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How is the property purchase process in Tanzania

Posted by Admin Kaya on June 12, 2021

The state owns all land in Tanzania. Therefore, there is no private ownership allowed for both citizens and non-citizens.

Nevertheless, the Government grants rights of occupancy of land and derivative rights. A right of occupancy is valid for 5-99 years, renewable. A derivative right, on the other hand, can be held for 5-98 years. For a foreigner to obtain a right of occupancy, s/he is required to be granted first a Certificate of Incentives by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).

There is also the option of obtaining sub-leases on land, which has been granted to the private sector through a right of occupancy.

Foreigners can only occupy land for investment purposes. There are several ways to be permitted occupancy on land: through obtaining derivative rights from the TIC, application to the Commissioner for Lands, sub-leases, licenses from the Government, and purchasing from holders of rights of occupancy.

Rights of occupancy are transferable, on the condition that it is to be transferred to a foreigner, to be used for investment purposes, with permission from the TIC.

If the foreign investor opts to purchase from a holder of a right of occupancy, a lawyer´s services is needed for the process. The lawyer drafts a Sale Agreement and the seller provides the necessary documents that confirm s/he has a right of occupancy on the property in case and it is clear of any encumbrance.

The notarized Agreement is taken to the Land Office, where the buyer pays for the necessary taxes and fees to have his/her name recorded at the Land Registry. The lawyer also prepares a Transfer Deed, which is submitted to the Municipal Land Office with the Sale Agreement. A Certificate of Occupancy is then sent to the buyer.

Footnotes to Transaction Costs

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc

Notary Fee

Notary fees are approximately 3% of the property value. Notary fee is negotiable, but it is regulated and it cannot go higher than 10% of the property value.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is levied at 1% of the property value.

Registration Fee

Registration fee is around 0.25% of the property value.

Valuation Fee

Valuation fee is around 0.10% of the property value. The official valuation fee formula is: (Property Value – 200,000) * (1.25/1,000) + 550 + valuation approval fee of 0.01% of property value.

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