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The individual ownership of land in Liberia has long been recognized and all such ownership stems from grants of land made to individuals and purchases from local people. Dealings in private lands are regulated by law and are recorded in a Deeds Registry. By the 1960s the
status of information in the registries was so uncertain that in 1971 the government asked UNDP to provide assistance to undertake a pilot Cadastral Survey in Monrovia with the hopes to establishing an Office of Land Register to cure the defects of the existing system of
deeds registration. Following the enactment of the land registration law in 1974 (Chapter 8 of the Property Law) the government of Liberia began to implement a pilot systematic land title registration program. This activity ceased shortly after the coup in 1980.

The current situation in the deeds registry has not improved from the late 1970’s and in fact has probably gotten much worse to the point that there is currently a total lack of trust with the system. Many records were destroyed during the years of turmoil. Many transactions
have occurred with little reference to existing documents or previous transactions, leading to a situation of parcels being subdivided and sold with no accompanying adjustment to the mother deed. Many fraudulent documents have entered the system with little ability to correct the information prior to its being entered in the register. The overall result of this situation is that there exist seemingly valid yet conflicting documents, as well as many fraudulent documents registered with land-related Government institutions. As people are dissatisfied with the existing deed registration system, there is growing pressure to replace the existing system with an alternative title registration system.


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Published By: LLA


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