The best investment on earth is earth.” -Louis Glickman …but we all must guard ourselves against losses incurred in dealings with unscrupulous individuals through due diligence.

Introduction

With the increased financial lietracy and desire to improve individual networth, many Igandans are buying land wherever they can. Some of these cases end in joy, while others end in frustration.

This article breaks down six simple things you must do for due dilegence when buying land. 6 SIMPLE MUST-DOS WHEN BUYING LAND IN UGANDA by Brendah N. Mpanga Photo by Olia Danilevich / Pexels

A. Conduct a Physical Inspection

The purpose of this inspection includes the following;

– To understand its location and whether it is suitable for what you want to use the land for

– To understand the terrain of the land with the advice of a Surveyor.

– To establish the boundaries of the land to avoid errors in the acreage and future trespass cases.

– To establish who the neighbors are and whether they know the owner of the piece of land that you are interested in purchasing

– To confirm whether there are any legal and or bonafide occupants on the land

– To confirm whether there are any land wrangles on the land

– To visit the Local Council Officials to confirm the history of ownership, any agreements made with Kibanja holders in respect to the land.

 

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Conduct a physical inspection to assess location suitability, terrain, boundaries, neighbors, legal occupants, land disputes, and confirm ownership history with local council officials.

 

There is no such thing as ‘too safe’ when it comes to the purchase of land. Take every precaution, ensure documentation of every interaction and transaction and do not pay until due dilegence has been satisfactorily done.

B. Appoint professionals to handle the transaction

 

i. Surveyor

Appoint a Surveyor to confirm the acreage and terrain of the land.

The Surveyor should have a valid Practising Certificate. The surveyor should conduct a physical visit of the site.

ii. Lawyers

Appoint a Lawyer to help you with checking whether there are any occupants on the land, conduct a search with the Registry of Lands and obtain a Search Report signed by the Commissioner.

They should identify the Registered Proprietor, negotiate and draft the land sale agreement and ensure that the right parties sign the agreement. A. Conduct a Physical Inspection

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C. Valuation of the Land

Stamp Duty payable upon purchase of land is not computed out of the purchase price of the land as agreed by the parties, but is instead assessed from the value given to the land by the Government Valuer. Any variations to the proposed assessment would make the transaction null and void.

D. Execute a Sales Agreement

Under the Contracts Act, 2010 – contracts above UGX 500,000/= should be in writing. If the person is illiterate, ensure that the signing meets the provisions of the Illiterates Protection Act Cap 78.

Illiterate persons are incapable of entering into transaction if the document does not indicate that it was read to them in a language that they understand.

Ensure that the Agreement contains the right acreage of land and avoid cases of mistaken belief.

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E. Transfer of the Property

Ensure that you view the original identity card of the seller, obtain a photocopy of the national identification card and Tax Identification Number (TIN) in cases where the value of the land is above UGX 10M/=

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F. Take possession of the land

Ensure that upon completion of the transaction, you take possession of the land, to avoid land grabbers using your land.

Due diligence in land transactions is something that of ignored can lead to a world of hurt that could have been avaoided. Do not allow yourself to grow lax in any land transaction to prevent avoidable losses.

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