The Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) must be enforced to the letter to ensure sanity in land administration and acquisition in the country, a lawyer and property consultant, Kaaka Dello-Ziem, has said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic at the Graphic/Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) Real Estate Experience 2022 last Saturday, Mr Dello-Ziem said the new Land Act had adequately addressed most of the challenges on land.
He was one of the resource persons at the fair, where he lectured on the legal aspects of land and immovable properties.
Apart from codifying the various pieces of legislation on land into one, Mr Dello-Ziem said, Act 1036 had also criminalised illegalities such as land-guardism, multiple sale of the same land, fraud in land registration processes and chiefs and heads of families dissipating stool and family lands.
He said the government and all stakeholders in the land system, such as the law courts, the Lands Commission, traditional authorities, district assemblies, real estate developers and landowners, must abide by the provisions in Act 1036 and also ensure that the law was enforced for the benefit of all.
“The current Land Act has harmonised all the legislation on land and solved more than 90 per cent of the challenges in the land sector. What is urgently needed is its enforcement. It must be enforced to stop all the abuses and injustices in land acquisition and administration,” he said.
Real Estate Experience fair
The Graphic-GREDA Housing Fair, the biggest real estate and housing fair in the country, sponsored by the Republic Bank, the most dominant financial player in the real estate sector, started on Thursday, December 1, 2022 and ended last Saturday.
The fair, which was held on the premises of Silver Star Towers, had more than 100 exhibitors from all sections of real estate displaying their wares and products
Real estate developers, financial advisors, interior decorators, regulators and other industry players in the housing sector pitched their pavilions at the fair to offer customers and prospective customers information on and solutions to all their housing needs.
The fair was on the theme: “Home ownership through collaborative efforts of individuals, institutions and industry.”
What made the fair very attractive was the fact that apart from having the opportunity to buy and invest in different types of houses on offer by the exhibitors, participants also had access to information on financial instruments, funding options, investment plans and insurance relating to housing.
There were also seminars, during which experts educated participants on land acquisition, mortgage, effective ways of building houses and how to address issues such as flooding and fire outbreaks
Mr Dello-Ziem, who is also a Law lecturer and former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Larweh University College, said apart from ensuring the enforcement of Act 1036, there was also the need for increased education to make people aware of the provisions of the new Land Act and other laws related to land.
He said when people were made aware of their rights, responsibilities and the punitive sanctions under the law, they would be better placed to make informed decisions regarding land.
For instance, he said, many people were not aware that under the 1992 Constitution, foreigners were not allowed to hold any leasehold interest in land beyond 50 years, while citizens could have up to 99 years leasehold interest in land.
Again, he said, people were not aware that the law provided for renewal clauses in land leases, especially among citizens of the country, while a person who failed to go onto his land for 12 continuous years could lose it when someone occupied it.
“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you are not aware of the rights afforded you under the law, you may lose your land. Also, if one is not aware that a law prohibits him or her from indulging in a certain act relating to land and he goes ahead to commit that act, the law will not forgive him for not being aware,” he said.
Mr Dello-Ziem said it was important for people engaging in any land transaction to consult with experts, especially lawyers, to advise them on all the legal ramifications in order for them not to lose their properties or be at a disadvantage.
Some of the exhibitors who spoke with the Daily Graphic expressed satisfaction with the fair.
While some said they had made numerous deals, others said the fair had given them the platform to explain their housing products and services to prospective buyers.
“We hope that they will follow up and firm up the discussions we have had. In all, it was a good and beneficial fair,” one exhibitor said.
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