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How to Conduct Land Search in Uganda

13 Sep 2018 Igloos

CONDUCTING A VIBRANT LAND SEARCH IN UGANDA.

Land is so precious. Consequently, before concluding any land purchase, one is advised to conduct thorough investigations over that piece of land hence one should know How to Conduct Land Search in  Uganda. This is because land is not like vegetables that anyone can purchase from the nearest market without getting relevant details. If not deeply investigated, the effects are devastating.

The buyer ought to find among others;

  • The tenure- Mailo, leasehold, freehold or customary/Kibanja.
  • The seller (s) and his/her personal interest on the said land.
  • The Capacity of the seller- A company, a partnership, administrator/administratrix, trustee, a beneficiary etc.
  • The laws governing the particular land tenure.
  • Any 3rd party interests on the said land.
  • Whether a lawyer, agent or a broker concluding the purchase on behalf of the buyer is registered with their respective regulatory bodies.

 

  1. CONDUCTING A SEARCH/ DUE DILLIGENCE ON CUSTOMARY /KIBANJA LAND. (UN REGISTERED LAND 99%)

  • Ascertain the land you want to purchase and its history.
  • Ascertain the seller
  • Obtain relevant documents from the seller confirming ownership g Sales agreement, a will, a letter from local authorities, Family minutes authorizing the seller to sell the said land among others.
  • Verify from relevant authorities/ persons the documents you have received from the seller. This should be done without the knowledge of the seller.
  • Inquire further on the ownership and 3rd party interests from neighbors, current users of the said land if any, local leaders and authorities.
  • Go to the land openly to inspect, ascertain boundaries, size and if possible plant new boundary marks. In this process, look for traditional boundary shrubs/ marks, trees, natural physical features among others.
  • In case there are any developments and /or features  on the said land, E.g Houses, Gardens, crops, materials, graves , trees, etc, find who owns the same and include the response on the sale agreement.
  • In case the land has a certificate of customary ownership visit the issuing authority for details.
  • Retain all the copies of the relevant documents obtained from the seller.

B . CONDUCTING A SEARCH ON MAILO, FREEHOLD AND LEASEHOLD LAND TITLES. (REGISTERED LAND).

  • Ascertain the land you intend to purchase by visiting it.
  • Ascertain the seller by getting his details E.g National ID, Passport among others.
  • Obtain relevant documents from the seller pertaining to ownership of the said land E.g a copy of certificate of title, sales agreement, court order if sold under court directions among others.
  • Inquire further on the ownership and 3rd party interests from neighbors, current users of the said land if any, local leaders and authorities. This ought to be done without the knowledge of the seller.
  • When it comes to boundaries, look for mark stones at every corner of that land.
  • In case there are any developments and /or features  on the said land, E.g Houses, Gardens, crops, materials, graves , trees, etc, find who owns the same and include the response on the sale agreement.
  • Make a written request for a search by either writing or filling in the search form at the office of the commissioner land registration within that area, (popularly known as a Zonal land office).
  • The written request or search form should indicate the details of that land E.g Block and plot for Mailo land, Leasehold Volume Number and Folio for Leasehold and Freehold Volume number and Folio for freehold land.
  • Present the written request or search form to the cash office at the Zonal land office for assessment of search fees and the bank to pay the search fees.
  • Proceed to the bank indicated on the assessment form to pay the search fees and obtain a receipt which receipt should be presented to the cashier at the zonal land office, who initially issued the assessment. The cashier will then stamp on the receipt and the written request or search form.
  • Make copies of the stamped search form and a receipt and immediately submit the originals to the receiving desk within the zonal land office. Request the receiving officer to stamp on the copies you will have made from the originals as an acknowledgement of the original copies. The stamped copies must remain with you as evidence of submission of the original documents and for follow-up purposes.
  • The Zonal land official shall then retrieve the file having the certificate of title you seek to search, compares the particulars therein with what is in the computer system and issue a search report signed by the commissioner land registration. The search report issued shall contain all the summarized details of the land.
  • When picking the said search report, request to look at the physical file for purposes of confirming whether the pictures (Passport Photos) and the signature on the transfer form in the file tally with what is on the documents received from him/her.
  • Upon receipt of the search report, a search on registered land is deemed to be concluded.

DO NOT RELY ON THE COMPUTERISED SYSTEM SEARCH REPORT ALONE WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE PHYSICAL FILE AT THE ZONAL LAND OFFICE FOR THAT PARTICULAR LAND YOU SEEK TO BUY. THIS IS BECAUSE THE COMPUTER SYSTEM MAY NOT BE UPDATED AT THAT TIME WITH ALL THE PENDING TRANSACTIONS IN REGARD TO THAT PARTICULAR LAND.

Counsel Okurut Isaac , the  author of this article is a lawyer and an Advocate.

He can be reached through Igloos Consultancy Services by email at : info@igloosconsultancyservices.com 

 

 

 

 

 

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