• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Re-introduction of the Real Estate Agents & Landlord and Tenant Bills

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Cabinet approved the reintroduction of bills that lapsed in the 10th parliament for tabling on the floor of the 11th parliament. Among the bills affected by the cabinet’s decision included the Real Estate Agents Bill 2020 and the Landlord and Tenant Bill 2019.

The approval comes days after the speaker of parliament, Jacob Oulanya, ruled they should table the bills which the 10th parliament passed, but are still pending for presidential assent. This meant that both government and private members’ bills that lapsed with the tenth parliament would have to be republished, reprinted, and introduced on the floor of parliament afresh.

“… with cabinet approval, the process to have government bills reintroduced will start soon,” said the minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, while addressing the media in Kampala.

Tabled by the West Budama North Member of Parliament, Richard Okoth Othieno, the Real Estate Agents Bill 2020, seeks to regulate the sector, which unlicensed real estate agents currently dominate.

Inside the Real Estate Agents Bill 2020

The bill defines a Real Estate Agent as a licensed professional who brings a buyer and a seller together and represents one of the parties. It further describes a Real Estate Agent as a person who receives payment on behalf of a seller or buyer for a commission or percentage of the property’s sale.

The bill also defines Real Estate Business as any acts conducted with the buying, selling, management, or investment in real estate. 

It proposes licensing a person who carries out the real estate business. The bill also proposes a fine not exceeding 10 million Shillings (500 currency points) or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both for an unlicensed agent, yet in business.

The bill also proposes that it shall not entitle a person who carries out business as a real estate agent without a license to recover any commission, fee, or reward for any work for which a real estate agent’s license is required.

It prohibits the practice of a real estate agent unless there is a force in relation to his practice, an indemnity bond or policy of insurance entered into and approved by a committee to guarantee that compensation shall be paid up to the required limit to a person suffering monetary or other property loss through a dishonest person.

The bill seeks to bar agents from spending money (Trust Money) generated from properties they sell on behalf of their clients and that if convicted of such an act, these should be fined Shillings 20 million or imprisoned not exceeding three years or both. The agent who receives trust money shall be required to issue a receipt to the client and keep the record, which will be filed to the committee. 

Othieno says the law will help streamline the real estate sector where many Ugandans are fleeced of money. 

If passed into law, it will require the agents to apply for registration and issuance of license within six months after commencement of the Act. 

The licenses are to be issued by a real estate committee established under the Ministry of Lands.

Inside the Landlord and Tenant Bill 2019

Away from the Real Estate Agents Bill 2020, seeks to regulate the real estate sector, is the Landlord and Tenant Bill 2019.

First mooted in 2012 and subjected to consultations involving landlords, tenants, and property developers: the bill seeks to regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants.

One of the key provisions in the bill is that landlords and tenants must sign tenancy agreements for rental transactions of over USh 500,000 with transparent terms and conditions. 

It also proposes that tenancy disputes shall be handled in local council courts and other courts of law. It also states the landlords can only evict tenants after securing court orders to do so.

Unlawful evictions will have a penalty of USh 5 million or a jail term of one year or both upon conviction. Landlords must give tenants an eviction notice of six months.

Furthermore, the law proposes that all rent shall be settled and recorded in Ugandan currency-shillings, but many find this controversial.

Parliament passed the Landlord and Tennant Bill 2019 in June 2019 with several amendments, but the president declined to assent to it and returned it to parliament for further consideration.


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