Q&A – 19 December 2011

Sublease longer than head lease

I entered into a lease agreement with a company that has further subleased the property. I had a chance to read the sublease whose term is longer than the head lease. The sublease expires in 2014 whereas my head lease expires in 2012. How can I protect my interest. Will I get paid rent for the additional period? I have subsequently realised that my current tenant is not very honest.
PG, Dar

The Land Act 1999 provides for this in that any sublease entered into which is longer than the head lease, the sublease will be reduced to expire one day earlier than the head lease, but without prejudice to any remedies which the sublease may have in respect of that reduction.
It does not matter what your lessee and his tenant have agreed- as far as the law is concerned, the sublease agreement automatically expires as above.

We advice that you put both your tenant and the sublessee on notice. You might want to engage your attorney for further guidance.

Co owner of a plot

A friend of mine and I own a good piece of land in Kigamboni. We own as tenants in common each each owning 50% of the plot. We have recently been offered a very good amount to sell the property, the only problem being that my partner is unwilling to sell his share. How can I force him to sell? The property is currently mortgaged- will that make a difference?
WP, Dar

You cannot force your co owner to sell the property. He is entitled to his opinion. Before we go into how the law would come to the rescue we strongly recommend that the two of you converse prior to going for any litigation. It will be cheaper, less stressful and inexpensive.

If you are still not in agreement, you may make an application to Court for an order to sale and the Court may cause a valuation of the land and of the shares in common to be made, order the sale or separation of the land or make any orders as the Court finds reasonable and fair.

As for the mortgage, you cannot partition or sale the property without the consent of the lender. If you have not paid your loan, it is unlikely that the lender will agree to discharge the property.

Limited liability in gymn

I was working out in a gymn when one of the equipment snapped and seriously injured my back. At the time I felt something sharp which subsided. The next day the pain was unbearable and upon visiting the hospital where a CT Scan was performed, the Doctor informed me that I have injured my upper disc. I then went to meet the gymn owner who took me to the notice that is quite visible which reads ‘all members work out at their own risk. The management is not responsible for any injuries whatsoever caused.’ It seems my good case collapses because of this sign. What else can I do?
LW, Mwanza

Your case doesn’t collapse at all. A mere notice that you work out at your own risk is merely placed to try and limit liability. It does not mean you cannot sue the gymn which you may want to do.

The gymn had a duty to care towards you, and breached that duty which in turn has caused this serious injury to you. The notice does not cure you. If, as you claim, the gymn machine snapped and caused you injury, you have a good case against the gymn itself, the instructor and any person linked in one way or another to the gymn and/or the incident.

You may have also signed a membership admission form which in principle will say that whatever happens to you in the gymn, the gymn is not responsible. Again this has no basis and can easily be set aside. There are a lot of foreign cases on gymn injuries and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been paid out by the gymn or the insurance companies who cover the gymn.

Attended course, still no job

I attended a computer academy in Dar es Salaam, where the instructor told me that I had great talent for networking. In the excitement I took the networking course, after which the career counsellor in the institute suggested I also learn programming and that jobs would come after me. Not taking second advice, I decided to do programming and graduated with a good diploma. I have been looking for a job for the past 10 months and none are forthcoming. Those that I come across require a degree. When I started my diploma the institute also told me that the qualifications I get there were equivalent to a degree. I want to take the institute to task. What should I do?
WQ, Dar

It is high time someone takes these institutes that misguide students to task. This is not the first time we are hearing this but unfortunately there has been very little action taken.

You seem to have a good case. The institute has misrepresented and misguided you to try and extract fees from you. This misrepresentation forms the basis of your cause of action against the institute. Your contract with the institute was entered into under the premises that you need not get a degree and that the jobs would follow you. Neither is true.

Your greatest challenge will be proving what you have stated. Otherwise do not hesitate to proceed against the institute.