Verify the authenticity of the seller’s land title
Agency: Lawyer’s or Notary’s office
Fraudulent titles and subsequent land disputes are common in Somalia. Therefore, it is generally recommended to verify the authenticity of the title document before proceeding with the property transfer. The only records of properties that were registered prior to 1991 only are kept by a former Registrar official who moved the registry records outside of the country. The temporary ownership records keeper has an office in Mogadishu to verify records. Any request to verify the authenticity of a title registered before 1991 goes outside the country and therefore costs around USD 1000-2000 and takes a month to be processed. As a result, a certificate of authenticity is issued for the property title.
If a property has been registered in the past ten years, the records concerning its ownership would be available in the official bulletin. Many lawyers have kept the archives of the official bulletin or have digitized the published data in databases. Therefore, it is possible to verify the authenticity of the land title at a lawyer’s office. Lawyers charge a USD 50 fee for checking the title’s authenticity. A notary public can also do the authenticity check by calling the notary whose name is mentioned as the person who executed the property’s latest transfer to check their records. The notary public does not charge for this procedure as it is included in the cost of notarizing the property transfer agreement.
Time and cost: 1 day, paid in Procedure 3
Obtain tax clearance from the Ministry of Finance
Agency: Ministry of Finance – Local Office
The seller goes to the Ministry of Finance’s local office to obtain a tax clearance (“Nulla Osta”) certifying that the seller has paid all property taxes. The seller needs to present the ownership title and pay a small fee to obtain the tax clearance.
Time and cost: 1 day, USD 20
Sign and notarize the transfer agreement at the Notary’s office
Agency: Notary’s office
The two parties go to the Notary where the transfer agreement is drafted and signed. The documents needed to draft the transfer agreement are the land title (with all previous transfer documents attached to the title), parties’ identification documents, powers of attorney and incorporation documents.
The Notary checks the type of the property (“dominiale” vs “municipale”) by going through the official gazette records before drafting the agreement. It is common that the Notary requires the presence of grantors who can confirm the parties’ identities and brokers who certify the property’s value and act as witnesses.
Time and cost: 2 days, USD 227.03 (1% of the Property Value)
Register the property transfer at the Banadir Regional Authority – Municipality of Mogadishu and pay the transfer fee
Agency: Banadir Regional Authority – Municipality of Mogadishu
Mandatory documents to register the property transfer at the municipality are (i) the land title (with all previous transfer documents attached to the title); (ii) the notarized sale agreement; and (iii) the ID documents.
Time and cost: 1 day, USD 50
The registration fee is calculated according to the following fee schedule:
Property value between
- USD 1 and USD 10,000: USD 25
- USD 10,001 and USD 50,000: USD 50
- USD 50,001 to USD 100,000: USD100
- USD 100,001 to USD 200,000: USD 200
- USD 200,001 to USD 400,000: USD 300
- USD 400,001 to USD 1,000,000: USD 600
- More than USD 1,000,001: USD 1,000
Register the property transfer at the Court of Appeal
Agency: Court of Appeal
The Notary goes to the court of appeal to register the property transfer. It is not common to register the transfer at the court of appeal even though it is mandated by law. However, if the property is to be used as collateral to obtain a loan from the bank, the bank would require the registration of the transfer at the court. The documents to be submitted to the court of appeal are (i) the notarized sale agreement; (ii) a receipt for the property’s sale (either only for the down payment or for the full price); and (iii) the parties’ ID documents
Time and cost: 183 days, USD 20