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The Difference between A certificate of Lease and A Title Deed

A certificate of Lease  

A certificate of lease refers to Leasehold title or leasehold Land and this refers to the interest in Land for a specific amount of time which is subject to payment of a fee or rent.

Leases are granted by the Government for public land, Local Authority for trust land and individuals who possess a freehold title.

For government leases, the maximum term is 999years for all agricultural land whereas for urban plots the term is 99 years. However, in urban trust land, it is very common to find 33 year leases.

For leases via individuals with freehold titles, the period of lease solely depends on what the landlord and the tenant will agree on.

Upon expiry of the lease, the land reverts back to the owner. The tenant will hold a contract with the landlord, which sets down the legal rights and responsibilities of either side.

The tenant can apply for an extension of the lease. This is in the event that he/she wants to re-develop the property but the lease period is about to expire or the time is not enough to recoup the investments.

Leaseholders may have to obtain permission for any major work to be done on the property.

If the leaseholder does not fulfill the terms of the lease, such as not paying the fees agreed upon, then the lease can and will become forfeit.

A Title Deed

A title deed is a document that determines the legal ownership of land or an immovable property. Having a clear land title protects the rights of the title holder against other claims made by anyone else to the property.

Having a title deed under your name means that you are the owner of a piece of land and that you hold legal right over the property and anything else on that land on a permanent basis. Your descendants can succeed in ownership of the property for as long as the family lineage still exists and as long as the property does not get sold.

Being in possession of a freehold title represents the greatest and most considerate interest that one can have on land and has no restrictions on the use and occupation.


Being in possession of a title deed ultimately means that you own property for as long as your lineage persists.

Being in possession of a Certificate of Lease simply means that you own the property only for a specific period of time. When that period elapses the land reverts back to the grantor of the lease.

When you have your own title deed you do not pay any amount of money to anyone as fee or rent.

A leasehold certificate demands that the holder pay a certain regular pre-agreed upon fee to the person or entity owning the land.

When you have a title deed, you own the property and your family succeeds that piece of land and your family will own the property forever, there will be no need for reapplication of ownership.

While in possession of a certificate of lease, you as the holder will be needed to reapply for ownership if you wish to keep the land, after time agreed upon relapses.

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