Landlords who charge 2 yrs advance are liable for 2 yrs jail term- Rent Control Dept.
The Rent Control Department has issued warnings that landlords who charge two years advance in the country are liable for two years jail term and cannot forcibly evict tenants without securing eviction order from a court.
Ghana currently has over two million housing deficit with many housing agents in the country complaining that some rent control laws are rigid. Rent tax currently stands at 8% for residential and non-residential is 15%. The Rent Control Department is in the process of coming up with a new law and regulation that will increase the lawful renting period from six to a year.
But, even before this law is enacted, the Rent Control Department is warning landlords in the country to take into account Fundamental Human Rights of tenants when designing tenancy agreement devoid of fictitious undertaking.
According to the Head of Public Relations at Rent Control Department Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu, landlords cannot increase tenancy rate (fee) without approval of the Rent Control Department in line with Section 19 of Rent Control Act of 1963.
Speaking in an interview monitored by African Editors in Accra on Saturday 3 July 2021 increasing rates by landlords must be approved by rent officer at Rent Control Department. You cannot evict a tenant without applying for an order of eviction from court.
Landlords are mandated to give rent carts to tenants two weeks after payment of rend advance whilst maintenance responsibility of the rented house or apartment must be spelt out in the tenancy agreement.
Contributing the debate, Chief Rent Officer at Rent Control Department Twum Ampofo says tenants have the rights to appeal rates by landlords. Charging rent advance for more than six months are liable to two years jail term.
Mr. Ampofo noted that “Commission or agent’s fee by law must be paid by the landlord and not the tenant and agent’s commission (fee) stands at 5% of total advance paid to a landlord”.
Director of VineCBH and Immediate Past Executive Council Member of Ghana Real Estate Developers (GREDA) Kojo Biney says some of the country’s rent laws are rigid and property owners who rent in dollars are liable. According to him, (GREDA) is in talks with government to fix the housing deficit.