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Guide To Foreigners Buying & Selling Land & Property In Gambia

Can Foreigners Buy & Sell Land & Property In Gambia?

 BUYING LAND OR PROPERTY IN GAMBIASolie Law can help to guide you through the issues involved in owning, buying or selling a house, compound or piece of land in The Gambia.

We are property lawyers and not estate agents. However, we provide a property buyers finding service for our property investment clients. If you wish to take advantage of this service we will use our knowledge of the market place and our contacts to locate properties that meet your specification.

Can a foreigner buy houses, land or properties in The Gambia

Foreigners can buy a house or compound or lease a private property or a plot of Government owned land in The Gambia. Foreigners do not need need official permission to build a house, buy land or own property in Gambia. There are no restrictions on the form of legal ownership of a property by a foreigner in GambiaNo special rules apply to foreigners investing, developing or building residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural land and properties in The Gambia.

However, there are some restrictions: the State Lands Act (1991) stipulates that foreigners can only have access to residential land for a period not exceeding 21 years and the property cannot exceed 2,500 square meters. Undeveloped non-residential lands cannot be leased or assigned to foreigners.

Do I need a lawyer to buy land or own property in Gambia?

Legal problems can arise when buying and selling land or property in Gambia. Our lawyers offer legal advice on buying, selling, renting or leasing land, buildings, houses, apartments, homes, business premises, real estate investments and property developments in The Gambia. more on real estate & property lawyers in Gambia

Is it complicated to buy a plot of land or a house in Gambia?

Unfortunately, very often people buying property or land in Gambia take little or no legal advice and are far too “casual” about the purchase and about the signing of legal documents. If foreign property buyers go about things in this way it can turn out badly. They may find there is no title to the property or that it was built without planning permission… or that it does not even exist! DO NOT DO THIS. For your own safety, insist on taking proper, independent, legal advice.

What does the property lawyer do?

In most countries in the world the lawyer plays a major part in the process of buying and selling land and properties. The lawyer is there to manage the sale and register the formal documents recording the sale or purchase which will be signed in his or her presence and understood by the parties concerned.

Is there a Land Registry system in The Gambia?

The property transaction and conveyancing process in Gambia is transparent and there is no more need to worry than when buying land or property at home.  After the Final Purchase Contract / Deed of Sale has been signed the Notary will arrange for it to be registered at the appropriate Land Registry and for the payment or any Land Registry fees.

Do I have to be in Gambia to complete the property transaction?

The seller and the people buying the land or property usually need to attend, in person to sign the Final Purchase Contract and the Deed of Sale. However, if this is inconvenient, arrangement can be made for a Power of Attorney to be granted enabling another person to attend on their behalf. We can arrange for this to be prepared and it can, almost always, be signed near where you live. We recommend that you give a Power of Attorney even if you intend to be present in person (which we also recommend).

What taxes may be due when buying land or property in Gambia?

Yes. We will arrange for the payment of any Gambia property transfer taxes due in relation to the transaction.

Should I buy land or property in Gambia from a real estate agent?

Most property buyers use the services of an Estate Agent to help them find a property. Most (but not all) estate agents are, of course, honest, but however honest and helpful they may be you must remember that they are only paid if the property is sold and that they are not able to give you independent legal advice.

Once you have found a property that you would like to buy you will almost certainly be asked to sign some form of reservation or preliminary purchase contract. It is far better to sign NOTHING until it has been checked by your lawyer. We can do this very quickly.

Be very careful before using the services of the estate agent’s “own” lawyers. Are they looking after your interests or the interests of the agent who is providing all their work?

Should I buy a house direct from a property developer in Gambia?

Increasingly, our clients are buying directly from property developers, without the intervention of an estate agent. You still need to take all the same precautions. EVEN SOME MAJOR DEVELOPERS SELL PROPERTY THAT IS ILLEGALLY CONSTRUCTED OR NOT SAFE TO BUY.

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