How to Acquire a Land and Transfer Ownership as a Non Zambian

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Land Acquisition and Transfer

These article how to acquire a land and transfer ownership as a non zambia is a key factor when it comes to Industrial establishment. This article has been carefully crafted to enable you understand how to acquire a land in zambia as a Non citizen but as a permanent resident.

Land can be acquired and transferred in Zambia in the following ways:

(a)Acquisition of State Land by Non Zambians

A non-Zambian can acquire land under the following conditions:-

  • He/she is a permanent resident in Zambia
  • He/she is an investor within the meaning of the ZDA Act or any other law pertaining to investment in Zambia
  • In exceptional cases, by Presidential consent in writing
  • A person registers a company under the Companies Act, with no less than 75% Zambian shareholding
  • Title Deed will be issued in the name of the registered company
  • Under a short term tenancy of not more than 5 years
  • If the person is granted concession or right – under the National Parks and Wildlife Act

Before land can be bought or sold ‘State Consent’ must be obtained. The consent is issued by the Commissioner of Lands on application. If consent is not granted within 45 days of filing the application, the application is deemed to be granted. If consent is refused, the reasons for refusal must be furnished to the applicant within 30 days.

Acquisition of land in an area designated as State Land will require consent of the relevant District Council. Land which does not fall within the jurisdiction of any council, can be alienated upon direct application to the Commissioner of Lands. He will then make a formal offer to the applicant, which will contain similar conditions to those obtaining in the offer made for an application of land situated in the Customary Area.

Land in private ownership can be bought, sold and title deeds issued by the Commissioner of Lands. In all instances ‘State Consent’ will have to be obtained by the vendor before title deeds can pass to the purchaser. The consent is issued by the Commissioner of Lands on application. If consent is not granted within 45 days of filling the application, the application is deemed to be granted. If consent is refused, the reasons for refusal must be furnished to the applicant within 30 days. As stated above, 10% of the value of land is paid to the Zambia Revenue Authority by the vendor in terms of property transfer tax. It should be noted however that such land is under leasehold tenure with a maximum lease of 99 years from the state.

(b)Acquisition of Customary Land

In order to acquire land in a customary area, one will require to do the following:

  • The written consent of the area Chief
  • Approval of the District Council in the area
  • Additional approval from the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, if the land is in a Game Management Area

These approvals once obtained should be submitted to the relevant District Council, which in turn will submit the documents to the Commissioner of Lands. The Commissioner will then make formal offer to the applicant. The letter of offer will stipulate among other conditions:

  • Consideration Fee – This is not a fixed amount and is dependent upon locality, services provided by the state or council and other related factors;
  • Survey Requirements – This can be carried out by private or government Surveyor. Submission of a diagram or plan attached to the lease agreement is a mandatory requirement prior to issuance of Certificate of Title;
  • Preparation Fee – The office of Commissioner of Lands charges fees for preparation of lease. These fees are fixed through Statutory Instruments but are subject to change;
  • Registration Fee – charged by the Lands and Deeds Registry before lease is registered and certificate issued
  • Property Transfer – currently 10% of the value of land is paid to the Zambia Revenue Authority by the vendor. No tax is payable where land is acquired from the State.

Lands Tribunal

The Lands Act of 1995 also provides for establishment of a Lands Tribunal to speed up the resolution of land disputes.  Decision of the Tribunal is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court within 30 days of the decision

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