Egypt’s Minister of Justice Omar Marwan stated that more than 90% of Egypt’s real estate properties are not registered, saying “the vast majority of properties have customary contracts.”
Marwan stressed the importance of amendments presented by the government in the draft law amending Real Estate Registration Law No. 114/1946, which was approved by the House of Representatives in principle earlier this month.
The minister noted that the problem of property registration is extensive and has existed for decades, adding that the obstacle of registration was the sequence of registered ownership of property.
“We are facing a real problem, consequently, the draft law submitted by the government provides a package of facilities to citizens. The most important of these is facilitating the registration process,” he said.
He added that by doing so, a general problem would be solved in this regard, highlighting the establishment of a mechanism for registering properties that one has resided in for 15 years without incident. Moreover, the procedures will be completed within a month, and if there is a grievance, registration procedures end within 37 days.
Marwan disclosed that this law will facilitate procedures for registering property and activate the real estate market in Egypt, pointing out that implementing the law begins two months after its issuance.
According to the minister, amendments have been made to the existing Real Estate Registration Law, noting that the legislation removes obstacles related to proving the sequence of ownership, and a balance will be taken between owner and tenant in the new draft law.
For his part, Gamal Yaqout, the head of the Real Estate Registration Authority, said that the law was amended to end the real estate registration crisis in Egypt and change the negative view citizens have on the registration procedures.
Yaqout added that the desired goal is to transform real estate in Egypt from unregistered to registered, as citizens refrained from registering due to slow procedures, length of procedures and rigid provisions of the law, as one application may take two years. “Accordingly, we have deleted Article 24 of the law, which stipulates the possibility of registration within two years, and we have introduced a new article so that the registration period may not exceed 37 days.”
Ihab Ramzi, a member of the House of Representatives, said that the new real estate registration law has all been approved in principle and is awaiting final approval, which is a major leap in matters of registration and dealing with property registration.
Ramzi added that the state is moving towards digital transformation and registration of all real estate in Egypt and the preservation of real estate maps with the documentation of each property to have a certificate.
He revealed, “There was a basic condition that 2.5% of the unit value be paid during registration, which is a large amount that led to many evasion of registration. One of the features of the new law is that it abolished real estate transaction tax with the collection of a tax during selling property from the seller.”
According to the old law, if someone buys an apartment and more than one person bought it before him, the old law requires that everyone who bought it before him register it, but in the new law it is not required and it can be registered since he bought it, he elaborated.