The Landlord and Tenant Act, 2022 is meant to regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants. It will also reform and consolidate the law relating to the letting of premises and related responsibilities.
I. New obligations for the landlord.
a) Where the agreement is not in writing, the landlord must keep record of the full details of the tenant, location of the premises, in the event of a non-citizen, full details of his or her immigration status, the rent payable and the manner in which the rent is paid.
b) The landlord or his or her agents are barred from accessing the letted premises without proper identification.
c) Where the rental charges payable are above UGX 500,000/=, then such agreement should be in writing.
d) In case of residential properties, the premises should be habitable and the exterior should be fit for purpose and use during the tenancy, under the Public Health Act and Building Control Act.
e) Unless otherwise agreed between both parties, the rental payments should be made in Uganda shillings.
f) A landlord shall not require payment of more than three months in advance from a tenant, unless both parties agree.
g) A landlord shall not increase rent at a rate of more than 10% on an annual basis or above a percentage that will be set by the Minister under a statutory instrument.
h) Where the landlord wishes to increase the rent chargeable, he or she shall give a 60 days’ notice of the proposed rental increase. This should be done at the expiry of a fixed term contract. Such increments shall only be permitted with intervals of more than 12 (twelve) months.
i) The landlord is free to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to recover rent owed where a tenant defaults in paying rent.
j) Where the non-payment of rent or default continues for a period of more than thirty days, the landlord is entitled to re-enter the premises and take possession in the presence of the area local council official and the police. The landlord’s right of re-entry does not prejudice his/her right to recover the rent arrears.
k) The landlord is not supposed to charge a security deposit that exceeds a month’s rent or one twelfth of a year’s rent payable whichever is lesser.
l) A Tenancy may be terminated by agreement, between the landlord and the tenant, however, any termination must comply with the provisions of the Act.
m) Where the Tenant does not vacate the premises on the date specified in the notice of termination or upon breach, the landlord is allowed to re- enter the premises and take possession in the presence of the area local council officials and the police.
A landlord shall not increase rent at a rate of more than 10% on an annual basis or above a percentage that will be set by the Minister under a statutory instrument.
II. What the Tenant must know.
a) A Tenant may repair the premises where the nature of the repairs is urgent, although with fourteen days’ notice to the landlord.
b) In the event that the tenant repairs the premises, and has issued the Landlord with the respective Notice, then the landlord should reimburse the tenant Such reimbursement should be done within fourteen days.
c) Where the Landlord is unable to reimburse the tenant, then such costs should be offset the rental amount payable.
d) Any taxes required from the premises should be borne by the landlord.
e) The Tenant should not use the premises for unlawful activities, or anything that is likely to cause a nuisance, or an interference with reasonable peace, comfort or privacy to the neighbourhood or other occupants of the property.
f) A Tenant is required to pay a security deposit to ensure that he or she performs his/her obligations under the Tenancy.
g) A Tenant is not allowed to assign a tenancy without the written consent of the landlord and a landlord is prohibited from withholding such consent. Any assignment of the tenancy without the landlord’s consent immediately invalidates the tenancy.
n) A landlord who evicts a tenant from the premises or requires, compels or attempts to require or compel the tenant to vacate the premises in contravention of the Landlord-Tenant Act, he or she commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine of three months’ rent payable or
imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
o) A landlord may charge a service fee for any extra services provided to a tenant including services relating to security,
conservancy, sanitation and other amenities.
p) A landlord or a Tenant may appoint an agent to act on their behalf. However, a written communication should be shared with the Tenants to notify them of the appointed agent.