Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities has issued a frequently asked questions (FAQs) booklet to respond to queries on “reconciliation in building violations” law, which aims to legalize the status of violators’ properties, Invest-Gate reports.

The move comes in line with the state’s interest to educate and acquaint locals with the new legislation, while clarifying the mechanism of the newly-amended bill’s application as well as its executive regulations. Besides, the booklet highlights ways of calculating the value for reconciliation in specific construction violations, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El Gazzar said in an official statement on September 29.

Ministry of Housing First Undersecretary Nafisa Hashem underscored that a digital copy is also available on “Reconciliation Law on Certain Building Offenses” official Facebook page, which was created on September 24 to respond to the general public’s inquiries on the law through social media.

Referring to the abundant aspects covered in the manual, Nafisa pointed out that applications for reconciliation shall be submitted no later than six months from the issuance date of the law’s executive regulation (i.e from July 9 to January 8, 2020), based on Article 3 of Law No. 17/2019. Further, requests should be handed over to the competent administrative authority as the case may be, whether the New Urban Communities (NUCA), the Tourism Development Authority (TDA), the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), or other local units.

In July, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly had issued the executive regulations for a temporary bill to settle building code violations, warranting fines of 5-100% of the land value to be imposed in case of breaching. The breakdown includes a 5% fine levied if the property does not follow the stipulated architectural outline, a 20% penalty if it does not conform to the construction plan, or a 25% forfeit if neither are followed, but the building still abides by regulations limiting sizing and number of stories, he revealed in a previous statement.

However, a 50% fine will be charged if the property follows the building code but has been built without a permit. Another 100% penalty can be applied if the house violates the building code, is constructed without a permit, and is implemented in an illegible area, the minister further stated. He noted that fees for requesting settlement are capped at EGP 5,000. Fines, however, can be paid in quarterly installments over a maximum of three years, after depositing 25% of minimum upfront.