Niwematsiko Athepham, a surveyor at one of the leading real estates company in Uganda called Kaliki Investments Limited explains the procedures on how to register a caveat on a land title.
A caveat, from the legal context is a notice to a court or public officer to suspend a certain proceeding, transaction or dealing until the “notifier” is given a hearing or his/her notice is withdrawn or nullified by court.
It is a notice that the “caveator” has an interest on the land and thus no dealing on the land can be made unless that interest is factored in. This means that a caveat can only be lodged by the owner of the land or a person with a “caveatable interest” on the land.
A rudimentary example is the sign posts we always find on vacant land e.g. THIS PROPERTY IS NOT FOR SALE or “THIS IS FAMILY LAND”. It acts as a warning!!!
Assuming X buys land from Y but X has not yet settled on the land and will may be take some time to settle. X, after the purchase gets a “caveatable interest” and can place a caveat on the land he has just bought. This effectively stops Y from any dealing on the land without X’s permission.
A caveat is necessary especially in this era where there are many unscrupulous land dealers.
I have received cases where some vendors sell one piece of land to several buyers. Others can sell the land then get a loan after the sale using the land they have just sold as security. The situation in Uganda is exacerbated by the weak regulation of the real estate sector.
Please note that for a caveat to be enforceable, it has to be registered so that whoever wants to deal with that land will have their dealing subject to the caveat. From our illustration, let us assume X now wants to get a loan using the land he sold to Y. The bank, before giving money, will have to verify that the land is free from any encumbrances. So if Y has lodged a caveat on the land, the bank will then discover that the land given as security for the loan has another owner or person with interest. Accordingly, they will not give X the loan he is applying for.
So how does one register a caveat? Here is a simple guide;
1. The Applicant must have in his/her possession the following documents;
a) Two sets of stamped caveat documents fittingly witnessed by an Advocate and signed by the person who is placing (Deponent) and dated;
b) Statutory Declaration signed by the Deponent and a Commissioner for Oaths
c) Two Passport photographs of the person placing the caveat.
2. The Applicant presents the full set of original documents and their photocopies to the Office of Titles for processing. The photocopy is stamped ‘RECEIVED’ and returned to the Applicant.
3. The Applicant checks with the Office of Titles after ten working days to confirm the entry of the Caveat upon the Register.
Do you have any inquiries about this contact 0781428010.