The Procedure of Buying a Plot
When considering to buy a land in the Gambia, the initial step is to make sure that it does not fall within Tourist Development Area (TDA).

– Establish Title Deeds
As soon as you decide on getting a particular piece of land, you should try and get a written verification or approval of ownership of the plot from the Alkalo and get a Gambian lawyer to look at the ownership documents properly.

Always remember that the process for buying from customary owners is quite different to that of a leased land. It is better and straight forward.

– Customary Tenure
Preparatory Work

  1. Clarify with neighbors nearby by in regards to who owns the land you want to buy.
  2. Visit the Alkalo of the village to determine who presently owns the land.
  3. Request for photocopies of papers for the plot from the owner. Especially the receipts relating to “rates payments” for the last year and present year.
  4. Talk to the relevant area council who owns the property and also show them duplicates of “receipts of payments of the rates”. This is what shows who the present owner of the land in a proper way since the name of the rate payer is the name of the person who is known to be the owner of the property.
  5. After confirming who the owner is, verify their “original ID card” or passport against the name of the “Transfer of Ownership Form”.

– Procedure of Paperwork
The file that initiates the land purchasing initiative in the Gambia is the ‘Transfer of Ownership’ form. 6 copies of this form is to be made and they should be signed by all parties and witnesses. Prior to signing this form, it should come with 6 plot sketch plans showing the area you want to buy. The documents should be signed by the Alkalo (local chief), Seyfo (district chief) and or the relevant local government body.

Sometimes, a plot may be owned by a more than one person from the same family and this is called a Kabilo, so it is important to make sure an agreement has been made within themselves and this must be assured with a written and signed document accordingly.

An estimated sum of $150 is expected to be paid by the buyer which should come with the Transfer of Ownership Form and it can be paid at the local government level. There are other documents involved after this stage in the procedure with other fees.

Other Documents
– Certificate of Occupancy
– Land Use Clearance and Transfer
– Income Tax Clearance from the sellers
– Fencing Permit
– Leasing (optional)

After you have bought your plot, it is important for you to get the property fenced as soon as possible and even paint NOT FOR SALE on all four sides. This is to deter anyone from trying to sell it again (what you already own). We also suggest that you put your mobile telephone number on the wall and build a small single room on the landed property with no problems.

Reminder does not take responsibility for misinterpretation, destruction or losses of any kind from anyone following or not following any of the details above. Contact a lawyer first before inspecting any property or making any decisions on real estate.