In Summary

Many people find land measurements confusing. We help you understand and visualise common land measurements, and why you might not find them on your land title.

With the rising real estate business in Uganda, land sale and buying is one of the most ventured into business Because of this, the biggest percentage of plots are sold in the measurements of 100x50ft.
Let us therefore first understand what is meant by 50 x100 or 100 x 50 plots. 100x50ft refer to measurements of the sides of the plot assumed to be in a regular rectangular form, with the longest side (length) being 100 feet, and the smaller side (width) being 50 feet, therefore the “100 by 50” refer to the side dimensions (measurements) of the plot and are always in feet, unless if indicated otherwise. If taken into metric conversion, 50ft by 100ft converted into metres is 15.24 metres by 30.48 metres, so at least if you are buying a 50x100ft plot and you do not see those very measurements on the land title, you look out for 15 by 30.
However, due to irregularity of land shapes, some plots will come with some sides longer than others but still covering the same area as a 50x100ft plot.
Area
A 50x100ft plot is one-eighth of an acre, which implies that one acre of land constitutes eight plots of 50ft x100ft, and an acre is equal to 100 decimals so if you divide 100 decimals by eight, the result is 12.5 decimals which is the area size of a 50ft by 100ft plot. You might be frustrated not being able to find the “12.5decimals” on your land title (which is most likely), and end up disagreeing with the seller.
It is important to know for that matter that, the land title will reflect the area of your plot/ land in hectares, and therefore a 50ft by 100ft plot covers an area of approximately 0.046 hectares. To understand it in metres, you multiply by 10,000, and therefore the 50ft by 100ft plot is approximately 460 square metres.

An artistic impression of a three bedroom contemporary residence. This house can fit on a 50x100 plot of land.

The figures presented
When you are buying land, you may never see 50x100 anywhere, simply because its written or presented in different measurement units such as metres, or if the shape is irregular, look out for the area, it should be in the region of 0.046 hectares or 460 square metres, that way, you get value for your money and buy.

HIRING A SURVEYOR
If you are having disagreements over the size of your land, or boundary disputes, hire a qualified surveyor to take fresh measurements.
One of the ways of differentiating between a genuine surveyor and one who is not, according to Florence Bbale Nambooze, a surveyor, is by checking with the Institute of Uganda Surveyors.
“We have a database of surveyors who are professional. So by one checking with the institute, then they are able to tell whether the person they are dealing with is genuine or not,” she says. Nambooze also says the institute is developing an app that would enable the public to tell whether the surveyor they are dealing with is a registered one or not.