Ghana’s Rent Law To Be Reviewed
The Rent Control Department will be reviewing Ghana’s current rent law to address issues surrounding the temporary acquisition of residential facilities in the country.
According to the Chief Rent Officer at the Department, Addo Soin Dombo, the current rent law has created inconveniences to both the house owners (landlords) and tenants; a situation he said his outfit is working hard to address.
He told Citi News in an interview that “it [the rent law] is under review. We are working on it. Both landlords and tenants agree that one-year advance is enough for them because this one year, two year, three years, it doesn’t help. It puts so much pressure on the tenants and it doesn’t help the landlords themselves.”
Reports indicate that Ghana is the only country in West Africa where advance on rent charged by landlords is in excess of a year, although the current law prohibits landlords from taking rent advance beyond a 6-month period.
He added that the successes of rent laws in neighbouring countries has highlighted the failings of the rent legislation in Ghana, adding that “statistics show that Ghana has the poorest landlords in the world.”
“Most landlords are poor in Ghana here. They become bankrupt and when they take the rent money, they spend it and within a few months they start harassing the tenants, bringing all sorts of accusations against them. In our neighbouring countries, what they do is you deposit 3 months advance against any damages and then you pay monthly. It will be good for the landlord and for the tenant as well,” he said.
The government has come under pressure to review the current rent law, including pressures from the opposition NPP who said the huge housing deficit in the country will make it practically impossible for the law to succeed in stopping house owners from charging rent advance in excess of the mandatory six months.
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, told Citi News in September, “I think the government should take it up and come up with punitive measures against all landlords who charge in dollars. Starting even with the government, the government should stop charging their properties in dollars.”
He said this on the back of the alleged frivolous spending of about $180,000 by the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lauretta Lamptey on accommodation.