Landlords want clear guidelines on rent waivers

Landlords want clear guidelines on rent waivers

Landlords and arcade owners under the Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) have asked government to set guidelines on loan waivers for at least three months if they are to defer rent payments.

Yesterday, Mr Issa Sekitto, the Kacita spokesperson, said the guidance would be a consideration to waiving rental obligations to tenants, many of whom have not been working.

“Landlords have been left with no option but to transfer the same pressure to tenants and it is evident that rental notices for April have been issued and discharged to several tenants,” he said in a phone interview.
However, banks, working on the guidance of the Central Bank have indicated they would waive loan payments on a case-by-case basis.

However, Mr Sekitto said there is no clear directive on which landlords would follow while providing waivers to tenants.

On Wednesday, President Museveni asked landlords not to evict tenants, noting they should waive rent payments until when the situation gets normal.
Mr Sekitto also noted that the restructuring guidelines should be planned in a way that there is no accumulation of arrears.

“The repayment of these loans should therefore be reinstated after the situation normalises,” he said, noting that beyond restructuring loans repayments, government should consider waiving Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax, Pay as You Earn and National Social Security Fund contribution on all employees to ease cash-flow for struggling businesses.

Mr Sekitto argued that most players in the business community borrow money not only to finance and service but to first pay both VAT and withholding Tax before even the supplied merchandise is paid for.

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