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Crest Law Advocates on LinkedIn: For all your Legal Advice on Land Matters, please visit…
Crest Law Advocates on LinkedIn: For all your Legal Advice on Land Matters, please visit…
For all your Legal Advice on Land Matters, please visit www.crestlawadvocates.com
Forms Required for Registration of a Certificate of Customary Ownership (CCO)
The Land Regulations, 2004 provide for the forms required for land registration. These forms are obtainable from the land administration institutions such as the District Land Board, the Area Land Committee and the Office of the Recorder (Sub County Chief/ Senior Assistant Secretary) and are usually filled in triplicate (3 copies). They are obtained after payment of a prescribed fee of 5000UGX. This fee, however, may vary from Sub County to Sub County. The forms required for a CCO include the Application form , the Notice form and the Land Demarcation form as are shown below:-
Procedures for acquiring a Certificate of Customary Land Ownership (CCO)
The applicant/s convenes a meeting with the family, clan or community to express his/her/their interest in acquiring a Certificate of Customary Ownership.
The applicant obtains application forms in triplicate from the Area Land Committee (ALC), fills the application forms accurately and correctly, seeks information from Clan leaders in areas where information is scanty and then duly files and submits application forms to the ALC. The applicant ensures payments of all fees and gets a receipt for payment (always make a copy of all documents submitted for future follow-up). Together with the prescribed fee, receipts and application forms, the applicant submits these to the committee of the parish (ALC) in which the land which is the subject of the application is situated. (See application form in section below)
Where an application has been submitted to the Area Land Committee, the committee shall cause a notice to be published and posted in a prominent place within the parish where the land is located; clearly indicating the location and approximate area of land which is subject of the application. The time within which any person who claims interest on that land should appear and attend a meeting convened for that purpose and raise their claims shall be specified in the notice and shall not be less than two weeks from the date on which the notice is published and posted
The notice shall require all persons claiming any interest in the land or in any adjacent land which may be affected by the application, including adjacent land claims as to the boundaries of that land to attend a meeting of the committee at a specified time and place and put forward their claims. In the event that the person laying claim on the land does not appear for the meeting, the officer shall order them to appear before the committee in a later meeting. (See forms on Order to appear in section below).
In the event that the person laying claim does not appear in the subsequent meeting, the committee shall go ahead to make decisions accordingly without them. If the claimant appears before the committee he/she will be required to produce evidence of the said claim on the land. If they mention documents such as land sale, land registration and or land transfer certificates then an order to produce such evidence will be executed by the committee. (See forms on order to produce evidence in sections below)
The ALC then holds meeting with all interested persons. In hearing and determining claims if any, the committee shall use its best endeavor to mediate between and reconcile parties having conflicting claims on the land before the land demarcation process begins. If the dispute is grave and cannot be resolved by the committee at this stage, then the committee shall not proceed with the land demarcation and state reasons in their report to the District Land Board. The withdrawal of the ALC from the process will allow time for the conflicting parties to settle any disputes without the influence of the ALC.
The ALC shall, in the event that all persons are in agreement as to ownership of the land, go ahead to mark the boundaries of the land, rights of way and other forms of easements on the land. During this process, the neighbors to the adjacent land, the local council chairperson, clan leaders and any other interested persons are required to be present and assent to the agreed demarcations. A sketch map will then be generated by the ALC and signed by the land owners, the neighbors, the local council 1, the ALC and selected elders in the community some of whom can be members of rowdii kweri council. This sketch map should be transferred to the land demarcation form which will accompany the application process.
After the demarcation, the committee prepares a report on the application, recording all claims to interest and rights in the land or to the occupation and use of the land and its opinion as to whether those claims have been proved to exist, setting out its findings and recommendations. If all parties are in agreement then the report will recommend to the District Land Board to issue a CCO. In the case of a disagreement, the report will recommend for a land conflict resolution meeting to settle the conflict. When the conflict is settled then another report will be presented for the continuation of the process.
The applicant shall be given a copy of the ALC report to the recorder and the DLB (always make additional copy and file for future reference) and another copy shall be submitted to the District Land Board. The committee also makes a copy available within the parish for inspection by all parties who submitted claims to or who were heard by the committee.
The District Land Board shall upon receipt of the report and recommendations of the committee consider the application in the light of that report and may confirm, differ or reject the report of the Area Land committee. The District Land Board is required to meet for the discharge of it’s functions at least once in every two months though such meetings usually take longer than the prescribed period mainly due to lack of funds.
Where the board rejects or defers a recommendation of the Area Land Committee, it shall give reasons for its decision and propose recommendations; where the decision of the board is to issue a Certificate of Customary Ownership the DLB directs the recorder to issue a Certificate of Customary Ownership to the applicant.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board may appeal to the Land Tribunal (Land tribunal exist legally in the land management structure although in practice they are not functional) thus calling for alternative means of conflict resolution such as Poro lok, Riya tal, mediation and negotiations. If such efforts fail then the complainant can seek legal redress from the grade I magistrate courts against that decision and the court may confirm, vary, reverse or modify the decision of the Board and make such other order in respect of that decision or as it is empowered by law to make and present it to the parties.
What you should know about your land title
The 1998 Land Act indicates a land title as one of the most fundamental instruments to show proof of land ownership in Uganda.
According to the 2019 Uganda Police crime report 2019, about Shs3b was lost as a result of obtaining money by false pretence and 42 certificates of titles were recovered with all cases attached to land titles.
Crest Law Advocates advises that a title must bear official signature from the issuing office, which is the regional land office, and official seals gazetted by the government, among other details.
Also the firm advises that any valid land title must bear a block number, blue page and the encumbrance page.
Besides the validity of the title, Crest Law Advocates notes that one should also pay attention to the status of the holder because non-Ugandan citizens can only own lease titles.
The firm adds that the law clearly defines property rights of all lawful and bona fide occupiers (legally defined) and what instrument a person must hold.
The firm advises that before carrying out a transaction, one has to carry out a land title search and look out for the details and the history of the land title.
Latest security features
In October 2020, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development released new features that land titles have to bear. The new security features are meant to guard against fraud and forgeries in land transactions.
Any Ugandan is free to acquire a land title on freehold, lease hold, mailo or customary land title as per the law. However, he adds that each tenure has got its specific procedure of title acquisition.
Applying for a freehold title
In order to apply for a free-hold, which is the more popular, one has to fill form 4 ,10,23 and form 19. That should be accompanied by an area land committee report, district land officers technical report, passport photographs, national identification card, letter from district land board and payment of fees.
The fees include registration fee, assurance of title fee, issuance of title fee and application fee.
All this can only be done in person since no one can acquire a title on behalf of the other.
“The title can be processed and acquired by the owner and even minors,”.
However, in case of minors, it has to be indicated that they are minors at the time of acquiring the title. Titles can be acquired from any Lands zonal office and a free hold title can be acquired in 10 working days.
For mailo land, one needs a transfer form, consent form, and a photocopy of the title.
After getting those particulars, anyone seeking to acquire a title under mailo tenure has to submit transaction documents for assessment to office of the chief government valuer to pay stamp duty, which is 1.5 per cent on the current value of land, and registration fee. The transfer is made in 10 working days.
Land title search
For any Ugandan to verify a land title, one has to conduct a title search that can be done physically or online. Crest Law Advocates, however urges advises that it is very important and effective for a title to be searched physically prior to any land transaction.
For a physical land title search, which can be done at Lands office in any region, one has to make a written request for a search addressed to the commissioner, land registration giving the description of the land.
One has to indicate whether the said title is for land on mailo, leasehold, or freehold. The county, block and plot number, leasehold register volume freehold register, folio number and volume folio number.
The application is presented to the Office of Commissioner, Land Registration and stamped “by the commissioner’s secretary and approved by a Registrar of Titles on behalf of the commissioner.
The application is forwarded to the Records Section to retrieve the file’s availability, and then the bearer is sent to the ministry’s cashier to pick a pay slip and make the payment.
Finally, the bearer pays the fees in the bank and obtains a receipt that is presented to the Land office. On verification of the receipt, the registry copy is retrieved and a search letter signed by a Registrar of Titles is issued to the bearer within three days after presenting the bank receipt. It should be noted that in 2017, title verification went digital when government launched ebiz, an online portal where the public can check the validity of land titles and make other business transactions.
Under the new arrangement, for anyone to access their certificate of title from the ministry, they must be coded with holders’ National Identification Numbers (NINs), according to a public notice published in the national gazette on February 1, 2020.
By Crest Law Advocates
Things to consider before buying land in Uganda
1. Determine What You Can Truly Afford
Well, the first step in the land buying process is to determine your budget, just as you’d likely do for any other major financial decision.
2. Decide Which Features Are Must-haves.
It’s the rare lucky person who finds the perfect land within their budget, so before you go property hunting, brainstorm a list of what you absolutely must find in property and which features are simply nice extras.
Examples of must-haves might include the number of size properties, proximity to work and other places you frequent, and access to your preferred school districts. You might also have a strong preference on the amount of outdoor space, and whether it’s move-in ready.
3. Start property hunting using an experienced Real Estate Agent.
Browsing online resources for available land in your neighbourhood is a good place to start, and can help confirm whether your budget and house must-haves are reasonable in light of what’s for sale.
This is also a prime time to decide whether you’ll hire a real estate agent if you haven’t already. While you’re under no obligation to do so, there are several potential benefits to working with one. First of all, an agent can provide access to more home options than you’ll likely find yourself, as well as set up viewing appointments. Since home-buying can be an emotional process, an agent can also act as a mediator between you and the seller.
4. Verify the title (Visit CrestLaw Advocates for more on this...)
The buyer should verify the authenticity of the property, and check whether the seller has a right over the property or if the property is not caveat. Take the first step is to check the title deed of the property and approved plans if it is a structure which you are going to buy.
This can be done by obtaining a property search report from the land district offices. The search, report confirm whether the land is in the name of the seller and that he or she has the full right to sell the land. It is always better to get the original deed examined by a reputable lawyer and also to ensure the property is of the right size on the ground it is important to engage your own surveyor who will help you establish whether the land you want to buy is exactly located on the site the agency is showing you and valid.
5. Property Due Diligence (Visit www.crestlawadvocates.com)
When it comes to buying land? You will want to really understand what your money is going into, you will want to know the area, and you will want to know what the potential is for capital growth. The important thing, however, is to be rigorous, and exhaustive. A property is always a big investment. There is a lot of money that goes into a property deal. So obviously, you don’t want to make mistakes that could have been avoided if you had done your research.
The key thing we consider when buying a property is
Price versus value.
Understanding the Local Area: Making sure that there is a ready local market. You need to know that the property is commercially viable.
Calculating Rental Demand
6. Put in an Offer
So you’ve fallen in love with a property that meets all of your needs and some of your wants—and it’s within your price range. Let’s make an offer!
This is where it can get tricky: You don’t want to lowball your offer or insult the seller but you also don’t want to pay more than is necessary.
7. Review the purchase agreement (www.crestlawadvcoates.com)
Once the seller accepted your offer before you sign on the dotted line, you should make sure to review the contract thoroughly and understand every single clause.
Review all closing costs—the ones you’ve hopefully saved up 3% to pay for, which might include an attorney’s fee, title search and partial property taxes—before you sign the contract.
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