Unit property is one of the growing forms of housing in Tanzania boosted by the enactment of the Unit Title Act, 2008 “the Act’. Unit property owners occupy a defined part of a building (unit) and share ownership in common areas. The manner in which unit property owners agree to manage and share ownership of the common property is what makes it unique. Before 2008, condominium owners were given subtitles under the Land Registration Act [Cap 334 R.E 2002] where the title was left with developer and no management body was required. However, currently the law has made it mandatory for ownership plus maintenance of common property and management of day to day operation of the unit property to be under an association as per Regulation 11 of the Unit Titles Regulations, 2009.
The law makes it mandatory for unit owners to register an association when there are five or more owners and where there are less than five to register by-law as per section 35(3), (4) of the Act. Upon registration, the Association becomes a body corporate comprised of all unit owners which has perpetual succession, a common seal and capable of suing and being sued pursuant to the provision of section 36 of the Act. Notably, the Act permits existing building with challenges in management of common property to apply for registration of units and thereafter be entitled to formation of an association. It must also be noted that once a person acquires a unit property, he automatically becomes a member to the association.
The Association is responsible for enforcing and setting up by-laws to govern the use of the common property, units and for the regulation of the association as per section 40(2) and 50 of the Act. Peculiarly, the Association is permitted to invest, establish funds such as sinking funds or capital reserve management funds. Further, the association is required to ensure the unit property holds annual general meetings and forms committees. It is noteworthy that the law authorizes the association to apply to the court for termination of unit status. On termination of the unit status, the association shall be dissolved and assets of association disposed.
The enactment of the Act has formalized and recognized the horizontal ownership of land in Tanzania. It has also made unit property attractive to buyer and a worth investment to developers. With the speedy urbanization of cities, unit property promises