Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly asked Minister of Local Development Adel Labib to tighten measures, place the necessary procedures and abide by the provisions of the Unified Construction Law to fight building violations.
Madbouly explained in his Monday letter to Labib that the tightened measures will include monitoring the construction of local units to encourage citizens to obtain licences before starting works, a ministerial statement said.
The housing minister also called for legal procedures to face building violations and hold violators accountable.
In a similar move to fight violations, the housing ministry issued in Ministerial Decree 67/2014 to amend the “executive regulations” of the Unified Construction Law regarding land divisions that were cut down to two rules instead of three “in order to ease the process for land applicants”, the ministry said at the time.
The amendment stipulates that 25% of the land area must be set aside for roads and gardens, down from the previous 33% share.
Land allocation procedures have recently changed after the ratification of the New Investment Law in March. The law offers “unprecedented” incentives for lands in remote areas, including the allocation of lands through purchasing, leasing or on a usufruct basis at low prices. It also allows the participation of the government in paying workers insurance and training workers in remote areas to raise their capabilities.
The Unified Construction Law was issued in 2008 under the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. His government said at that time that the decree was to alleviate the burdens and procedures required for construction, and to “solve issues facing investors”.
The aforementioned law was said to be the second major law affecting the sector, following the Property Tax Law, which came into effect in January 2014. The Property Tax Law was amended in August 2014, whereby owners of a single real estate unit worth EGP 2m would be included in the tax exemption.
The tax exemption includes hospitals, educational entities, non-profit organisations, clubs, and armed forces clinics, as well as residential properties with annual rents less than EGP 2,400 and commercial units with annual rents less than EGP 1,200. However, the law excludes tourist resorts and hotels. Units worth less than EGP 500,000 are also subject to the tax exemption.
Last March, the Tax Authority said it has issued approximately 2m tax exemptions for built properties. Tax notifications were sent to 6.3m residential units, and 1.8m commercial, industrial and service units, including approximately 1,000 factories, the authority said.