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Significant Amendments to Real Estate Registration bill 2022

The Real Estate Registration and Authentication Office is primarily responsible for retaining property ownership documents in a single register, which can be consulted by the contracting parties to ascertain the integrity of the property and whether the property has been seized by a third party or restricted as a result of any other rights.

As such, a new bill has been proposed to amend the above, in order to reduce bureaucratic burdens imposed on citizens, and eliminate obstacles to real estate investment.

Over the last few years, citizens have been reluctant to trade in real estate due to the arduous and time-consuming registration procedures associated with such transactions, and the obligation of making property tax payments upon the registration of any property.

The above has led to more than 90% of the properties in Egypt being unregistered, which has in turn led to an increase in judicial disputes over property ownership, and a decrease in property investment as a whole. 

In January 2022, the government submitted a bill to parliament, with the aim of introducing fundamental amendments to the Real Estate Registration Law No. 114 of 1946, in an attempt to revive the real estate sector and property trading. This bill has received initial approval from Parliament.

This bill grants citizens an integrated set of facilities that would ease the procedures for registering the property and reduce the financial burden of the real estate tax.

These amendments include, but are not limited to: The decision on the application for registration of property must now be issued within 30 days, as opposed to 2 years as was previously the case; capability to apply online for property registration in addition to applying in person; granting full validity of primary sales contracts after the passing of 5 years; introduction of a “valid-for-declaration” phase, with a maximum time limit to complete real estate registration proceedings.

It is also worth noting that, payment of real estate tax will no longer have to occur during the property registration phase, and the requirement to evidence the chain of custody as a condition for registration has also been removed. Finally, these amendments also allow the application for possession of a given property, if it can be shown that the property has been occupied for a minimum of 15 years, without contestation. 

In order to prevent fraud, manipulation, and the obstruction of citizens’ interests, the proposed bill also introduces higher penalties for anyone who submits any forged documents, including up to a year in prison, and a fine of 50,000 Egyptian Pounds.

To conclude, the aim of this article is to highlight that the state continues to strive to accurately capture the size of the Egyptian real estate sector and encourage individuals to trade safely within it in order to achieve sustainable development.

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Written By

Noor Mahdy - Attorney at Law

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