Can Spouses Hold Land Together in Tanzania?
In Tanzania, there is a possibility of one person holding land individually or more persons holding the land together. The occupiers can be the original grantees/tenants of the grantees. The occupation can take the form of joint occupancy or occupancy in common.
Section 159 of the Land Act of 1999, provides for, co-occupancy that is the occupation of land held for a right of occupancy or a lease by two or more undivided shares and may be either joint occupancy or
occupancy in common.
The Land Law Act of 1999 in section 159(3)(a) needs the nature of the occupation must however be indicated in the instrument /document creating the interest ie, whether joint occupancy or occupancy in common.
Under joint occupancy, two or more persons are treated as one owner. section 159(8) of The Land Act, 1999 provides that Joint occupancy can only be created by leave of court unless it is between spouses. Any joint occupancy created without leave of a court will take effect/operate as occupancy in
Again where a person obtains a right of occupancy for occupation with his/her spouse there is a rebuttable presumption that the land will be occupied in common. Also where the grantee of the right of occupancy has more than one wife, there is a rebuttable presumption that he intends the spouses to hold the land as occupiers in common.
Section 161(1) of the Land Act, 1999 provides that, if the grantee of the right of occupancy would like to occupy it alone or only one spouse will own it he must state so at the time of the grant and it must be indicated in the certificate of occupancy.
But Section 161(2) of the Land Act 1999, provides that where the certificate has been issued in the name of one spouse only while there are other spouses who have contributed by their labor to the upkeep and improvement of the land, such spouse/spouses are deemed to have acquired an interest in the nature of occupancy in common with the registered spouse.