Government is putting together a new rent bill to regulate the country’s housing space.
The bill, which will be laid before Parliament soon if approved, will make tenants pay between one month to a year’s rent advance instead of the initial six months in the existing rent law.
Per the current laws governing the renting space, ACT 1963, tenants are supposed to pay between one to six months advance rent, but landlords demand two years or more instead; a situation many have complained about.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, Chief Rent Control Officer at the Rent Control Department, Twum Ampofo, said the sector Minister is doing everything possible to ensure that the bill is tabled before Parliament soon.
“The rent advance at the moment is supposed to be six months and the new law hoping to be passed sooner or later is actually giving us a year. We have prepared the one year advance supposed to be paid by tenants. It starts from one month to one year.”
He also said they took into consideration the issues that confront landlords before making the review.
“This is because of the conflict between the landlords and the tenants. At times the problem is that tenants are supposed to pay between one month to six months, but because of the deficit of the accommodation in this country, some people have developed their premises with the help of the estate developers. They’ve gone in for loans to build these kinds of houses for rent.”
“…So when we ask them to take one month, the one month [amount] will not help them to pay off the loans given to them…we have come to realize that it is an inconvenience for landlords. [Also] One month or three months’ rent cannot help landlords to renovate their properties. So we have taken into consideration that one year rent will resolve the matter of paying advance to help the landlords to restructure their properties,” he added.
High cost of rent in Accra
Many Ghanaians are indeed upset about the high cost of rent in regional capitals of the country, particularly in Accra.
The lack of a proper regulation is also a concern for many, considering that in some non-prime areas in Accra, a chamber and hall self-contained accommodation facility goes for as high as GH¢800 in non-prime areas.
For most prospective tenants, dealing with housing agents is also another headache, as they feel exploited by them.
Citi News‘ Caleb Kudah, found that in a report he did recently that some of the landlords charge as high as GH¢800 monthly as rent for a simple accommodation facility.
“I pay about 800 cedis in a month and it is a chamber and hall self-contain, it is highly expensive and unsustainable. Landlords are more interested in having their own monopoly over the residences they provide,” one tenant said.
Another tenant also complained about how rent in Accra, is outrageously expensive, stating that the same accommodation can be gotten for a much lesser amount in other parts of Ghana.