What is in an Allocation Note?

I wish to dare say that most people who buy or own land in Kumasi know very little about allocation notes. There mounting secrets about allocation notes that most land experts and land buyers don’t know? Secrets, mountains of them which affect the fate of land buyers everyday, exists. Land buyers, thousands of them, buy land in the thick darkness of the knowledge of allocations notes.

That is why most land buyers continue to experience avoidable land ownership problems long after they have paid money for land. But before we go ahead to unravel these secrets about allocation notes, let’s first of all ask ourselves this question: what is an allocation note? If we are able to answer this question clearly without an iota of ambiguity , we will pave the right way to bring to light the secrets of allocation notes.


In Kumasi, when someone buys land from a chief, the buyer is often given a piece of paper to show that he is the owner of the land. The piece of paper is often well known as an allocation note or paper. An allocation note, therefore, indicates that there has been an original transfer of land from a Stool or a Chief to another person.

Allocation notes often bear the logo or letterhead of the Stool or the chief selling the land. On it are often written the terms and conditions of the transaction. Such as, for example, development of the land should begin within one year and be completed in three years and that ‘ground rent must be paid annually’. Allocation notes are signed by the chief and his principal elders. The date on which the sale took place is written on it, a brief description of the land that is being given out such as the plot number. In addition, three site plans of the land being sold are also attached to allocation notes. At least anyone who has bought land in Kumasi know this.


What most people, including some land experts, do not know about allocation notes is that before 1943, allocation notes were not known in the corridors of buying, selling, and owing land in Kumasi. Most land sales were oral. The practice was that anyone wishing to acquire land had to just see the elders of the town with drinks and that person had land. Land was in abundance. And land was often given out without hesitation. No allocation notes were issued to cover such transactions.


In 1943, when the British came into the scene., everything changed. A law was passed to establish a Land Office for the Asantehene. Located at the Manhyia Palace, where it is still at today, the office was to help the Asantehene keep records on all of it’s land transactions.

Thereafter ‘43, when chiefs gave out land, they were required to inform the Asantehene’s Lands Office in writing so that the transaction would be recorded. At that time most chiefs could not read nor write. But developed simple letters to introduce people whom they gave land to send to the Asantehene’s Lands Office.

On the 15th of February, 1955 the Tafo Stool for example gave out a plot of land at Nhyiaso to one Kyeami Kwasi Yeboah. In my research I had the opportunity to see the letter. It read;
“I have the honour to inform you that the above plot has been allocated to Kyeami Kwasi Yeboah and I should be obliged if you would prepare the necessary papers for him.”


This letter, like most allocation notes issued in the olden days by our ancestors points to the fact that allocation notes were not meant to be only an an introductory papers. But with time, these letters meant for introducing land buyers to the Asantehene become known as allocation notes.

allocation notes did not attached conditions to the sale of land such as; ‘you should start developing the land within one year and complete in two or three years’. Allocation notes didn’t require the endorsement of the Asantehene to be valid. Though when leases were prepared, the Asantehene had to sign to make it valid.

Today, most land buyers clinch to allocation notes as land documents. However, most land experts see nothing legal in allocations notes. As a matter of fact, these two opposite beliefs about allocation notes is the genesis of the secret world of allocation notes in Kumasi.

I believe you now have an idea about what constitute an allocation note. I believe you now know that allocation is very new in the tradition of buying and selling land in Kumasi. And I believe you are asking many more questions about allocation notes.

Don’t worry. Ask those questions, share your opinions as comments and I will do my best to respond. In our subsequent articles on this blog, we will be unraveling lots and lots of secrets in the world of allocation notes. Feel free to contact us if you need Land,House,Rent or buy properties in Ghana. We will serve all your needs.

Pan African Real Estate Ghana “The Only Real Estate You Can Trust”

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