All Sierra Leonean citizens can purchase, lease or receive land as a gift in any part of the country. “Land” generally includes any buildings, trees and other things fixed to the land and any minerals etc. found beneath the surface.
Non-citizens can inherit land in the Western Area but cannot purchase or receive land as a gift anywhere within Sierra Leone. Non-citizens are permitted to lease land for a duration of up to twenty-one years in the Western Area, and fifty years in the provinces.
Companies registered in Sierra Leone may own or lease land in the Western Area if at least half of the shareholders are Sierra Leonean citizens. While companies cannot own land in the provinces, Sierra Leone registered companies may lease land for up to fifty years in the provinces.
With regards to registration, documents of title are registered but not the title to the land itself. As such, encroachments, boundary disputes and challenges to ownership of land are common. It is recommended that you seek advice from a lawyer and conduct thorough inquiries before proceeding with any land purchase
In addition to the purchase price of the property, you should factor in the following costs:
- Legal fees – Estimate paying up to the equivalent of 10% of the purchase price. Conveyancing services will usually include conducting due diligence, drafting a Conveyance and submitting it for registration.
- Survey costs – Estimate paying up to Le1,500 per town lot. A surveyor will measure the land and produce a survey plan which is a crucial part of the Conveyance.
- Real estate agents’ fees – If you have used a real estate agent to help you market or source the property, estimate paying up to the equivalent of 10% of the purchase price.
- Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – CGT is calculated at 30% of the gain made from the sale minus allowable deductions. In practice, estimate paying up to 10% of the purchase price. CGT is the legal responsibility of the vendor but it is not unusual for the vendor to negotiate payment of this tax by the purchaser.
- Stamp Duty – 0.1% of the purchase price
- Registration of Conveyance – Le250.00
It is advisable for you to obtain a professional valuation before entering negotiations to buy a property. Our services include providing valuation reports.
There are mortgage plans available through Commerce and Mortgage Bank (SL) Plc. Property purchases may also be financed through commercial banks or private lending arrangements. However, most property transactions are paid for cash down or in short-term installments