Legal Alert | Inheritance of Land by Foreigners to be Prohibited

The Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania recently tabled the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2019, Act No 8 of 2019 (the Bill) which proposes to amend several laws. The notable amendments are in section 45 of the Bill which seeks to amend section 108 of the Probate and Administration of Estates Act, Cap. 352 (the Probate Act) which governs the general duties of administration of estates.

The Bill prohibits the executor/administrator of estates to distribute the estate of the deceased person comprising land to a non-citizen.  The Land Act [Cap 113] prohibits non-citizens from owning land in Tanzania through the right of occupancy. However, they enjoy the right of use through derivative titles which are only granted for investment purposes. Notably, the case of Emmanuel Marangakis as Attorney of Anastasios Anagnostou vs The Administrator General, Civil Case No. 1 of 2011, ruled that non-citizens can own land through inheritance.

If the Bill is passed into law (most likely next year), it will not be possible for a non-citizen to inherit land in Tanzania, but may be able to inherit the proceeds realised from such property.

Given this proposed change, it would be prudent for persons owning land and may wish to leave it to a non-citizen beneficiary to revisit their will and bequeath only the proceeds realised from a disposition of the land.

Click here to download and read a copy of the Bill.

Should you have any questions regarding this legal alert, please do not hesitate to contact Geofrey Dimoso or Shemane Amin.

Geofrey Dimoso
Shemane Amin


The content of this alert is intended to be of general use only and should not be relied upon without seeking specific legal advice on any matter.