LAND CERTIFICATE IN CAMEROON
A land transaction can’t be completed without the signing of a land transfer agreement, a Deed of Conveyance, and eventually the issuance of a land certificate in Cameroon. Generally, an individual or a corporation desirous to purchase land in Cameroon has a duty to consult a property attorney to conduct due diligence and investigate the title of the land at the property land registry so as to ensure the said land is free from all encumbrances like bank mortgages, chieftaincy dispute, court cases, and double sales. A Notary public is statutorily commissioned to draft and sign all Deed of Conveyance in Cameroon, however, he must have sighted a copy of the letter of allocation from the chief ( in case of new layout ), survey site plan of the said parcel of land to ascertain the meters square area of the land or documents evidencing initial sale. The Cameroon penal code sanctions any vendor who does not make full disclosure at the negotiation stage before selling the piece of land as per section 318 of The Cameroon Penal Code.
DEED OF CONVEYANCE IN CAMEROON
A Deed of Conveyance in Cameroon is a legal document prepared by a Notary Public to convey absolute rights over a piece of land to a purchaser as per Section 8(1) of Ordinance No 74/1 of 6th July and Section 74 of Law N0 90/059 of 19th December 1990. The Deed of Conveyance in Cameroon is usually prepared by the purchaser’s solicitor and must contain the following :
- Personal information of the vendor and the purchaser
- Information on how the vendor became the owner of the land
- Assurance from the vendor that the land is free from encumbrances
- The willingness of the vendor to sell and the desire of the purchaser to buy
- The purchase sum must be included
- Covenant of indemnity to the purchaser in case of loss
- The Deed of conveyance must be witnessed
- Most especially Notarized by a Notary Public
In property transactions, the purchaser has a duty to pay adequate remuneration to the lawyer for preparing the deed of conveyance. Notary Public in Cameroon commonly charges 10% of the value of the transaction and can only reduce after a hard bargain by the purchaser. The higher the value of the property, the more percentage charged, and the lower the value of the property, the lower the percentage charged.
PROCEDURE FOR LAND CERTIFICATE IN CAMEROON
The law regulating the grant of a land certificate in Cameroon is decree No 76/165 of 27th April 1976 which has been modified by decree No 2005 /481 of 16th December 2005. Landowners mistakenly consider their notarized Deed of Conveyance to be a land certificate. The procedure to obtain a land certificate in Cameroon is strict and detailed. A summary of the procedure comprises an application attached to wit a survey plan describing the land, payment of processing fee, visit the locus for boundary demarcation & cadastral mapping, publication, and the eventual issuance of a land certificate.
In case of conflicting claims over a parcel of land, ownership is ascribed to the person that can prove a better title to the land. If there is no title document, it is sufficient to show that you have been in possession of the land. Evidence of land possession includes but is not limited to; cultivation on the piece of land, erection of building or fence, and demarcation of the land with pegs or beacons.
The purpose of a survey plan in land cases is to identify the land in dispute because who so ever cannot identify a piece of land will hardly convince the court to be the rightful owner. Traditional evidence can also be adduced to prove ownership of land but the court must be convinced as to who founded the land, how the founder founded the land, and the names of intervening owners.
This write-up is aimed at enlightening society and reducing the alarming rate of land cases in our courts.
Article By: Barr Mafany Victor Ngando.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.