Report landlords who charge more than 1 year rent advance - Housing minister

Report landlords who charge more than 1 year rent advance - Housing minister

- The housing minister wants landlords who demand more than one year advance to be reported by tenants

- The minister says rent in Ghana must not go beyond six months

- So far, many tenants have been pressured to pay between two to three years advance

Ghanaians have been urged to report all landlords who charge unauthorized rent fees. This is according to the housing minister, Samuel Atta-Kyea, who says charging beyond two years is illegal and thus attracts prosecutions.

The minister further states that rent laws in the country do not permit for landlords to charge beyond six months of rent advance.

“Why are you going to squeeze 36 months of rent advance for the person? If you condone it, the impunity gains ground, and that is where we are,” the Minister said on the Citi Breakfast Show.

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The lack of rent regulation has been noted as one of Ghana’s fundamental housing problems. Per the current laws governing the rent, ACT 1963, tenants are to only pay between one to six months advance rent.

Speaking on the need to report unscrupulous landlords, the minister stated that reporting landlords will go a long way to address the issues faced rent allowances.

“It is you the citizen of Ghana, very conscious that we must enforce laws for the sanity of the nation, who will go and alert the police that landlord X is trying to violate the law and should be arrested. And that is when the law will be meaningful,” he intimated.

The head of the rent control department in the Upper East region, Adam Yaminu Kasim, is entreating all landlords to stop charging rent payments beyond six months as “it is illegal for landlords to fix rents for a room”.

According to him, most tenants face the frustration of paying between two and ten years advance all because they are ignorant of the rent laws of Ghana.

He is, therefore, entreating tenants to boldly file complaints at the rent control department should they be charged beyond the 6-month limit. Senior minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo has also assured Ghanaians of moves by the government to tackle the rent laws in the country.

Addressing the appointments committee during his vetting, the minister revealed that high rent advances impede development in Ghana hence the need for parliament to come out with new and amended laws.

Also, the chief rent controller, at the rent control department, Addo Soin Dombo, has advised landlords to contact the rent control department for rent assessment before reviewing their rent charges.

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He added that landlords are mandated by law to contact the department for assessment before any increment in rent and if they do not, the increment by law is to be done every two years with only a two percent increment.

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