How to Evict a Tenant in Uganda

The tenancy agreement. Also referred to as a lease or rental agreement, is a contract between the renter and the landlord or property manager. If you have signed contracts before, you will notice some familiar clauses that seek to seal all loopholes that either party can take advantage of.

How to Evict a Tenant in Uganda

You've finally invested in real estate, either by diversification or as a first investment. You're so eager that you cannot wait to cash in your returns, which of course, will spread over time. Many financial specialists term the real estate sector as worthy speculation that can earn an individual or company massive returns if done wisely. Such sweet words would sound great to any venture capitalist; after all, the market appreciates so fast. Nonetheless, based on frequent, periodic, and tumultuous financial depressions, troubles arise; however, the market always recovers. So, you've got a property, what next? Renting of course; how else will you make your returns? The apparent procedure is getting a tenant and leasing, under an agreement. At times, despite your best effort to have a great relationship with your tenant, the bond goes sour. At this moment, there is a high probability that you might be considering an eviction and you have to abide by the legal procedures of the land. So, what is the best way to evict a tenant in Uganda?

Have you ever wondered why evicting squatters from a land that they illegally occupy is so hard? Well, just like the law protects the rights of the property owner, it also protects the squatters, so eviction is not as simple as it seems. Leasehold property bears similar precedent – it is a matter of law and not might.

If you are smart, you probably composed a lease agreement that your tenant signed upon the occupancy of your premise. If you choose to terminate the contract, you ought to follow the proper legal channels from the earliest instance. Are you wondering how to evict a tenant in Uganda? Get insightful tips below so that you don't find yourself in a legal battle with your tenant.

The tenancy agreement

Also referred to as a lease or rental agreement, is a contract between the renter and the landlord or property manager. If you have signed contracts before, you will notice some familiar clauses that seek to seal all loopholes that either party can take advantage of.

A signed tenancy agreement, together with the initial payment (deposit) allows the tenant to occupy a rental property. It is the agreement that sets the terms of engagement and lays out what the tenant has to do to fulfill the terms of occupying the property. The contract is like a mutual understanding between the two parties.

It is integral to note that it will possess express and inferred terms; the latter being the most prominent bone of contention when trouble arises. In case of an eviction, the contract will have some literature mentioning the procedures that you must follow; however, it is tricky at times. The most important thing is that the agreement must abide by the laws of Uganda.

What does the law say about eviction?

Before evicting a tenant, the landlord must comprehend the law and know when and how to send an eviction notice. You can choose to remove the tenant from your premise by yourself or procure some legal assistance for the eviction order process. This move will cost you. Two laws in Uganda govern tenancy and resulting disputes.

These are The Rent Restriction Act Cap 296 Laws of Uganda and The Landlord and Tenant (shops, hotel and catering establishment Act) Cap 301. As a landlord, do you have the right to increase rent or alter some fundamental clauses in the agreement that includes termination? In case a landlord follows the route of termination, they ought to serve a notice of not less than one month. And the notice must outline the reasons for such change. Once the tenant receives the rent increment or notice of vacation must respond to the Landlord within thirty days.

The law also establishes the Rent tribunal that listens and resolves tenancy disputes. It is this body that the tenant must contact if they have any objection to the landlord's eviction notice. They ought to engage the landlord and tenant tribunal in Uganda before the expiration of the thirty days.

Under the Distress for Rent Act (Cap 293), the landlord can seize the tenant's property if they don't have the capability of paying rent. In case they fail to pay within fourteen days, their property will be auctioned. It should be noted that being locked out of the premises by the landlord doesn't amount to distress as it bars the tenant from enjoying the utilization of the house, which is against the law.

Is a security deposit refundable?

Upon occupancy of the property, the tenant signs an agreement and, in most cases, pays a month's worth rent as a deposit, the rent amount and other costs specified in the contract. The landlord can refund the amount if the property is vacated in its original state. The owner is entitled to utilize the deposit in catering for the damages that occurred in their property.

Can an evicted tenant return to the property?

This is a common debate that has resulted in many seeking legal action. What do you do when you have been evicted and still have some of your belongings at the premises? Since the tenant has been expelled, them appearing and strolling around your property is a trespass. However, if the landlord allows them to be there, then they have permitted them.

When can a tenant withhold rent?

The landlord is supposed to maintain their property and have it in good condition all the time. In case they don't, then legal repercussions follow. The tenant is justified to stop submitting rent if a property they are occupying becomes inhabitable six months after destruction happened. They can only do this after they have provided a one-month notice. Rental property is supposed to be fit and it is the responsibility of the landlord to repair any defects present.

Majority of landlords believe owning rental property is a walk in the park. You get to sit down and collect rent that reflects in your bank account every end month. Is it that stress-free? Is the relationship between the landlord and tenants skewed in favor of the landlord? Well, the shortage of affordable housing in Uganda has led to tenants clamoring for the few ones present. Such a situation might lead to the slogan that the Ugandan real estate market is pro-landlord. Unfortunately, most realtors don't know how to evict a tenant in Uganda. That is why it is integral for both parties to be aware of their rights to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences that arise from tenancy disputes.


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