The Government of Uganda is said to be finalizing the process of passing a bill that will put restraints on just how much rent landlords can charge. The lawmakers are particularly eyeing to protect traders from exorbitant rental fees on business premises that lead to high operating costs.
This revelation by Minister for Kampala Affairs Beti Olive Kamya comes hot on the heels of an uproar by traders protesting the soaring rental charges. The traders say landlords are getting the habit of arbitrary raising the rents with little to no concern about the occupants’ complaints.
Should the law be passed, landlords will have some legally outlined limits on the rental fee charged for their premises. That will also end the haggling between the traders (occupants) and the landlords, who are often locked in protracted battles over arbitrary rental increments.
During a meeting with the city traders in Kampala, Ms. Kamya said the government is already working on how to end the rent battles between them and the landlords. Already a bill to control rent is before the Cabinet, and it will soon be sent to Parliament for further deliberations.
“Kampala City alone contributes 70% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, and it’s you the traders who pay these taxes. As a government, we can’t just sit and watch you being mistreated by landlords,” said Ms. Kamya while addressing the traders at the Park Encode Mall.
“We have already finalized the process to having a law enacted that will shield you from landlords who hike rental charges every time.”
Uganda’s Rent Restriction Act formulated in 1949, under Section 2(1) of the Act, states that no owner or lessee of a rental dwelling house or premises shall raise the rent charged for that structure beyond the standard rent.