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Shem Bageine, a real estate investment consultant and a former East African affairs minister, has asked the Government to come up with good laws that will protect and promote the property sector.

He criticised the Landlord and Tenant Bill (2018), which Parliament passed recently, saying it worked against investment instead of promoting it. “The Bill as it stands now has many disturbing sections, particularly the provision to punish the landlord when they annoy the tenant.

The question here is: who annoys who? If I issue an invoice to my tenant and they get annoyed, is that a justification for me to be sentenced to a year in prison, or be subjected to a cash fine?

“If a tenant damages my property and I speak to them about it and maybe they get annoyed, is that a justification for me to be fined or jailed by the court?

We need good legislation that will support and not work against real estate investment, which has been one of the indicators of our economic development.”

He made the remarks during a breakfast meeting at Protea Hotel Kampala Skyz, Naguru, on Friday.

The event was organized by Africa Customer Service Agency (ACSA) to celebrate and open the International Customer Service Week, and also to mark 30 years of Bageine and Company Limited, a firm of professional real estate investment consultants which partners highlights of the bill The Bill makes it an offense for a landlord to intentionally subject a tenant to any annoyance with intention of inducing or compelling him or her to vacate or pay directly or indirectly.

The Bill states that any landlord who breaches the aforesaid provision commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding sh3m or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both. The Bill does not stipulate what constitutes annoyance neither does it define what is an annoyance. with ACSA.

Bageine asked legislators not to be tempted to pass populist laws, which he said would discourage investors and consequently stifle the country’s development. In his remarks, Bageine urged real estate investors and managers to seek the guidance of professionals in valuation and property services, in order to prevent the challenges that have resulted from poor infrastructure planning.

“The property sector is experiencing problems because of poor planning. Apart from a few places such as Kololo, Naguru and part of Bugolobi, where some little infrastructure planning was done, construction in other places is being done without any planning,” he observed. “Consequently, we are experiencing serious problems.

You find a place that Bageine also warned some young people who form quack real estate investment/ management companies to stop what he called “professional burglary”. “We must be genuine to the profession, its principles and code of conduct. The rules of the trade must be preserved and followed.

Unscrupulous brokers who undercut fees and do all sorts of mischief must not be encouraged. All stakeholders, including banks and businessmen, must play their due role.” The founder and CEO of Africa Customer Service Agency, Angella Bageine, asked service providers to always be mindful of the “tenet of quality”.

“Sustained quality is key in service delivery. We must have good building materials. Our work and workmanship must be excellent. Unfortunately we have become so complacent with sub-standard things that we now see them as normal.

“This is why many people don’t mind to live in a filthy or noisy environment. People consider building in a road reserve as a normal thing. Roadsides have become open markets. Government must take a stand against all these irregularities.”

Bitature tips

Speaking during the same function, Private Sector Foundation Uganda chairperson Patrick Bitature argued that the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ideals such as equality and equity could not be achieved if people remained in poverty.

About the Bill

The Landlords will be risking imprisonment for intentionally annoying tenants, once the Landlord-Tenant Bill 2018 is enacted into law. The Bill makes it an offence for a landlord to intentionally subject a tenant to any annoyance with intention of inducing or compelling him or her to vacate or pay directly or indirectly.

The Bill states that any landlord who breaches the aforesaid provision commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding sh3m or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both. The Bill does not stipulate what constitutes annoyance neither does it define what is annoyance.

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