Land is one of the most popular investment ideas at the moment in Uganda and this has led to many conmen and criminals using this popularity to steal from innocent investors. One of the ways in which these criminals take advantage of a buyer is through providing them with fake land titles. It is very important to get a professional to look at it or go to the Ministry of Lands to verify the authenticity of the land title before making any payments.
Jumia House shares with you 4 ways to tell that a land title is fake:
Check the Paper:
Note that only the Buganda Land Board (for the kabaka’s land) and the Ministry of lands are allowed to issue land titles/certificates. Make sure that when you are provided with a land title or certificate that it has the letterhead or water mark of the above offices. If the watermark is faded or unclear make sure that you take them to the office that issued it for verification and if it has not been issued by any of the above it is fake.
Check the issue date:
Land titles have the issue dates clearly marked on them, before making any payments ensure that you have verified the issue date. The issue date is always recorded in the registry at the office that it is issued from. If you are not 100% sure of the land title you can go to the office that it was issued from and confirm that the dates match. If they do not match then the land title is a fake and should be reported.
Check the copies:
Usually the person selling has the owner’s copy or a photocopy of the original copy. It is important to request for access to the original copy of the land title to cross check that the information on the copies matches the original. Ensure that you check that the initials, signatures, technical description, instrument number and other component elements in the front and the back of the original copy are exactly the same as the duplicate copy. If there is a discrepancy the title is probably fake.
Check the history of the title:
There scenarios when the seller has acquired the land under strain and is therefore selling cheaply in order to get quick cash. It is therefore important for you to check the history of the land and title owners to ensure that once you have bought the land you have not inherited the problems as well.
Finally always use the right channels when buying land to avoid being victimized by fake land titles and losing a lot of hard earned money.