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Sunday, 28 February 2021

Lawmakers want more time to comply with new Real Estate Registry Act

Property owners could get an 18-month grace period to comply with new rules under the Real Estate Registry Act. Members of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, a Senate and House minority, are planning to propose amendments that would give homebuyers a grace period and allow them to take out temporary contracts with utility providers while getting their property’s affairs in order, Senate Rep. Mahmoud Sami said, according to Al Mal.

If these MPs get their way, a 2.5% property disposal tax could also be slashed to 1%, the newspaper reports.

The matter could be put to discussion at the House of Representatives as early as this week considering its time sensitivity, and could see a decision made within a few days, House majority leader Ashraf Rashad told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 3:25). Rep. Soliman Wahdan of Al Wafd Party separately told Moussa that he has also put forth an “urgent” request to the House of Representatives to discuss the amendments (watch, runtime: 3:40). Although Rashad did not succumb to Moussa’s poking and prodding in hopes of promising a breakthrough, he said that “all options are on the table” but would require consultations with the Finance Ministry to determine whether a tax reduction would be possible (watch, runtime: 3:20).

The Senate also looks set to move on the issue as well, and will likely call for community dialogue on the legislation, Senate spokesperson Akmal Nagaty told Moussa (watch, runtime: 6:38).

Lawmakers could also put forth a request to suspend the implementation of the law to buy more time to find a feasible solution, Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi suggested (watch, runtime: 2:18).

What exactly is going on here? Changes to the Real Estate Registry Act that passed this month, which will require a visit to a local ma’moreya and a judge to validate property sale and purchase agreements before heading down to the Real Estate Registry. This also led to confusion that the government is introducing a new 2.5% tax on real estate disposal, forcing the Finance Ministry to clarify that the changes are only administrative, and that the levy has been flat since 1996. We broke down the story last week.

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