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Housing in Tanzania
 
 
 

Buying a Property

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 he/she has a right of occupancy on the property in case and it is clear of any encumbrance.

The notarised 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.

Renting a Property

Adequate expatriate housing in 2002 is a little more plentiful and less expensive than before. It is not easy to find exactly what you want in Dar es Salaam. There are four parameters that govern house or apartment hunting in Tanzania and they are:

• Location and Commute.
• Electricity and constant Water Supply.
• Security.
• Telephone.

Although several Real Estate Agencies can now be found in Dar es Salaam, much of the housing is available through referrals and word of mouth. A good place to start is the various club notice boards: no doubt your company has contacts that will yield some properties to inspect.

As a rule of thumb, suitable apartments range from US$1,000 - 2,000 per month with houses ranging from US$1,000 well out of town to US$2,000 and upwards on the Msasani peninsula, closer to town. Remember that these prices do not generally include a working telephone, appliances, electricity costs and most-times, security guards. If the premises boasts a working telephone, it is a major advantage. It is essential to have security guards as pilferage and theft is endemic. Security alarm companies enjoy great success in Dar es Salaam but they should only be an addition to your own guards in most cases.

Landlords frequently demand six, twelve and sometimes 24 months rent in advance. It is important to try to pay as little in advance as possible which might encourage the lessor to undertake repairs should anything go wrong during the term of the lease. It may be a good idea to discuss with the landlord some kind of discount off your rent if you include some mildew-proof exterior paint in your household effects as you can be sure that any painting done prior to your occupancy will deteriorate badly within 12 months. Mildew-free paint is still not manufactured in Tanzania.

 

 
 

 



 


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