How to protect your land going forward
a) Ensure you transfer it and register yourself as the registered proprietor as soon as possible. Note that Uganda uses the “Torren’s system” of land registration of titles. This system covers private mailo land and freehold. Customary land tenure follows the Land Act. Mailo land (Kabaka’s land is a topic of discussion for another day) – Buy at your own risk and get the full facts and approval of the Buganda Land Board.
The Torrens system emphasizes registration. An instrument conferring title is not effective until it is registered. Therefore transfer of the land is not at the point of executing the sale agreement or by paying the purchase price, however it is by registering the transfer forms at the Ministry of Lands, Land Office. Thereafter you acquire all the protection and rights e.g. Section 56 of the Registration of Titles Act stipulates that the certificate of title shall be conclusive evidence of all particulars and endorsements thereon, and that the person named in the certificate as the proprietor is possessed of the estate described thereon.
b) Register a caveat as soon as you are informed of any dispute on the land you are purchasing. For example if you paid a deposit on the land, paid full purchase price but the title is still being processed either under subdivision or otherwise. The caveat is in form of swearing an affidavit where you state what type of interest you have in the land eg as a spouse, as a person who has given part payment etc.
c) Personal Caveat; we also encourage people to register caveats on their land. This is especially for those who are based out of the country. Largely a caveat ensures that no transfer, subdivision, mortgage or transaction affecting your rights as registered proprietor can be carried out without your express permission. In this time of land grabbing and purpoted hot deals, one cannot be careful enough
We hope you have enjoyed our land series. Feel free to drop us short questions.