Skip to main content

The Arab Land Initiative is pleased to share the final report on Lebanon’s Legislative and Administrative Land and Property Rights Framework. Previously published in draft form, this final version includes updated graphics and a new layout. Information and data collected for this report was finalized in 2022; any changes that took place after this date are therefore not reflected in the publication.

Land management and administration is gaining increasing importance in Lebanon in view of the scarcity and degradation of land and water resources that affects society country-wide. Land governance constraints in Lebanon indicate that legislation related to land use, planning, protection, zoning and other land-related legislation must be updated and their application must be effectively enforced to protect the non-renewable land resources in the country. 

The land tenure system in Lebanon is pluralistic and includes statutory, customary and religious land tenure systems in addition to informal land rights. Each of these systems is governed by special legislation or by unwritten practice rather than through written codified law. Customary tenure rights and informal settlements are not registered in Lebanon’s land registry, meaning many land and property owners do not have access to formal security of tenure. 

As a host country to refugees, Lebanon first received about 100,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948 after the Arab–Israeli war, and then during the Syrian war beginning in 2011. Lebanon has received more than one million Syrian refugees, making it the country with the highest number of refugees per capita. This influx of Syrian refugees had implications on land tenure in Lebanon. As Syrian refugees struggled to find affordable rental housing, which was limited, the increased demand resulted in an increase in the cost of rent overall, which also affected vulnerable Lebanese families’ access to adequate housing. 

The report is part of a series of publications that tackle land issues in the Arab region. They aim to provide an overview of relevant policies, laws and regulations relating to different aspects of land governance and land-related decision-making processes, and to analyse the institutional set-up and key stakeholders in the land sector of each country.

To learn more about land, housing and property in Lebanon, visit the Arab Land Initiative’s Lebanon webpage where you can find a snapshot of Lebanon’s land sector, key UN-Habitat and Global Land Tool Initiative interventions in Lebanon and a curated library of other land-related resources.