Government has responded to landlords’ complaints following the passing of the landlords’ tenants bill 2018, asking them to respect the sovereignty of Ugandan currency.
Landlords’ argument was that they should be allowed to rate their properties in Dollars because Uganda currency is weak.
Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Betty Amongi, addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre said that landlords’ arguments on the proposed bill are baseless and the government will not consider them.
“Like I saw some people arguing and arguing, people who like arguing and arguing out of context,” Amongi said.
Amongi’s response comes at the time when Landlords are planning to meet president Museveni to challenge the just passed landlords and tenants bill 2018.
Amongi disregarded the claims that landlords and tenants bill 2018, will cause a downfall to the real estate sector in Uganda.
“Argument by the landlords that this will make the real estate collapse is just a fallacy to protect their interests. I think it’s really unpatriotic for somebody to go to the extent of arguing that your shilling or your currency is weak,” Amongi said.
Amongi, however, issued a warning to landlords against distorting Ugandan currency sovereignty, saying that Uganda is just late because most countries worldwide are already in the process as far as business is concerned.
“Globally there’s no country, Uganda will be the only country with the highest cup of ten per cent in the whole world. In Germany, for example, you cannot increase rent by over 4% within four years. Four years you cannot exceed rent by 4%. In United Arab Emirates (UAE) you cannot increase rent by more than 5% in a year,” Amongi said.
Before this bill was passed, landlords in Uganda have been enjoying free real estate market, where they determine which currency to use and how much tenants should pay.
“I am sorry that if they had asked me as the Minister, I would quote for them a clear provision that protects the landlords from people leaving their house. While this provision is only handling notice, only notice! There’s a provision under Section 45 which explicitly states that the tenant cannot be allowed to leave the house that he or she settled in, before settling all the obligations,” Amongi stated.
The proposed 2018 landlords and tenants bill 2018 highlighted six months’ notice to the tenants, before eviction, it says Evictions should be executed through Court orders.
It also stated that a penalty of five million shillings or one-year jail time or both to be given to whoever makes an illegal eviction on a tenant.
“We want to make clarification because most of them have been raised out of context, with total distortion of what’s contained in the bill,” Amongi said.