Land rent grace period set for extension in law amendment

Friday May 27 2022
Mabula

Lands minister Angelina Mabula

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. The government plans to review the Land Act of 1999 to extend the time required to pass before charging penalties on delayed payment of land fees.

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Dr Angeline Mabula, said the planned amendment will now impose penalties for payments delayed for one financial year, instead of six months currently.

According to the law, land owners are required to pay the annual fees within six months of the particular financial year, failure of which attracts interest on the payments.

“For a long time, there have been complaints arising from the legal requirement to charge interest once the six months expire. To address this, the Ministry intends to amend the Land Act so that interest on late payment of land rent will be levied at the end of the financial year,” said Dr Mabula who tabled the ministry’s budget for 2022/23 financial year.

The budget seeks to implement measures that will accelerate surveying lands for different uses, address land conflicts and accelerate efforts to in housing and settlement development.

According to Dr Mabula, the Ministry will prepare and issue 100 village land certificates, 520,000 certificates of customary rights of occupancy and 500,000 title deeds during the 2022/23 financial year.

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She also said some 247,899.59 acres of land had been earmarked for investment through the Tanzania Investment Center (TIC), Economic Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), regions and district councils in the country, by May 15 this year. She also said a total of 27,956 hectares were set aside as reserve land in various regions.


Housing development

On the housing industry, Dr Mabula said the government had established a Real Estate Unit that will oversee, among other things, a transparent and fair system in the real estate, including ensuring that rental rates are charged in accordance with the market trend and regulatory procedures and that the payment of that tax does not hurt the consumer.

“This unit will be responsible for preparing and overseeing the implementation of various Policies, Laws, Regulations and Guidelines for the management and promotion of the property industry,” she said.

“The enacted law will also regulate the performance and activities of the industry stakeholders and real estate agents to ensure that their responsibilities, rights and interests are properly implemented and protected. In the 2022/23, the Ministry will continue upgrading and building the capacity of the unit to fully manage the property industry which includes real estate, agents, developers, private financial institutions as well as the coordination of national and international institutions.”


NHC stalled projects

On the development of housing projects, Dr Mabula said the National Housing Corporation (NHC) will continue with planned affordable housing projects, satellite towns as well as stalled projects.

She said the state-run housing developer will continue with the Morocco Square project which stalled since 2018 due to lack of funds to finish the project.

The high-end housing project is estimated to be at 93 percent completion after the government allowed NHC to borrow Sh173.9 billion for the project.

According to the minister, NHC has so far borrowed Sh44.7 billion of the money for the project.

NHC is also expected to venture market of the building materials with the planned selling of construction sand, aggregates, iron sheets and blocks.

Dr Mabula said the agency has so far acquired areas where it plans to invest in the factories for producing such building materials with the aim of ensuring that it manages to develop low-cost housing units for low income earners.