Amend the Rent Act-Rent Officer Accra, Jan.25, GNA-Government has been asked to amend the Rent Act of 1963 to address changing trends regarding housing and accommodation in the country.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, Mr Fred Tawiah, Greater Accra Regional Principal Rent Officer, Rent Control Department, noted that the Department needed more power to adequately regularize the activities of landlords, accommodation agents and housing in general.

According to him, the high rate at which landlords in the Greater Accra Region had treated the Act with disdain and were charging rents without consulting the Department as stipulated in the Act.

 “It is pathetic to note that landlords have taken the law into their own hands and are charging rents as they pleased without consulting the Department.

Mr Tawaih said: “It is only the landlords who rent their office to corporate entities who often visit our office whenever they want to increase their rent, and we commend them for that”.

He charged tenants who feel cheated or not treated fairly by their landlords not to hesitate to contact the Rent Control Department for redress and asked accommodation agents to desist from charging 10 per cent on amount paid to landlords as that was against the law.

 “According to the law, accommodation agents are required to charge only five per cent on rent paid for only one year, and not the usual ten per cent on the total amount paid by tenants to landlords”.

He expressed regret that the current law did not give the Department  the mandate to regularize the activities of accommodation agents.

He admonished landlords to desist from collecting advance payment of two years and above as the law required of them to charge only up to six months.

Mr Tawiah cited non payment of rents and utility bills by tenants as some of the charges that landlords usually brought to the office.

 “Tenants on the other hand usually come to our office when landlords arbitrarily increase their rents”.    

 GNA

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