Occupancy on land other than the main tenures of land ownership

The law creates two main types of occupancy on land namely, lawful and bonafide occupants. These tenants can be understood by their characteristics, listed below against each of them as defined by the law:

Lawful Occupant

A Lawful occupant does not have a title to the land he/she is occupying but ccupies the land based on the repealed Busuulu and Envujjo Law of 1928 or the Toro Landlord and Tenant law of 1937; or the Ankole Landlord and Tenant Law of 1937; or occupies the land with the permission of the registered owner e.g. a buyer; or occupied the land as a customary tenant but his/ her tenancy was not disclosed or compensated for by the registered owner at the time when the registered owner was acquiring the certificate of title.

Rights of a Lawful Occupant

A lawful occupant …

  • Enjoys security of occupancy;
  • Has priority to buy the land if the registered owner wants to sell the land;
  • May acquire a certificate of occupancy by applying to the registered owner;
  • May sub-let, sub-divide and give away by will the interest in the land with the permission of the registered owner;
  • May assign, pledge and creates 3rd party rights in the land with the consent of the registered owner;
  • May end the occupancy by leaving the land or by removing developments on the land; and
  • May change occupancy into freehold, mailo, lease or sublease.