If you are thinking about buying land or property in The Gambia, going to look at properties should be the LAST stage in the process, not the first. At first, you will need legal support in The Gambia in almost very case recommended.
The process of buying a property in The Gambia, whether for your personal use or as an investment, SHOULD start with thorough preparation.
This will save you a lot of wasted time AND money. We STRONGLY recommend that you make contact with us BEFORE you go to look at any property.
That way you can deal with all of the key issues calmly and clearly, before you get involved in the rush and pressure always associated with buying a specific property anywhere in the world.
GamRealty can help you find a qualified law firm to assist you regarding the legal part while buying a property in The Gambia.
Some Frequently Asked Questions for Buying & Selling Property in The Gambia
Do I need Official permission to buy property in Gambia?
Are there any restrictions on the form of legal ownership of a property in Gambia?
No special rules apply to foreigners.
Is the way you buy a house in The Gambia the same as at home?
Generally speaking and provided that necessary checks are made, yes. In Gambia there is hardly any more need to worry than there in when buying land or property at home.
Unfortunately, very often people buying property overseas take little or no local legal advice and are far too “casual” about the purchase and about the signing of legal documents. If they go about things in this way it can turn out badly. They may find there is no title to the property, 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.
Can you make all the same checks that you would make in The Gambia?
No. As already said, the systems are very different. You can only do what is normal in the country where you are buying the property. Sometimes the local procedure is not as safe as your system. Sometimes it is better. It is always different! Remember, though, that every year thousands of local and people from abroad successfully and safely buy houses and apartments.
Should I buy a property direct from a seller or developer?
Increasingly, prospect buyers are buying directly from a seller or developer, 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.
What does the Lawyer do?
In most countries in the world the lawyer plays a major part in the process of buying and selling real estate.
The lawyer is there to put on the public record the fact that the formal documents recording the sale/purchase have been signed in his or her presence and understood by the parties concerned.
Do I have to be in Gambia to complete the transaction?
The Seller and the people buying the house usually need to attend, in person to sign the Final Purchase Contract/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 recommend that you give a Power of Attorney even if you intend to be present in person.
What about paying the taxes due?
A lawyer can arrange for the payment of any Gambia property transfer taxes due in relation to the transaction.
Is there a Land Registry system in The Gambia
Yes. 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.
Source: Solie Law Chambers