One must tread this path with a well-informed mind. This article, "10 Things to Know Before Buying Land in Cameroon," serves as a comprehensive guide,
Navigating the vast terrain of land ownership can be a daunting endeavor, especially when it's country as diverse and vibrant as Cameroon.
From the bustling cityscapes of Yaoundé and Douala to the breathtaking landscapes of Mount Cameroon, the country offers a myriad of opportunities for land investment.
Yet, as enticing as the prospect may seem, one must tread this path with a well-informed mind. This article, 10 Things to Know Before Buying Land in Cameroon, serves as a comprehensive guide, providing key insights and practical tips to equip potential investors with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.
So, without further ado, let's embark on this enlightening journey together.
10 Things to Know Before Buying Land in Cameroon
1. Seek Legal Advice
The law is the first and perhaps the most important thing to know before buying land in Cameroon! Start by getting legal advice from a competent lawyer or attorney who will guide you through the intricacies of buying and owning land in Cameroon.
2. Double-check the Authenticity of the Land
It is always advisable to check if the land you are about to buy has a valid land certificate and if the piece of land has not been used as a mortgage of any type.
3. Verify the Identity of the Seller
Sometimes the land is authentic, but the individual postulating as the land owner might be an impostor. This might be an unauthorized family member or someone who is in possession of the land documents but is not the rightful owner or designated administrator of the land.
4. Consult Local and Traditional Authorities to Make Sure the Land is not Deputed
The process of buying, transferring ownership, and establishing land titles for every piece of land in Cameroon involves the local and traditional authorities of the area.
Always consult these local and traditional authorities before buying any piece of land to ensure that the land is not involved in any disputes or legal procedures.
See Also: Specialist Hospitals in Cameroon
5. Be Ready for the Financial Demands
Like any other country, acquiring a piece of land in Cameroon usually involves huge financial investment. Planning adequately before buying a piece of land in Cameroon is always advisable.
The most notable aspects that will warrant some financial inputs are; notary fees, Land surveyors’ fees, the amount to be paid for the land, consultation fees for the local authorities, and the cost of the administrative procedures at the land registry.
6. Involve a Notary Public
Always use a notary public when paying for the piece of land you are about to buy. This will give legal backing to the transaction, and you can always use this as a backup in case things go wrong further down the line.
Carrying out your payment with the help of a notary will leave you in a good position in case a settlement or refund is needed.
The notary will also give you legal advice about the different stages of land acquisition.
7. Be Prepared to Start Developing the Land
Buying a piece of land in Cameroon is usually not enough for you to keep the land, especially if this land is located in a developed or fast-developing area.
Sometimes an investor might come up with a bigger offer or the possibility of developing the said piece of land. In some cases, you might be obliged by the authorities to surrender your land for developmental purposes.
So, when planning to buy a piece of land in Cameroon, also make plans to start developing the said land as soon as possible. This will also give you an added advantage in case of a settlement.
8. Find Out About the Town Planning Policy in that Area
It is suicidal to acquire a piece of land without finding out if the authorities have a development plan for that area, if the site has been mapped out as a restricted area for development by citizens, or a risk area of any type (e.g., landslides, earthquakes).
Acquiring a piece of land in such areas may lead to the seizure or demolition of any structures that have been put up in that area. This will lead to substantial financial and material losses.
There are also restrictions to building certain structures around airports, seaports, and railways.
9. You Can’t Own a Land Title if You Were Born After 1975!
An essential thing to note before buying a piece of land in Cameroon is that only individuals born before 1975 can acquire a land title.
So, before you buy a piece of land, be sure to have a close and trusted person who falls in this age bracket and whose name can be used to process a land title. Being included as co-owner of the land is possible if you were born after 1975.
10. Make Sure You Visit the Land Physically
One significant rule about buying land in Cameroon is to visit the land yourself. A physical visit to the site will allow you to evaluate the land’s suitability for your intended purpose.
It also allows you to see the area’s development level concerning accessibility, electricity, and water supply.
Proximity to essential services like schools, hospitals, and markets should also be considered. So be sure to visit the land yourself or send a trusted person.
Do not rely entirely on word of mouth or advertising flyers and videos. Go there in Person!