- Chief Rent Controller in Ghana has advised landlords to contact the assessment unit of the office before reviewing their rent prices.
-He has also warned that it is wrong for landlords to charge for two years advance in rent, since the law demands they charge for six months
- He has cautioned estate developers to stop charging in dollars as it is a criminal offence
The Chief Rent Controller, at the Ghana Rent Control Department, Mr Addo Soin Dombo, has advised landlords to contact the Rent Control Department for rent assessment before reviewing their rent charges.
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.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr. Dombo he urged tenants to resist attempts by landlords to arbitrarily increase rent charges, explaining that rent could only be increased when the landlord had made some improvement in the apartment where the tenant lived. This he said is a right of the tenant to demand in law.
In his interview he also disclosed that by law no landlord has the right to charge more than six months’ rent advance as is the practice, saying it is an illegal act for landlords to increase their rent charges arbitrarily and further charge two years advance.
Speaking to the issue on estate developers charging dollars in rent, the Chief Rent Controller cautioned the estate developers to desist from the act as it constitutes a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana. He sadly expressed that most of these landlords and estate developers charging dollars, known it is criminal but still engage in the act.
On the issue of taxes, the Chief Rent Controller said the law required that landlords pay eight per cent of their annual rent income tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and appealed to the GRA to collaborate with the department to know the exact amount of money each landlord was supposed to pay.
He also revealed that it is an obligation for every landlord to pay rent tax and property rate to the state, adding that those were the areas the department and the GRA need to collaborate, since some landlords understate their rent income.
On security, the Chief Rent Controller advised landlords to investigate the background of their would-be tenants in order to avoid renting rooms to criminals and people with questionable lifestyles, adding that tenants must also check the background of their landlords before hiring their facilities.
Mr Dombo urged landlords to issue tenants with rent cards within a week of their occupancy of their facilities, and urged tenants to thoroughly inspect the premises and location of buildings to avoid problems such as renting facilities in flood-prone areas.
He explained further that the rent card was a statutory document required by law. It contains the particulars of tenants and the agreed amount paid for a specific duration.