Frequently Asked Questions: 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 we make the necessary checks, 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 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 we have already said, the systems are very different. We can only do what is normal in the country where you are guying the property. We cannot turn this into an ‘English’ transaction. Sometimes the local procedure is not as safe as our system. Sometimes it is better. It is always different! Remember, though, that every year thousands of local people successfully and safely buy houses and apartments.
That is what we set out to do for you.
Should I buy a property direct from a seller or developer?
Increasingly, our Clients 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 OT 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 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 about paying the taxes due?
We will 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.