an important asset and therefore needs to be well protected from all form of encumbrances. Previously when population was small, people turned to place less emphasis on the need to secure land rights. Even though land was in the hands of chiefs as trustees, native people were free to use any part of the land provided they respected the chief (stool or skin) as the allodial owner. Strangers were only asked to provide a drink money or cola nuts to the chief in order to have access to the land. During those times, someone may own land provided he continue farming on it. People were therefore recognizing as the owners of the land without registering it but merely farming on it. There was no pressure on land even when land registration started in the 1960s. Due to this, people did not see the need to register their land.

But as population grown and people started developing on land, the demand for land has become very intense. Now land is needed to build houses, for educational centers, offices and shops, recreation, sports, transport, factories etc. Many people want to be with only the nuclear family therefore an increase in the household. An increase in the household number in Ghana has cause an unprecedented demand for land and as it stands now, Ghana’s housing deficit is hovered around 1.7 million units which will require a large tract or many pieces of land. Due to the limited amount of land couple with the unlimited demand, chiefs as well as individuals sell a single piece of land to two or more people and demand money from all of them causing a lot of land disputes in the country. There are thousands of land disputes in the various courts in Ghana. Ollenu once said “there is no land without an owner”. Therefore, before someone will buy a land, he should conduct a thorough investigation before he proceeds.

You can read more on my article on ‘Buy land, not Litigation.’

Why should someone register his/her land?

1. To secure land right.
Securing land right is important because no one is willing to lose a huge amount of money invested in a property. Everyone who buys, inherit or receives land has some bundle of rights accompanied in the transfer. Therefore, the person can do whatever he wants to do with the land without having to receive permission from someone. The person shares the land with no one and can decide on whatever use he wants to put the land into.

2. Free from all sort of encumbrances.
Encumbrance is defined as, to load down something with a burden. Registering your land prevent adverse possession i.e. someone claiming ownership of your land. The law gives priority to a person who first register the land. That is, if a particular land is sold to two different people, the first to register the land becomes the owner. The court will decide in favor of the person who first registered the land unless in few occasions. No one can claim ownership of the land since you have every document to prove that it is yours.

3. The right to transfer.
Registering a land gives someone the opportunity to transfer, assign, alienate or willed it to someone. When a land is registered, it can be transfer to another in exchange for a capital sum. The Wills Act, 1970 Act 360, gives everyone who owns a property the opportunity to transfer it to his survivors or anyone he wishes.

4. The right to mortgage
Most banks in Ghana requires a person who is requesting a loan from the bank to provide some form of collateral security so that upon failure to pay back the loan, the bank will sell the property to defray the loan amount and any interest accrued. Anyone who owns a land or a property that has not yet been registered does not qualify. Loan amount can be used to do any business to pay back the loan amount and get profit while you still have your land or property back.

5. Prevention against encroachments i.e. protection from squatters.
When a land is registered, people stay away from it. Encroachment happens mostly on unregistered lands. People see it to be a “no man land” and therefore enter and occupy without permission. Let me therefore bring to your notice that when someone occupies your land for a minimum of 12 years without the owner informing the squatter to leave, the squatter will automatically becomes the owner of the land. 

 To know the process of land registration click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment