1.1 Legal Protection
1.2 Registries
1.3 Formal Ownership
In-Country Assessment Information

1. Property Rights

Goal – Property rights that are legally protected, secure, recorded in a single, accurate, widely accessible electronic registry and that lead to high levels of formal ownership for all citizens


1.1 Legal Protection (Strong)

Core Question: Does an effective and sufficient legal framework exist to protect property rights for all citizens?

Most land remains the property of private citizens and are registered with formal land use certificates and titles.

Legal Framework (Very Strong)

1.1.1   Are property rights clearly defined and protected by law?

Rank 28 out of 142; Score 5.33 out of 7

Whereas ranked highly by the World Economic Forum, it is found that local protectionism, bureaucratic discretion and judicial corruption somewhat hinder law enforcement.

Security of Tenure (Very Strong)

1.1.2   Can citizens challenge the legality of government takings?

Rank 27 out of 142; Score 4.4 out of 7

 Procedures are clear for properties with formal government recognition and most properties have been formalized. Furthermore, the courts accept the majority of suits against government expropriation.Source: Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 – World Economic Forum

Bundle of Rights (Strong)

1.1.3   Survey Question

SQ1    What is the bundle of rights (group of rights such as occupancy, use and the right to sell or lease) associated with both residential and commercial property ownership?

Land in both rural and urban areas are mainly privately owned, all other land is state-owned. Individuals and firms may own and transfer long-term leases on land and buildings.

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1.2 Registries (Very Strong)

Core Question: Does a reliable property registry exist including cadastral, title and mortgage lien information?

 Over the last few decades the system of cadastre, land use rights registration and mortgage registry has continually improved.

1.2.1  Cadastral Information (Strong)

Survey Questions

SQ 2   Is cadastral information (information about the dimensions and location of land parcels) accessible to the public?


SQ 3   Is zoning/permitted use information included are use regulations respected and enforced?


SQ 4   Are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) including Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) information used to create and update the registry?



1.2.2  Title Registry (Strong)

Rank 104 out of 183; Trend ↓ What is the number of procedures required to register the transfer of a property from one owner to another?

7 What is the duration of time in calendar days that it would take to complete the transfer?

21  What is the total cost of the transfer including all fees, taxes, etc. expressed as a percentage of the value of the property?


Source – Doing Business 2011 – Registering Property, World Bank

1.2.3  Mortgage Registry (Weak)

Survey Questions

SQ 5   The mandatory use of notaries or similar officials slows down and adds cost to the process. Does a notary need to be involved in the registration process?


SQ 6   Is information in the registry available electronically?

Yes, available from the local property administration, the Department of Lands and Survey (DLS), established in 1927.

SQ 7   Title insurance is indemnity insurance against financial loss from defects in title and from the invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage liens. Is title insurance available to lenders?




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1.3 Formal Ownership (Strong)

Core Question: Do citizens understand and trust property rights institutions and avoid the informal sector?


Survey Questions

1.3.1 Land (Very Strong)

SQ 8   What is the status of land ownership?  

Very Strong


1.3.2 Home Ownership (Very Strong)

SQ 9   What is the percentage of formal home ownership?

Very high


1.3.3  Informal Sector (Weak)

What is the percentage of services firms that report competing with unregistered or informal firms?

The presence of informal markets for goods is somewhat widespread. Moreover informal activities by formal firms are rather common.

Source: Interviews with small businesses.


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In-Country Assessment Information

Field Question (FQ) 1. Even if legal provisions exist, what is the actual status of property rights and ownership for small businesses?

The laws on investment and property ownership generally permit domestic and foreign entities to establish and own businesses and to engage in remunerative activities. However, activities relevant to military and national security are subject to different provisions and procedures.

FQ 2. Are standard leases used for commercial space? If not, what is a typical arrangement for rental?

The typical lease contract lasts a year, with an option to renew. Although leases with shorter terms are also allowed in Jordan, such contracts have higher rents (the one-year contract of lease, under Jordanian law, cannot be broken). Since most rents are paid a year in advance, deposits are not required.

FQ 3. What are the processes for government expropriation of property especially notice and due process for owners? Are those laws followed or do expropriations happen by collusion between officials and connected elites?

According to the constitution (Article 11), “No property of any person may be expropriated except for purposes of public utility and in consideration of a just compensation, as may be prescribed by law.”

FQ 4. Are businesses owners compensated fairly when their property is taken for public use?

Historically this has not been the case. There are instances in which there is either no or little compensation. In some other cases, some municipalities went bankrupt due to the exaggerated compensations.

FQ 5. What protections do businesses have who lease space from arbitrary eviction by owners?

FQ 6. What is the actual experience of transferring a property, accessing the registry and dealing with registry officials?

FQ 7. How large is the presence of informal markets for goods, i.e. itinerate vendors?

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