Mandalay to enforce new licence system on landlords
WOULD-BE landlords in Mandalay city will have to apply for a licence starting next April as city authorities enforce a long-ignored by-law.
Section 76 of MCDC Law states that operating a boarding house, guesthouse or renting out apartments requires a business licence. From the start of the coming fiscal year, MCDC officials will enforce this to the letter.
“This rule has been present [for some time] but we have not been consistent in applying it,” said U Soe Tint Aung, head of MCDC’s Cleansing Department. “But now the rental market has improved. If landlords who rent out their houses or apartments don’t pay tax, it is unfair for those who pay taxes on running hotels, guesthouses and boarding houses.”
Local real estate agents agreed the rental market had picked up this year, especially in the inner city.
The licence fee for landlords will be set at 5pc of the rental fee, and will be paid yearly, said Daw Win Min Than, a section head from the Cleansing Department. Those applying for a business licence to rent out a property will need the original lease agreement and a copy made between the owner and tenant.
Landlords in the country’s biggest city, meanwhile, can breathe a sigh of relief. Yangon City Development Committee has no plans to follow its Mandalay counterpart, YCDC officials said.
YCDC deputy director U Tin Oo said the practical difficulties facing such a move were too great. U Sai Khon Naung, managing director of the Sai Khon Naung real estate agency in Yangon, said the rental rate in the commercial capital was very high, and such a system would be difficult to introduce.
“It’s not easy to collect rental licence fees from house owners because so much property is being rented. It would be difficult to enforce, and I’ve never heard of such a system in any other country,” he said.
A man surveys downtown Mandalay.