THE CONCEPT OF UNIT TITLES IN TANZANIA

Published by Benedict Magoto Mayani

  1. Unit titles are a trending phenomenon in the real estate World. The term unit refers to a portion of a property which is owned by a specific owner or co – owned for exclusive use by co-owners. In Tanzania the concept was introduced in 2008 when the parliament enacted the law known as The Unit Titles Act, 2008 and over the years a number of other laws were enacted including;

    1.   The Unit Titles Regulations, 2009
    2.   Unit Titles (Amendment) Regulations of 2015

    Registration of Unit Title

    In order to register a Unit Title, the Developer must ensure availability of the following: -

    Mother title/Certificate of Title of the property, the use must reflect the intended construction of the project, Land rent should have been paid and the property should not have any encumbrance, and the Fees for registration must be paid.

    Several documents shall need to be filled which are: -

    UTF No. 3 – Application Form for registration of a Unit Plan, UTF No. 4 – Application Form for registration of Units, UTF No. 11, Application Form for registration of the Association, Landforms No. 29, 30 & 35 found in the Landforms Regulations for registration of transfer process in favour of the purchasers.

    The process of registration of units is performed by the Registrar of Titles, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development. Upon registration of a unit, an owner obtains a Certificate of Unit Title reflecting his/her respective name or any other entity as the case maybe.

    After the Lands Ministry issues a Certificate of Unit Title to developer then Developer prepares valuation reports for all purchasers who have completed payments. The purchaser pays the statutory fees i.e., stamp duty paid at Municipal together with notification and approval fees; registration fees is paid at Lands Ministry.

    Each fee is 1% of the highest amount in the valuation report and sales agreement. Original Certificate of Title in respect of the property where the Unit is located (i.e., the mother title (This is because registration of transfer of Unit must also be registered against the mother title).

    If the purchaser is a company, a copy of the Articles of Association of the Company, the Certificate of Incorporation of the Company and board resolution authorizing the purchase of the respective Unit should be included. 

    Educational campaign to the public to understand unit titles ownership scheme, Trainings to officers responsible for issuing unit titles, Establishment of independent units to deal with unit titles and provision of adequate resources and skills to ensure timely registration within reasonable time, Streamline the process of subdivision and amalgamation to reduce redundant steps, Speed up finalizing conversion regulations of existing units.

    Automation of lands registries, Computerize the process of printing and issuing unit titles, Trainings to land surveyors, architects through their registration bodies, Empower the land registry and municipal offices with sufficient manpower and working resources.