We don't sell land. To use our flexible repayment construction services, you need to come with your own litigation-free and/or unencumbered land. Land acquisition is serious business, and must not be taken lightly.

Before beginning your search for land to buy in Ghana, and to avoid potential land litigation issues, it is important to understand the laws surrounding land acquisition and purchase; especially the law on who owns land in Ghana. The first thing to know is this, no one individual owns land in Ghana! All lands belong to the state, traditional authorities and families and clans. Lands owned by individuals and private entities are simply leaseholds lasting 50 years for expatriates and 99 years for citizens (it’s a 50 to a 70-year ratio where commercial property is involved). Purchasing land in Ghana without adequate information can be disastrous for you.

It is important that you arm yourself with the detailed information provided below. If you're time-poor or luck the capacity to navigate land acquisition process in Ghana, invest in the services of a qualified surveyor or land professional - parting with few cedis is better than being mired in unending litigation battle.

It is sensible that you investigate the ownership and documents attached to the land you intend to buy before doing so - You can't use our services until you have demonstrated incontrovertible ownership of the land the project is expected to sit on.



There are two categories of lands in Ghana: customary and public lands.

Customary lands are those owned by traditional authorities (stool in the southern belt of Ghana and skin in the northern belt).

Public lands are those either owned by the state or held in trust on behalf of traditional authorities. These lands make up about 20% of all lands in Ghana while the majority, i.e, 80% are customary lands.


Public and customary lands are further broken down into four smaller types. These are:

1. Stool Lands

Stool lands are a type of customary land under the custody of chiefs. These lands are held in trust on behalf of the people in traditional communities by the occupants of stools and skins, in accordance with customary law and usage. Accordingly, stool or skin refers to the traditional authority (usually a chief) exercising that control.


2. Family Lands

Family lands are those lands owned by families before and even after the coming into law of the 1992 Constitution. These lands are managed by the heads of families assisted by principal family members. If you’re about to purchase family land, it is important you do business with the head of the family and no one else.


3. State Lands

State lands are lands owned by the state and consequently, by all citizens. These lands include any land that has been vested in the Government of Ghana for the public service of Ghana and any other land acquired in the public interest. This, however, excludes all lands in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions of Ghana. Ghana’s state lands are solely administered by the Lands Commission. (1992 Constitution, Chapter 21, Act 257).


4. Vested Lands

Vested lands are those plots administered by the state on behalf of the stool or skin. These are usually owned by the state and customary authorities in a form of partnership i.e. split ownership.




The 1992 constitution of Ghana identifies two types of interest in land ownership: Freehold and Leasehold


1. Freehold Land Interest

Freehold lands are those that are owned outright by the landowner for an unlimited period, with landowners having the freedom to dispose of the property at will. This means the landowner – be it the stool, family or state – is the eternal custodian of the land. There are two types of freehold land interest. They are:

(i) Customary Freehold Interest

It is as an interest in land held by sub groups and individuals in land acknowledged being owned allodially* by a larger community of which they are members.


(ii) Common Law Freehold Interest

Common law freehold is an interest in land which is held for an indefinite period and is derived from the rules of common law. It is created only by express grant and could be acquired by both strangers (Ghanaians outside the land-owning community) and members of a stool or a family. The major difference between customary freehold interest and common law freehold is the instrument that backs it.


The former is backed by customary law and the latter by the Constitution.



2. Leasehold Interest

A leasehold or lease is a temporary right to occupy a land or property for a specified period. There are secondary types of land ownership and interest in Ghana especially tenancy (which is essentially a lease less than 3 years). Mensah Dorman goes in depth on those types in his paper on Land Acquisition in Ghana.


The allodial title is a real property ownership system where the real property is owned free and clear of any superior landlord. The owner will have an absolute title to his or her property. The allodial title is the highest land title recognised by Ghanaian law.







- Essential Themes in Land Law in Ghana Part I

- Essential Themes in Land Law in Ghana Part II

- Essential Themes in Land Law Book Launch




Related Pages

How it works

Getting a building permit