On 11 December 2020, the Sectional Properties Act No. 21 of 2020 (the Act) was passed into law. The Act provides for the division of buildings into units to be owned by individual proprietors based on a sectional plan prepared by a surveyor.
The Act provides that all long-term sub leases intended to confer ownership of apartments, townhouses, flats, maisonettes, villas, go-downs or offices, registered under alternative regimes of property ownership, and that do not conform to section 54(5) of the Land Registration Act 2012, should be converted within two (2) years of the commencement of the Act.
Section 54(5) of the Land Registration Act provides that the Registrar register long term leases and issue certificates of lease over apartments, flats, maisonettes, townhouses or offices having the effect of conferring ownership if the property comprised is properly georeferenced and approved by the relevant authority.
The Act read together with the Land Registration Act requires that all sectional plans submitted for registration;
- are geo referenced;
- indicate the parcel number;
- indicate the unit’s number;
- indicate the approximate floor area of each unit;
- be signed by the proprietor;
- be signed and sealed by the director of surveys; and
- clearly indicate the user of the unit.
In line with these provisions, the Ministry of Lands has begun the process of converting long term leases registered on the basis of architectural drawings to conform with the Sectional Properties Act and the Land Registration Act.
The Ministry of Lands will no longer register long term leases supported by architectural drawings with effect from 10 May 2021.
The process of conversion requires submission of:
- a sectional plan;
- The original title to the property;
- The long-term lease previously registered; and
- rent apportionment for the unit where applicable
Once a sectional plan is registered, the original registers will be closed and new registers opened.