THE Chief Executive Officer of JL Properties, Dr James Orleans Lindsay has called on the government to open a window of conversation on the regularisation of land ownership in the country.
He said the government could use such a move to rake in revenue for the state while solving the issue of land disputes.
Dr Lindsay said most of the land disputes in Accra for instance, was due to the illegal means by which the lands were acquired, making it difficult for owners of such properties to secure land titles for them.
"Many of the houses in Accra do not have land titles because they sit on encroached state lands. All the houses around Abeka, which have been there for years don't have titles because they are on state lands that was reserved for the construction of the Olympic stadium," Dr Lindsay said in an interview with the Graphic Business in Accra on Tuesday.
Dr Lindsay explained that with the availability of morden technologies such as drones, the government could remap all state lands that have been occupied illegally and mandate occupants of such properties to regularise their ownership at the Lands Commission for a land title at a fee.
"Someone would say that would encourage encroachment but the point is that this offer would only be given to properties that are already in existence and it will also help prevent further encroachment because the government would now know the entire land portions that have already been encroached," Dr Lindsay said.
He added that properties without titles were a waste of land resources because owners of such properties can not use them as collateral for any business or to secure a bank loan.
"But if we regularise their ownership at a fee, the state will benefit and the citizens will benefit too," he explained.
Dr Lindsay also urged the Lands Commission to increase public education on the legal processes to acquire and register a land or a landed property to help fadeout the challenges associated with land acquisition in the country.
Beyond the primary challenge of securing a land title, Dr Lindsay said the multiple sale of land to different customers, court litigations and the menace of land guards have all made property registration cumbersome in the country.
Touching on the impact of the raging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the real estate business, Dr Lindsay said the pandemic had forced people with disposable income to acquire properties.
That he said, had created a boom in the industry over the past seven months.
"People are buying more houses now so there is increased growth in the real estate sector because they are putting their money in real estate instead of organising huge weddings and funerals," he said.
He said the banking sector crisis which resulted from the Bank of Ghana reforms had also shifted investment focus of many with purchasing power to invest in real estate sector.
"So you see that many people who have the money are buying houses instead of putting their money in the bank," he said.