Parliament on Wednesday passed into law the Landlord and Tenant Bill 2018 that will make it mandatory for all payments of rent to be transacted in local currency.
The Landlord and Tenant Bill 2018, aims at regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants; to reform and consolidate the law relating to the letting of premises; and to provide for the responsibilities of the landlords and tenants.
There has been a protracted fight between tenants and city landlords over paying rent in US dollars.
On Tuesday evening, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had to adjourn the House after the MPs failed to agree.
However, on Wednesday, after all the 57 clauses of the Bill were considered, the House returned to Clause 23 which generated another heated debate.
According to Daily Monitor, MPs on both sides of the floor and majority of the ministers present ganged up against Gabriel Ajedra, the State Minister of Finance in Charge of General Duties who insisted that Clause 23 (3) be maintained to cater for the landlords who mortgage their properties in banks to get loans in foreign currency.
“Let us leave a window for the landlords who will have mortgaged their properties in banks to get loans in dollars. They need to pay back in the same currency,” Ajedra argued.
But he was overpowered.
The Physical Infrastructure Committee chaired by Robert Sekitoleko Kafeero had left the payment issue to be determined by an agreement between the landlord and the tenant.
However, legislators including Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko noted that Uganda should borrow a leaf from developed countries and guard its currency through legislation that encourages use of local currency while transacting business.
The State Minister for Health Sarah Opendi and Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde also said Uganda is a sovereign state which needed to promote its local content.
By the end of the day, the House as well passed a provision which prohibits landlords from increasing rent more than ten per cent of the rent charges and this should be done once in twelve months.
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