NDP-Proposed Lease Law Sparks Controversy in Egypt
A new Egyptian draft law that organizes the relation between tenants and landlords drafted by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), has aroused a controversy among the people, according to Al Messa newspaper on Tuesday.
While owners hailed the law as reviving their hopes of restoring their “frozen rights,” by raising the rents, the tenants, mostly from the poor working class, described the law as a disaster.
One of the tenants told the paper that those who draft such laws “live on Mars” unaware of the living conditions of the poor.
A civil servant who pays EP40 for her apartment said that according to the new law, she and her husband will have to pay triple the amount, complaining how difficult this would be as their monthly income does not exceed EP500.
The proposed law, which will be submitted to the NDP-dominated Parliament in the upcoming session, suggests that the current rent rates be tripled, and an increase of 10 percent be added five years after the law becomes effective.
Rents of housing units built before 1944 will be increased by 10 folds, it suggests.
Meanwhile, housing experts advocated the bill, which they said should have been enacted 20 years ago. However, they suggest gradual implementation and giving people a grace period so as not to jeopardize their rights.
They also called for the establishment of a fund to help poor families that cannot afford to pay the new rent.
Some landlords understand the negative social effects of the draft law, but they themselves live in poverty and demand “justice.”
Ibrahim Al Tahan, an engineer, said that “the sensitivity of this law has spurred the successive governments to avoid discussing it because it has adverse effects on a large number of people. The law also affects the basic human need to live in a house, but it remains a courageous action on the part of the National Party.”
“How can we provide maintenance services for flats whose rents are not enough to change one sewer pipe?” complained Gamal Abul Megeed, a landlord – Albawaba.com