Egypt's government to amend Real Estate Registration Law, postpone enforcement till January

Ahmed Morsy , Sunday 28 Feb 2021

Postponing the enforcement of this law will provide an opportunity to cooperate with parliament in putting forward new ideas to make things easier for citizens and motivate them to register, the prime minister said

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly chairing a ministerial meeting on Sunday to discuss the real estate registration file (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet)

Egypt’s cabinet will submit a draft law to the House of Representatives to amend Real Estate Registration Law 186/2020, which had previously amended some provisions of Law 114/1946, a cabinet statement said on Sunday following a ministerial meeting.

These new proposed amendments, the statement added, will give authority to the cabinet to delay the enforcement of the new Real Estate Registration Law — which was initially set for 6 March — till the end of December 2021.

According to Law 186/2020, which was approved by the House last August, citizens are required to pay new fees in order to register properties at the Real Estate Registration and Notarisation Authority starting 6 March.

These new registration fees range from EGP 500 for properties up to 100 square metres to EGP 2,000 for properties exceeding 300 square metres.

The new fees, according to amendments to the law that were approved in 2020, would to be paid when property owners request a government agency install facilities such as water, gas, or electricity metres or when they apply to transfer ownership of the property.

Property owners already pay a fee of 2.5 percent on property value, known as the "Real Estate Disposal Tax," a provision which has been in place since 1939 and is a component of personal income taxes.

The new real estate registration law has stirred controversy on social media platforms and among the public in general in the past several days as the initially scheduled date of enforcement approached.

“Postponing the enforcement of this law until the end of this year will provide an opportunity to cooperate with parliament in putting forward some new ideas to make things easier for citizens and motivate them to register [their properties],” Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday.

On top of these ideas, Madbouly says, would be separating the process of the payment of the Real Estate Disposal Tax and completing real estate registration procedures.

Madbouly stressed that the first goal of the state “is the interest of the citizens."

“About 95 percent of our real estate in Egypt is unregistered, and the government hopes that all citizens will register their properties, with the aim of securing their properties,” the prime minister said, stressing that the government would work on its part to facilitate the procedures for real estate registration.

Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Omar Marawan stated that registering at real estate and notarisation offices allows the state to take stock of real estate wealth, create an identity for each property, and give space to the planned expansion of construction sites.

Registering also secures citizens’ ownership rights and maximises their benefits; regulates and boosts the real estate market; and, simultaneously, eradicates the phenomenon of  illegal construction and slums, Marawan added.

On Wednesday, Madbouly ordered the formation of a ministerial committee to facilitate the procedures required for registering real estate. He also ordered that the procedures and the objective of registration be explained to citizens in order to prevent the spread of rumours and false information on this issue.

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