The condominium business has recently become a growing trend in Uganda’s housing sector, popular among middle income people.
A condominium is a form of multi-dimensional apartment building, where specified units are held separately, with the shared space such as hallways, parking space, security, recreation areas (rooftop, green space) , the driveway and the parking lot belonging to the community.
There is no individual ownership of land in condominiums.
Abbas Rasheed, a leading real estate agent and managing director of Universal Multipurpose Enterprises, a project developer, says a number of people are opting for condominium ownership instead of renting an apartment.
Mr. Rasheed, says condominium housing is a new construction concept and Ugandans are slowly embracing it. But more awareness is needed before Ugandans can accept it.
In an exclusive interview, Rasheed explained the dynamics of condominium management including the payment of charges among other underlyings.
Condominiums have a reserve fund – the amount of money the association sets aside to make repairs to the shared property.
Abbas says the public should be made aware of the condominium law, noting that investing in condominium properties helps optimize land use and save on the cost of infrastructure.
Under a condominium agreement, he says, owners form a condominium association where they choose the association’s leader, secretary and treasurer.
“It is through the association heads that the condominiums are managed. These cover the cost of cleaning, garbage collection and electricity. Each person has to pay a monthly fee to cover expenses,” he says.
“These fees vary depending on the size of the property held by a particular owner. Three-bedroom units will definitely be charged comparatively more than two-bedroom units in addition to other factors such as the view of the unit, the floor it is on, etc. “, he adds.
The nature of condominium fees is very broad in the sense that they vary depending on various factors – mainly; the degree of development of a building and the facilities it has for its residents.
“Some complexes have swimming pools, fitness centers and tennis courts, others do not. In the first case, maintenance costs will certainly be higher,” he adds.
Maintenance fees generally cover landscaping, electricity and water supply in common areas, maintenance of swimming pool and tennis court, garbage disposal, security, painting of the exterior, the renovation of the lobby, the resurfacing of the parking lots, among other amenities.
“Living in a condominium property means there is a shared responsibility, for example in repair and maintenance costs,” he says, adding that the condominium is the best housing for those who want to stay in town. and a way to make optimal use of the land in Uganda.
“A small lot can accommodate several units. Land is limited; also, it solves the problem of fraud. People don’t have to get scammed trying to buy plots of land. No one owns the land. Title deeds are left with the developer,” he said.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Uganda’s population is expected to reach 41.2 million by 2020, but the country currently has a housing deficit of around 1.2 million units, with Kampala alone having a staggering shortfall of over 200,000 units.
By 2030, the deficit is expected to reach three million units due to the rapid rate of urbanization and a high population growth rate of 3.2% per year.