Housing Standards Control Act
- Commenced on 10 November 1972
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Housing Standards Control Act [Chapter 29:08].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“abatement order” means an abatement order made in terms of paragraph (a) of section forty-two;“abatement summons” means an abatement summons issued in terms of subsection (2) of section thirty-seven;“authority” means a municipality, town or rural district council or such other local authority as the Minister may, by statutory instrument, declare to be an authority for the purposes of this Act;“authority area” means, in the case of—(a)a municipality, the area of the municipality in terms of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15];(b)a town, the area of the town in terms of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15];(c)a rural district council, a town ward of the council or any area that is declared to be a specified area in terms of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13];(d)an authority other than a municipality, town or rural council, such area as may be specified by the Minister, by statutory instrument, as the authority area of such authority;and includes any other area—(i)owned by, or under the jurisdiction or administration of, the authority concerned; and(ii)declared by the Minister, by statutory instrument, after consultation with the authority referred to in subparagraph (i), to form part of the authority area of such authority;“board” means a board of investigation appointed in terms of paragraph (a) of section sixty-seven;“building” includes any man-made structure whatsoever or any part thereof, whether temporary or permanent in character, used or designed or intended to be used by persons—(a)for the purpose of habitation or sleeping; or(b)from time to time for the performance of any action or task; or(c)for carrying on any activity;“clearance area” means the area in respect of which a clearance warrant is granted;“clearance notice” means a notice referred to in subsection (1) of section seventy-five;“clearance warrant” means a clearance warrant granted in terms of paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section eighty;“clerk of court” means a clerk of court attached to the appropriate magistrates court referred to in section four;“closure order” means an order referred to in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (b) of section sixteen;“control order” means a control order made in terms of section fifty-six;“control summons” means a control summons issued in terms of section fifty-three;“demolition order” means an order referred to in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of section sixteen;“Director of Physical Planning” means the person appointed as Director of Physical Planning in terms of section 63 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act [Chapter 29:12];“dwelling” means a building used by persons wholly or partly for the purpose of habitation or sleeping;“former provisional clearance area” means a provisional clearance area declared by a clearance notice which has lapsed in terms of section seventy-eight;“housing court” means a housing court referred to in section four; “lessee” means a lessee other than a right holder of the land concerned;“local planning authority” has the meaning given by section 2 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act [Chapter 29:12];“man-made structure” includes any tent or other shelter;“Minister” means the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“occupation quota” means the maximum number of persons specified in terms of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of section forty-five;“order” means a repair, demolition or closure order;“overcrowded”, in relation to a dwelling, means that the number of occupants of the dwelling concerned is—(a)considered by an authority; or(b)determined by a housing court;as the context may require, to be excessive by reference to section forty-three;“owner”, in relation to any building, land or property affected by this Act, includes—(a)the administrator or executor of a deceased estate; or(b)the trustee or assignee of an insolvent or assigned estate; or(c)the liquidator or judicial manager of a company which is being wound up or is under judicial management; or(d)in the case of any building, land or property—(i)of an individual under a legal disability—(A)the legal representative of such individual; or(B)any person other than the legal representative referred to in subparagraph A having, whether in an official or private capacity, the possession, disposal, control or management of such building, land or property;or(ii)subject to a usufruct, fideicommissum or other limited interest, the person having the administration or control of such building, land or property;“property” means a building affected by the provisions of this Act, together with the piece of land upon which such building is situate;“provisional clearance area” means an area declared to be a provisional clearance area in terms of subsection (1) of section seventy-five;“repair order” means an order referred to in paragraph (a) of section sixteen;“responsible person” means—(a)the person in immediate control; or(b)the owner;of a dwelling affected by Part IV;“right holder” means the holder of any registered real right in or over any building, land or property affected by this Act;“stand” has the meaning given by section 2 of the Land Survey Act [Chapter 20:12];“standard rate” means a rate of interest of not more than one per centum per annum above the current rate of interest charged by the State in respect of loans to local authorities;“summons” means a summons issued in terms of subsection (2) of section seventeen;“unsatisfactory standard”, in relation to the condition of a building, means a standard which is—(a)considered by an authority; or(b)determined by a housing court;as the context may require, to be unsatisfactory by reference to section twenty-three.
3. Application of ActThis Act shall apply to every authority area.
Part II – Housing courts
4. Housing courts
6. Housing courts to be courts of record
7. Proceedings to be in publicThe proceedings of a housing court shall be conducted in public.
8. RepresentationAt any hearing before a housing court, a party may appear—
9. AdjournmentsA housing court may adjourn its proceedings for periods not exceeding twenty-one days at a time.
10. Summoning of witnesses and privileges thereof
11. Witnesses failing to attend or refusing to be sworn or to give evidence
12. Witness giving false evidenceAny witness who, after being duly sworn, makes a false statement of fact material to any question under investigation before a housing court, knowing such statement to be false or not knowing or believing it to be true, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[section as amended by Act No. 22 of 2001]
13. Contempt of housing courtIf any person wilfully insults a housing court or any assessor thereof during any sitting of the housing court or wilfully interrupts the proceedings of the housing court or otherwise wilfully disturbs the peace or order of such proceedings, the housing court may order the person to be removed and detained in custody until the rising of the housing court and the person shall be liable, in addition to such removal and detention, to be sentenced summarily by the housing court to a fine not exceeding level three or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[subsection as amended by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]
15. Appeal from decision of housing court
Part III – Repair, demolition and closure orders
16. Authority may apply for repair, demolition or closure orderWhere an authority considers that any building within its authority area is of an unsatisfactory standard and—
17. Issue of summons
18. Contents of summonsA summons shall set out—
19. Service of summonsSubject to this Part, a summons shall be served on the owner and any right holder of the building concerned in the same manner as a subpoena for the attendance of a witness at a civil trial in a magistrates court is served.
20. Delivery of grounds of oppositionNot less than four days before the date stated in the summons, the owner or any right holder of the building concerned may, if he intends to show cause why an order should not be made—
21. Inquiry to be held into application
22. Making of orderHaving considered any evidence or argument tendered by the parties or requested by itself at the inquiry referred to in subsection (1) of section twenty-one, the housing court may—
23. When building deemed to be of unsatisfactory standardA building shall be deemed to be of an unsatisfactory standard if the condition of the building—
24. Contents of repair orderA repair order—
25. Contents of demolition orderA demolition order—
26. Contents of closure orderA closure order—
27. Criteria in making of orderA housing court shall, in making an order, have regard to—
28. Order binding on successors in titleAn order shall be binding upon the owner of the building concerned and his successors in title.
29. Effect of order stipulating vacation
30. Persons on whom copy of order shall be served
31. Certificate of compliance with order
32. Variation, revocation or replacement of order
33. Failure to comply with order an offence
34. Authority may carry out order and recover cost thereof
35. Rent not payable where building vacatedNotwithstanding anything contained in any law, no occupant of a building who—
Part IV – Abatement of overcrowding
36. Authority may apply for abatement orderWhere an authority considers that any dwelling within its authority area is overcrowded, it may apply to a housing court for an abatement order.
37. Issue of abatement summons
38. Contents of abatement summonsAn abatement summons shall set out—
39. Service of abatement summonsSubject to this Part, an abatement summons shall be served on the responsible person of the dwelling concerned in the same manner as a subpoena for the attendance of a witness at a civil trial in a magistrates court is served.
40. Delivery of grounds of oppositionNot less than four days before the date stated in the abatement summons, the responsible person may, if he intends to show cause why an abatement order should not be made, deliver to the clerk of court and to the authority copies of a written statement setting out his reasons for opposing the making of the abatement order.
41. Inquiry to be held into application
42. Making of abatement orderHaving considered any evidence or argument tendered by the parties or requested by itself at the inquiry referred to in subsection (1) of section forty-one, the housing court may—
43. When dwelling deemed to be overcrowdedA dwelling shall be deemed to be overcrowded if—
44. Persons on whom copy of abatement order shall be servedA copy of every abatement order shall be served by the clerk of court on—
45. Contents of abatement orderAn abatement order shall—
46. Abatement order binding on successors in titleAn abatement order shall be binding upon the owner of the dwelling concerned and his successors in title.
47. Names of persons required to vacate dwelling to be listed
48. Variation or revocation of abatement order
49. Failure to comply with abatement order an offenceAny responsible person of a dwelling which is the subject of an abatement order who fails to—
50. Rent not payable where dwelling vacatedNotwithstanding anything contained in any law, no occupant of a dwelling who—
Part V – Control of harmful use or occupation of premises and undue interference
51. Application of this PartA control order shall not prohibit the use of any premises for any purpose for which those premises are authorized to be used in terms of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act [Chapter 29:12] and no application shall be made or entertained for any such control order.
52. Application for control order
53. Issue of control summons
54. Delivery of grounds of oppositionNot less than four days before the date of the inquiry specified in a control summons the owner or occupier of the premises concerned shall, if he intends to show cause why a control order should not be made, lodge with the clerk of court and deliver to the applicant for the control order copies of a written statement setting out his reasons for opposing the making of the control order:Provided that a housing court may, on good cause shown, grant an adjournment of the inquiry to enable an owner or occupier to comply with this section or may exempt such person from the requirement to comply therewith.
55. Inquiry to be held into application
56. Making of control orderHaving considered any evidence tendered by the parties or requested by itself at an inquiry referred to in subsection (1) of section fifty-five and after making any further inquiry, investigation or inspection it deems fit, the housing court may, subject to this Part—
57. Factors determining making of control orderIn determining whether or not to issue a control order the housing court shall have regard, inter alia, to—
58. Factors determining measures to be taken under control order
59. Persons on whom copy of control order shall be servedA copy of every control order shall be served by the clerk of court on—
60. Control order binding on successors in titleA control order shall be binding upon the owner or occupier of the premises concerned and his successors in title.
61. Names of persons required to vacate premises to be listed
62. Variation or revocation of control order
63. Failure to comply with control order an offenceAn owner or occupier of premises who fails—
64. Rent not payable where premises vacatedNotwithstanding anything contained in any law, no occupant of any premises who—
65. Order for costs in respect of proceedings in terms of this PartNotwithstanding this Act, no order as to costs in respect of any proceedings in terms of this Part shall be made against any person unless the housing court considers that that person behaved unreasonably.
Part VI – Clearance areas
66. Authority may apply for appointment of board of investigation
67. Appointment and functions of boardUpon receipt of an application made in terms of subsection (1) of section sixty-six, the Minister may—
68. Composition and remuneration of board
69. Procedure of board
70. Statement given to board not admissible in evidenceA statement given by any person to a board under any provisions of this Part shall not be admissible in evidence in any court of law, except with the consent of all persons affected thereby or for the purpose of prosecution under subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) of section seventy-three.
71. Members and employees of authority to supply information to boardEvery member or employee of the authority shall, when requested to do so, submit to a board all the information in his possession and produce to the board and give the board access to all books, documents, records, accounts and other sources of information of the authority.
72. Members, assistants and advisers of board to have access to or over propertyThe members of a board, together with such assistants and advisers as may be necessary, shall for the purposes of the inquiry of the board have access at all reasonable times to or over any property by the shortest and most practicable route reasonable in the circumstances.
73. Offences in relation to inquiry of board
74. Authority to meet expenses of, and provide facilities for, inquiry conducted by boardSubject to subsection (4) of section sixty-eight the authority shall meet the whole cost of the inquiry conducted by a board and shall provide the board with such staff, accommodation and other facilities as may reasonably be required by the board for the purposes of such inquiry.
75. Declaration of provisional clearance area and publication and service of clearance notice
76. Contents of clearance notice
77. Effect of clearance noticeWhile a clearance notice remains in force in terms of section seventy-eight, no person shall—
78. Duration of clearance notice and payment of compensation to persons suffering loss as result thereof
79. Impairment of land in provisional clearance area an offenceAny person who, while a clearance notice remains in force, demolishes, damages or in any other manner impairs any land within the provisional clearance area or any right in such land without the written permission of the authority, otherwise than in the exercise of rights acquired in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act [Chapter 21:05], shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[subsection as amended by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]
80. Submission by board of report and summary of representations and procedure for grant of clearance warrant
81. Cancellation of general plan representing public places
Part VII – General
82. Dangerous buildings
83. Duty of occupant to disclose information to authority
84. Authority to have all necessary powersSubject to this Act, an authority shall have the power to do all things necessary for, or incidental to, the implementation of this Act, including the power to borrow, raise and expend moneys:Provided that the enactment in terms of which an authority is constituted, relating to the power to borrow, raise or expend moneys, shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the borrowing, raising and expenditure of moneys by the authority for the purposes of this Act.
85. President may amend First and Second SchedulesThe President may, by statutory instrument, add to, amend or replace the whole or any part of the First or Second Schedule.
86. Absence of alternative accommodation
87. Power to enter and inspect buildings
88. Duties of authority in implementation of provisions of this Act
89. RegulationsThe Minister may, by regulation, provide for all matters which—
90. ***[section repealed by Act No. 22 of 2001]
History of this document
10 November 1972