Parliament Imposes Rent Regulation on Property Owners

Apr 2 , 2024

Property owners will now be required to seek approval from authorities before raising rents, according to a bill Parliament legislated today. The law, which was quickly ushered through the legislative process, mandates that rent can only be increased once annually and enforces a minimum lease term of two years.

Property owners are compelled to give tenants a six-month notice prior to eviction.

The bill, spearheaded by the Ministry of Urban & Infrastructure in collaboration with the Prime Minister's Office, was presented to lawmakers by Minister Chaltu Sani and Tsegaye Mushe, the head of the housing department, along with Gedeon Temotheos (PhD), minister of Justice. The legislation, according to Gedeon, is a preventative measure against a looming housing crisis and grants regional authorities the power to impose higher property taxes — up to 25pc — on properties that have been vacant for more than a year.

The legislative change represents a significant intervention in the housing market by the government, with potential implications for the relationship between property owners and tenants. By introducing these regulations, authorities claim to prevent the exploitation of tenants and address the issue of housing affordability while attempting to keep the rental market stable.

Bill's authors argued that the law is needed to strike a balance between safeguarding tenants' rights and providing landlords with avenues for recourse under exceptional circumstances. The bill received overwhelming support in Parliament, ratified by 241 members with only three abstentions and no objections.

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