Reality of land leases – Daily Monitor
Whenever the word “lease” is mentioned, three things should come to mind; periodic detention, terms and conditions and reversion interest. These characteristics are essential to this land tenure system because, by definition, it is the form of land ownership that allows the granting of exclusive ownership by a landowner, called “the lessor” or “the owner. ”To another person, called“ the tenant ”or“ tenant ”for a period of time, after which this land“ reverts ”to the lessor. Leases do not provide for any perpetuity, regardless of the length of the lease.
As such, you should be aware that while this type of tenure will give you title and the ability to use the property exclusively, and for the most part, do whatever you want with the land, including selling your property. interest on it, on the day the years mentioned on this lease expire, you or the person to whom you have sold your interest will be required to request an extension of the lease, obtain a new one or humbly vacate the land. It is therefore imperative to understand the effect of the periodic nature of leases early on to ensure that you or your assigns are able to plan for the impending expiration of the lease.
For this, it is also necessary to be mindful of distinguishing the leases from two other provisions that are fundamentally different from it but yet similar; leases and licenses.
Many Ugandans in urban and suburban areas live in rented houses or apartments. This arrangement, like a lease, requires the payment of rent and the maintenance of the property in good repair and “rental”. This landlord-tenant relationship, usually for a term of no more than three years, is a rental agreement that grants no legal interest in the property. What we gain from such an agreement is a periodic right to use the property in return for the payment of rent and the maintenance of the premises in rental status. This tenancy, being of short duration, may, unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise, generally be terminated by giving one month’s notice. In Uganda, leases of this nature are still largely under-regulated as the Landlord Tenant Bill has yet to be enacted. Another key difference between rental contracts and leases is that in the latter the terms are fixed and the lessor cannot easily introduce new terms before the lease expires.
When one person gives a permit to another, they are simply giving them personal permission to occupy or do something on their land. Again, this doesn’t give the licensee a legal interest in the land like a lease does, after all, most licenses are given free to licensees.
While leases are recordable, rentals and licenses are not. You cannot pledge leases and permits as security for a mortgage, for example, when you can do so with your lease title.
Over 70 percent of the land in Uganda is held under customary tenure. Under this regime, people own land, individually or as communities according to the customs of the region, even when they do not have land titles. Some communities assign individual plots to their members, with known and defined boundaries marked by ridges, trenches or trees, while others maintain common property at all times, not allowing individual use. The law, by strengthening security of tenure, allows for the issuance of a certificate of customary occupation when customary lands are not intimidated by conflict. The owners of customary lands can apply, either individually or as an association, for conversion to freehold. This conversion, from a development perspective, is well advised since it confers a more clearly unassailable title on the owner.
Local customs tend to recognize kinship and customary relationships, thus creating restrictions on the transfer of land outside the designated customary unit. A developer seeking to purchase customary property should therefore be aware of these pre-existing restrictions and endeavor to comply with them before committing to the purchase. Indeed, as a developer, it makes more sense to require the competent customary authorities to request a conversion of the property into full ownership before acquiring it from them. This type of land, due to the many restrictions that come with its generally communal nature, makes negotiations more tedious and due diligence before you can make transactions there.