Community, Diaspora and Immigration

Understanding Condominium Property Regulations in Uganda

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What is a condominium?
A condominium is one of a group of housing units where each homeowner owns their individual unit space, and all the dwellings share ownership of areas of common use. 

Units normally share walls, but that isn't a requirement. The main difference in condos and regular single homes is that there is no individual ownership of a plot of land. All the land in the condominium project is owned in common by all the homeowners.
Usually, the exterior maintenance is paid for out of homeowner dues collected and managed under strict rules. The exterior walls and roof are insured by the condominium association, while all interior walls and items are insured by the homeowner.

In summary it is a form of property ownership in which each owner holds title to his/her individual unit, plus a fractional interest in the common areas of the multi-unit project. Each owner pays taxes on his/her property, and is free to sell or lease it. And in essence condominiums, or condos, are apartments that are individually owned.
Common elements generally include walkways, driveways, lawns and gardens, lobbies, elevators, parking areas, recreational facilities, storage areas, laundry rooms, stairways, plumbing, electrical systems and portions of walls, ceilings and floors, and other items.

Parts of the common elements may be designated for the exclusive use of one or more of the individual unit owners, in which case these are called limited common elements (or limited common property). In other words, they are limited for the use only of specific owners. Examples would include parking spaces, roof gardens, balconies, storage lockers, and front and back yards.

In Uganda, Condominiums are becoming more popular because of better land utilization, price competitiveness, built-in amenities, and convenient locations and designs. The Pros and Cons of condominiums are as discussed here under: 

Condominiums – Pros

  • Better land utilization,
  • Price competitiveness, 
  • Built-in amenities, and convenient locations and designs.
  • There is also a wide price range, from $50,000 to well over a million dollars depending on the features, level of luxury, and location.
  • Condominium ownership appeals to active young singles, couples with or without  children,  and pre-retirement and retired couples or singles.

Condominiums – Cons

  • People live closer together, thereby potentially creating problems from time to time; frequent problem areas include the “five p’s”, pets, parking, personality, parties, and people.
  • Flexibility may be affected if circumstances require that the condominium be sold in a limited time, as condominiums generally sell more slowly than single-family houses. 
  • Money is tied up in the condominium ownership, which may affect immediate liquidity needs in certain circumstances.
  • One could be paying for maintenance and operation of amenities that one has no desire or intention to use, e.g. swimming pool, recreational centre, etc.
  • Management of the condominium council is by volunteers, who may or may not have the appropriate abilities, skills and personality. 
  • There is possible apathy of owners, so that it is always the same people who are able and willing to serve on council.
  • Some elected councils behave in an autocratic fashion. 
  • Mix between living in a single-family house and in a landlord-tenant relationship could cause conflict and frustration depending on people’s needs, expectations, and past housing experience

To know more about the condominium law send me an email: info@thepromota.com

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