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Parliament passes landlord-tenant bill

Parliament passed landlord-tenant Bill, the most controversial provision is that all rent shall be settled and recorded in Shillings, contrary to the initial proposal that parties can agree to transact in any other currency in the agreement.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Parliament has passed the Landlord and Tenant Bill, 2018 that seeks to among other things regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants.

The Bill was passed with several amendments which relate to duties and rights of landlords and tenants in rented commercial and residential premises.

Among the key  provisions is that landlords and tenants must sign tenancy agreements for rent transactions of over Shillings 500,000 with clear terms and conditions. 

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

Unlawful evictions attract a penalty of Shillings 5 million or jail term of one year or both upon conviction.  MPs also approved the provision that landlords must give tenants an eviction notice of six months.

However, the most controversial provision is that all rent shall be settled and recorded in Shillings, contrary to the initial proposal that parties can agree to transact in any other currency in the agreement.

The Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Minister, Amelia Kyambadde and Health State Minister, Sarah Opendi clashed on the floor with the General  Duties State Minister in the Finance Ministry, Gabriel Ajedra over the issue.

Ajedra argued that the law shouldn’t restrict transactions in Shillings alone because  some tenants such as foreign embassies pay landlords in foreign currency, a proposal that was squarely rejected.

However, Kyambadde and Opendi led the group of MPs who shot down Ajedra’s proposal

Tororo North County MP, Annet Nyakecho, Bokora County MP, Terence Achia Naco and Guster Mugoya, the Bukooli North County also  supported Kyambadde on the need to restrict rent transactions in Shillings.

Some of the provisions that have been deleted in the Bill include repealing the Distress for Rent (Bailiffs) Act, 1976. The Lands Minister, Betty Amongi explained that the Uganda Law Reform Commission advised government against abolishing the Act because it has been used by landlords to recover rent from defaulting tenants.

Amongi lauded MPs for passing the Bill, which was first mooted in 2012 and subjected to consultations involving landlords, tenants, property developers.

The Bill was tabled before parliament February this year.  The bill now awaits presidential assent.

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13 comments

  1. Mubangizi sumaili

    This bill good because landlord and tenants have not been having legal regulations

    • they have been having regulations all embedded in the rent and restrictions Act and in my humble opinion a far much better instrument compared to this one.

  2. WAMALA NICHOLAS KISAAKYE

    I really think 6 months are magnanimous for a tenant as this results into massive destruction of property, at least 3 months would have made a better piece, then for shillings I think it gets better for the tenants given the unstable state of the shilling as related to the dollar

    • Jacquelene V Lively

      The Landlords are pretty much screwed. I’ve been helping a friend with his properties and the law here in America regarding tenants are on the side of tenants and Landlords end up losing thousands over the course of a year.
      Granted there are wicked Landlords but the good ones deserve better protection laws for Landlords all across the world!!

  3. Unfair law! How do you give someone who has been defaulting six more months without payment.

    Bye bye to the real estate sector!

    • The 6 months notice is not the default notice. This is how it operates.

      If you are a landlord, and am your tenant, you are tired of my presence or you intend to use the building for something else other than accommodation, u must give me 6 months notice……

    • so, why would you wait for a tenant to default six months before giving them an eviction notice? the last i checked rent is paid in advance…

  4. Surely, 6 months is too much a time!!!!!!!

    Put in mind that rental taxes are to be paid by landlords to government and on time and besides that, rentals are a main means of survival for most landlords.

    Parliament should be be fair to the landlords and revise the bill before the President endorses it.

    The bill is very discriminative and destructive!!!!

  5. Nansikombi Gorret

    Six months is alot especially when a tenant has been defaulting money which means landlords shouldn’t be merciful at all coz the more one is linient with the tenant d more money they are bound to lose given those 6 months. So failure to pay for one or two months, the eviction notice should be given!!

  6. Parliament should not be discriminative in such manner. This kind of bill is only a setback on one party, it’s sabotage towards the landlords. They need to reconsider that it’s one thing to open up a business for survival, it’s one’s livelihood. Why should they only favor one party & screen out the other,this is drastically unfair.

  7. Very true. Some landlord’s ask for six months in advance before using the premises. I. e both residentials and commercials.

  8. When is this bill taking effect because my land lord just called me on phone and tod me I have just a couple of weeks to vacate his premises.I reminded him that is making a big mistake, I downloaded for him a PDF for the tenant landlord bil to rethink of legal implications that would come along the way

  9. My landlord is putting us on pressure for shifting yet we have never defaulted him and December rent was paid is there any way I can get help can I use this bill

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