13 July 2016

Tanzania: New Authority to Regulate Real Estate Operations

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times
(file photo).

The Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development, Ms Angelina Mabula, said yesterday that the government is looking forward to establish an authority that will oversee and regulate all operations in the real estate sector.

Ms Mabula said the authority is set to be established after the enactment of the Real Estate Development Act. She also said that the government is in the process of establishing a law that aims at regulating the sector in a fair and professional manner.

The Deputy Minister was speaking during a ceremony to launch Tanzania Real Estate Developers Association (TREDA). She said the body will regulate, supervise and register all construction projects, selling of buildings and maintain good relationship between tenants and landlords. For a long time now, the real estate business has been operating with no proper supervision from the government.

She added that the government is reviewing the National Land Policy of 1995 and the National Human Settlements Development Policy of 2000 so that they could accommodate the needs of ordinary Tanzanians.

In April, this year, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development, Mr William Lukuvi, told reporters that the real estate business has grown fast over the past few years, thus a framework to govern the sector was vital or else the government will be losing a lot of its revenue.

In the year 2012, the current Minister of State in the Vice- President's Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Mr January Makamba, who by then was Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, had presented his private motion to the National Assembly on the need to formulate a Rental Housing Act. Ms Mabula said yesterday that with the formation of TREDA, the government will easily improve the real estate sector.

"The government expects cooperation from TRED. We believe the government will easily manage to supervise the sector with full support from TREDA," she said. Ms Mabula said the government expects TREDA to regulate the price for land survey, plots of land and maintain quality during construction.

"Some private land surveyors have been selling plots at high prices. The government has already intervened in the matter and we expect TREDA to regulate the prices," she said. Earlier, the National Housing Corporation (NHC) Director General, Mr Nehemiah Mchechu, said that the real estate sector contributes 23 per cent to the GDP annually.

He said TREDA aims at supporting the government in setting standards for the growth of the real estate sector in the country. "We are all investors here. This association has been formed purposely to side with government in ensuring this sector is growing. We are not activists," he said.

On regulating rents and surveying costs, Mr Mchechu said TREDA will assign a team of experts to deal with the matter so that both sides could benefit from the business.

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