GREDA pushes for law to regulate ownership of compound houses

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Stakeholders in Ghana’s real estate sector are asking for a law to regulate the ownership of condominiums, popularly known as compound houses in the country.

Currently, there are no dedicated laws governing the possession of both residential and non-residential condominiums in Ghana.

As part of efforts to address challenges in the real estate sector, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), Samuel Amegayibor, speaking to Citi Business News on the subject said: “Real estate developers today are building apartments, but we don’t have a specific law that deals with that sector”.

“So if you buy an apartment right now, even the lawyer will struggle to draft the legal documents to transfer ownership to you because we don’t have clear-cut laws that deal with it. So we are beginning to own properties vertically.”

“When you are living in a community, and you don’t have a maintenance structure because properties belong to several people, it causes a lot of problems. So the law is supposed to regulate the new normal that we find ourselves in. Lands Commission has some laws that deal with how to own lands but specifically for condominiums, we don’t have it,” he added.

In 2017, the Works and Housing Ministry disclosed it had initiated processes to get Parliament to pass four legislations to regulate activities in Ghana’s housing sector.

This was to include the passage of two new Bills and the amendment of two others. The two new Bills were the Real Estate Agency Bill and the Condominium Bill.

But that was the closest the country has come to in passing a condominium law. The bill is yet to receive Cabinet’s approval.

A condominium, popularly known as a compound house in Ghana, usually consists of small rooms housing several households with an open courtyard and shared facilities such as toilets, bathrooms and kitchens.

This type of dwelling unit is very popular with low-income groups because it is affordable and allows the sharing of facilities with known groups and individuals at a relatively reduced cost.

According to the 2010 Population and Housing census, compound houses make up 57% of Ghana’s 3.4 million housing stock.

Unfortunately, these houses come with many issues, including the ownership of the buildings.

It is for this reason that stakeholders in the real estate sector are still pushing for that condominium bill to be passed to regulate the ownership of these apartments

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