The Egyptian government has been working recently on various reformations on the real estate laws to govern the violations along with the new urban agenda. The new building requirements are one of the laws that will be issued soon after a long time of discussions and amendments from several bodies of the Egyptian authority. Therefore, Invest-Gate endeavors to elaborate the law in the simplest way to give you an overall idea about it.
First, this is what you need to know about the law:
1- The requirements for buildings in the cities: These requirements do not apply to national projects implemented by the state, or by New Urban Communities Authority. Likewise, these requirements do not apply to lands of the armed forces, nor to the main axes in cities. These requirements apply to building permits that will be activated starting from the date of their issuance.
2- The new requirements: It is forbidden to issue new licenses for non-residential activities in the residential units, and it’s also forbidden to use the residential units in any other activity.
3- Height stipulated: for streets less than 8 meters, the maximum height of the building is 10 meters, equivalent to two floors; in the case of streets from 8 to 12 meters, the maximum height is 13 meters, equivalent to the ground and 3 floors; and in the case of streets more than 12 meters, the maximum height shall be 16 meters, equivalent to a ground floor and 4 floors. The maximum height of the basement ceiling is (1.2 meters).
4- Building space requirements: the building is allowed for the plots of up to 175 meters at a rate of 100%; plots for more than 175 meters, the construction percentage will be a maximum of 70%.
5- For parking spaces: adherence to the Egyptian code for car garages, and the capacity of garage entrances and exits is calculated from the ownership limit.
The Governmental Approach
To cover all the angles, it’s crucial to reckon the government approach, therefore Invest-Gate organizes a roundtable discussing the new building requirements. The table hosts a group of prominent experts and specialists in the Egyptian real estate sector. One of them was Ahmed El-Sigini, chairman of the Local Administration Committee in the House of Representatives, who discussed with the market plyers the new requirements.
El-Sigini reviewed the various stages that the new conditions went through between the government and the House of Representatives, stressing that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi calls for these new conditions to address the violations that cost the state billions of pounds instead of investing them in the infrastructure.
He further added that the Reconciliation Law aims to govern the building system, address violations, and govern building permits, noting that construction was halted in 2020, while a group of specialists at the Ministry of Housing studied the new requirement, which was divided into two parts: the first is the construction requirements that govern building on the land and heights, and the second is how to obtain building permits away from the corruption of localities.
Moreover, El-Sigini highlights that these requirements stipulate the heights of buildings according to the width of the street, with a maximum of 16 meters on a ground floor and 4 floors, in addition to the construction percentage of 70% of the land area, in addition to canceling commercial licenses even that were issued under the previous requirements.
The chairman of the Local Administration Committee in the House of Representatives also revealed that a digital technology center has been established to deal with citizens to obtain licenses, as this center is affiliated with a unit at the university, and the role of the center is limited to reviewing and matching drawings.
He also stressed that a committee was formed in the House of Representatives to amend some provisions. The amendments include preserving the legal positions of those with a building permit, whether residential or commercial, as construction has been completed since April 15 until now, adding that there are 175,000 building permits, and what has been studied since May 2020 so far is 20,000 licenses, of which only 8,000 are identical.
Furthermore- El-Sigini affirmed that the committee faced some challenges in the application of construction to only 70% of lands with small areas, so the committee proposed that all lands with an area of less than 175 sqm be excluded and applied to areas that exceed that.
He also confirmed that the Cabinet grants governors the option to reconcile with simple construction violations, under the Unified Building Law No. 119 of 2008, while other serious violating will be revoked and buildings rebuilt under the new requirements.
Meanwhile, El-Sigini concluded that the government and the House of Representatives still discuss some points such as the position of people who bought plots of land before these conditions.