Legal Services

The roles of the Legal Services Section are:

  •   Lease processing in respect of public and customary land;
  •   Deeds and title registration;
  •   Land acquisition;
  •   Settlement of land disputes;
  •   Reviewing policies and practices in land administration;
  •   Preparation of tenancy agreements for properties let out and rented by government; and
  •   Collection of Ground and land rent.

Most of the activities of this Section are demand driven depending on the prevailing land market and these include:

  •   Processing of leases;
  •   Approving land transactions;
  •   Issuing consents and certificates of compliance; and
  •   Enforcement of lease covenants.

Generally, the number of consents and certificates issued has increased in the Cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba. However, there has been a drop in the number of applications for land transactions in rural areas. This may be attributed to lack or decline of land market in rural areas due to the declining of tobacco industry.

The Legal Services section offers the following services;

  • Preparation of offer letters
  • Approving reserve prices when banks are exercising the power of sale
  • Lease processing;
  • Registration of various land transactions i.e. deeds and little registration; lease/land transfers, cautions, charges, assignments etc. 
  • Land acquisition;
  • Settlement of boundary and land disputes;
  • Reviewing policies and practices in land administration;
  • Preparing tenancy agreements for properties let and rented for and by government and 
  • Collection of land rent.
  • Advising the public on land law, policy and procedures  

The lease process under the Legal Services section;

People get a lease through the lease process and the following is the procedure for obtaining a lease from government;

  • Allocation of land by a chief (if customary land) or by government agencies Lands or district commissioner (if public land)
  • Completion of forms e.g.  Customary land consultation chief’s form in case of customary land, agricultural lease application form if the land is to be used for agricultural purpose and land application forms in case of public land.
  • Production of lease application forms and payment of lease application fee is at K5, 000.00.
  • The District Commissioner recommends the application to the regional commissioner for lands with a map attached
  • Where applicable indicating whether compensation is payable or not 
  • The Regional Commissioner consults the planning authorities to confirm land use and other environmental requirements
  • Ministerial Approval is sought and once granted, an offer of lease is made by the regional commissioner for lands and copies are sent to District Commissioner where required
  • The Offer Of Lease outlines the conditions of the lease e.g. permitted use
  • Acceptance of the offer of lease includes payment of fees and duties required including initial ground rent and compensation where necessary. the fees and duties are stamp duty, registration fee and lease fees
  • A request for a Cadastral Survey is made to the surveyor general where necessary for preparation of deed plans
  • A draft Lease Document is prepared in triplicates to be executed/signed by the two parties, stamped and registered by government
  • Upon being registered copies of the title deeds are distributed accordingly.
  • What remains is that the lease must be paying ground rent using the ground rent notice.