Pro-landlord landlord and tenant laws
March 19, 2007
Rents: Can landlord and tenant freely agree rents in Tanzania?
Rents can be freely negotiated.
The Rent Restriction Act 1984 which until recently regulated rents in theory (but not in practice) has been repealed.
A note: All land in Tanzania is owned by the government, and leases are only available to nationals. The private rental market (in the sense that interests our readers) is virtually non-existent. The rental market is mostly very informal and is actually subsistence (people forced to rent out rooms in their houses).
Where agents are employed, the commission payable on leasing a residential property is one month’s rent.
An advance payment of six months is typical, with rents paid biannually, though monthly payments, or rents paid every 3 months, or a years’ payment upfront, are not unusual.
Duration of contract/ Eviction
Most rental agreements are periodic tenancies, renewed upon the payment of advance rents. For rents paid bi-annually, the notice to terminate is given six months in advance.
Because the court process is cumbersome and expensive, most landlords resort to intimidation, threats and violence in evicting tenants. In theory, however, to evict a tenant who has caused a breach or failed to pay rent, the landlord must get the approval of the Ward Tribunal. If the tenant does not comply with the orders of the Ward Tribunal, the case is elevated to the District Land and Housing Tribunal for enforcement, and then to the High Court and Court of Appeals For recovery of possessions worth TZS (Tanzanian Shilling) 50 million (US$42,914) or more and compensation for arrears worth TZS40,000,000 or more (US$34,331), claimants can file the case directly to the High Court (Land Division).
EVICTION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT
|Duration until completion of service of process||7|
|Duration of trial||180|
|Duration of enforcement||30|
|Total Days to Evict Tenant||217|
|Courts: The Lex Mundi Project|
How effective is the Tanzanian legal system?
The formal court proceeding is slow, and there is an extensive appeals process. The landlord who chooses this route can expect decades before matters are resolved. So extra-judicial proceedings are normal.
The Courts (Land Disputes Settlements) Act, 2002 allowed landlords to recover arrears and revised the system for evicting tenants. The The Land Act 1999 provides over-all guidelines for the management of land, leases and land dispute settlement.