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Registering Property in

Tanzania

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Tanzania. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Tanzania to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Obtain an official search at the Land Registry

    Agency: Registry of Titles

    The seller must obtain the search of any encumbrance before starting the transaction formally. The document does not necessarily show all the owners of the property in the last 10 years. In practice, the buyer conducts the search to obtain confirmation of the ownership status and encumbrances registered on the property.
    7 days (simultaneous with procedures 2 and 3) TZS 40,000
    * 2

    Submit application letter to obtain evaluation at Ministry of Lands or Local Government Authority

    Agency: Ministry of Lands or Local Government Authority

    The seller can request the valuation report at the Ministry of Lands. The valuation report can will be prepared by the Ministry of Lands or Local Government Authority (valuation department) and sent to a government valuer for approval. Regardless, final approval must be given by the Chief Government Valuer. It does not necessarily include or reflect cadastral value of the property. Valuation of the property is for purposes of ascertaining stamp duty and Capital Gains Tax.

    The documentation shall include:

    • Property title issued by the Land Office and/or Land Registry

    • Cadastral map/plan of the property prepared by an architect if it is a lease of part of the property such as a flat in a block building
    7 days (1 day to submit application + 6-day waiting period for evaluation appointment) (simultaneous with Procedures 1 and 3) The official valuation fee is calculated by using the following formula: (Property Value – 200,000) * (1.25/1,000) + 550 + valuation approval fee of 0.01% of property value
    * 3

    Obtain land rent clearance from the Land Ministry showing payment of rents

    Agency: Land Ministry or Local Government Authority

    The seller is required to obtain a land rent clearance from the Land Ministry, showing that all land rents have been paid
    1 day (simultaneous with Procedures 1, and 2) no cost
    4

    A government valuer inspects the property to confirm its value

    Agency: Ministry of Lands

    A government surveyor must determine the value of the property and, where necessary, establish a cadastral value and prepare a cadastral plan. In certain instances, the Chief Government Surveyor may, inspect the property valued to confirm that the valuation report accurately reflects the correct property value. The valuation report must be approved by the Chief Government Surveyor.
    7 days (1 day to complete valuation + 6-day waiting period for delivery of valuation report). Paid in Procedure 2
    5

    Notarization and execution of the sale agreement and preparation of the transfer deed

    Agency: Ministry of Lands or Private Advocate

    A lawyer usually prepares and notarizes the sale agreement, and prepares the transfer deed, which takes about two days. Notarization of the sale agreement is mandatory. The process can be delayed if the seller fails to provide all the necessary documents for the preparation of the sale agreement and transfer deed. The process can also be delayed if the parties take a long time to negotiate and execute the documents. The cost of preparation is officially 3%, however this is negotiable with the lawyers involved.
    1 day Approximately 3% of property value
    6

    Obtain approval for the transfer

    Agency: Commissioner of Lands

    This stage involves obtaining approval from the Commissioner of Lands for the disposition of the property.

    Documentation shall include:

    • Original Certificate of Title/Letter of Offer

    • Original Land Rent receipt for the relevant year

    • Original Valuation Report

    • Original Valuation Approval receipt

    • Transfer forms

    • Form 30 (form for Application of grant of approval for disposition)

    Together with form 30, the applicant will also be required to submit forms 29 and 35. Depending on the total asset value of the seller and buyer, an application to the Fair Competition Commission for approval may also be required. The current threshold is T.Shs 800 million.

    • Copy of Passport/birth certificate (of two directors of the seller and buyer)

    • Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company (seller and buyer)

    • Board Resolution approving the disposition of the property in respect of the seller and Board resolution approving the purchase in respect of the buyer.
    14-21 days TZS 5,000 approval fee
    7

    Obtain a capital gains tax certificate from the Tanzania Revenue Authority

    Agency: Tanzania Revenue Authority

    A Capital Gains Tax Clearance Certificate is obtained from the Tanzania Revenue Authority before the name of buyer is recorded in the Land Office or the Land Registry.
    14-21 days Capital Gains tax is calculated as 10% of the amount gained by the Buying Company
    8

    The transfer deed is delivered to the Registrar of Titles for its recording under the name of the buyer at the Lands Registry

    Agency: Registry of Titles

    The transfer deed is delivered to the Registrar of Titles for its recording under the name of the buyer at the Land registry. The Registrar of Titles also ensures that all the other taxes in respect of the property have been settled including Capital Gains Tax described in the procedure above.

    Once all these fees are paid the transfer is then registered and the buyer is recorded as the owner of the property.

    Documentation Requirements:

    • Notarized sale agreement and transfer deed

    • Capital Gains Tax clearance certificate from the TRA

    • Consent letter from the Commissioner of Lands

    • The original title deed

    • Proof of payment of all necessary fees, i.e. land rent and registration fees
    14 days 1% of property value (Stamp duty) + Registration Fee as follows: registration fee (0.25% of the property value + 500 for the instrument)

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 7.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 0.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Registry of Titles, Ministry of Lands, Housing & Human Settlements Development
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 2.5
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Records are not publicly available 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
    Link for online access:
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 5.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer; Interested Parties.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer; Interested Parties.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? High Court, Land Division
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0