Lands Minister proposes new law to regulate real estate sector
Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba has introduced a groundbreaking legislative proposal known as ‘The Real Estate Bill.’
The aim of this bill is to establish comprehensive regulations and guidelines for the real estate sector in Uganda, addressing long-standing issues related to transparency, illegal transactions, and fraud.
This proposal was presented during the 2nd National Housing Symposium, coinciding with World Habitat Day celebrations at Mestil Hotel in Kampala.
Minister Nabakooba highlighted the approval of the bill’s principles by the cabinet and the subsequent directive to conduct extensive consultations and benchmarking with other countries known for their effective real estate regulation.
The Ministry of Lands sent a delegation to South Africa, India, and Kenya to study their real estate practices, focusing on ways to curb illicit activities within the industry.
“The Real Estate Bill is currently undergoing drafting in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,” Nabakooba explained. “Once this process is complete and we return the bill to the Ministry of Lands, we will present it to the cabinet for further discussion. If the cabinet is satisfied with our consultations and proposed regulations, we can move forward to introduce the bill in parliament.”
The proposed bill is expected to have a far-reaching impact, as it seeks to establish a framework for both private and public real estate companies.
Minister Nabakooba emphasized that it will define how the industry should operate, who should oversee its functions, and what parameters should govern its activities. The overarching goal is to ensure the sustainability of the real estate sector, benefiting both the population and the government.
One of the primary motivations behind this legislative effort is the absence of comprehensive policies to regulate the real estate business in Uganda. Minister Nabakooba pointed out that the lack of regulations has allowed unscrupulous individuals and companies to proliferate, posing significant challenges to the industry’s integrity.
To further enhance the real estate environment, the Lands Ministry is engaging in discussions with the Ministry of Finance, Uganda Revenue Authority, and the Kampala Capital City Authority. The objective is to revise property rates, making housing more affordable for the general population and ensuring that property owners can comfortably meet their assessed rates.