‘Lower time limits will bring relief’
By Joseph Ojumu
To reduce pressure on tenants, the Guantoahene of Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area in Ghana, Nana Apata Kofi V, has called for the review of the Rent Control Law to limit the number of months for the advance payment of rents to six months.
He believes would go a long way to bring some relief to both old and prospective tenants, particularly workers in state organisations.
It would also assist people in urban areas who needed accommodation but could not afford the huge rent advances demanded by some landlords, the Guantoahene noted.
Nana Apata Kofi, also the Chief of Gomoa Pomadze in the Central Region, made the appeal at a meeting with the stool elders of the town at the weekend to discuss the challenges of the people and the development of the town.
He said the current situation where the country’s Rent Control Law permitted landlords to collect huge rent advances for a number of months or years from tenants, either old or prospective ones, was not the best saying; “the issue has been one of the major contributory factors preventing some government employees in the regions from accepting postings to big cities.”
According to the Guantoahene, another disturbing aspect linked to the payment of huge advances was that, more often than not, most landlords insisted on collecting the money in dollars instead of the local currency, especially in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.
This, Nana Apata Kofi said, often aggravated the horrible situation tenants found themselves and appealed to landlords to be considerate in their demands.
The Guantoahene admitted that government really required the contributions of estate developers to assist in providing accommodation for workers, taking into consideration the cost of building materials and labour in the construction of houses.
However, he said, the real estate developers should not use that assistance to increase the burden of the less privileged who needed to be accommodated.
Nana Apata Kofi commended landlords in the country for the important role they were playing towards national reconstruction and appealed to them to be more considerate in their demand for rent advances.
He expressed the hope that when the Rent Control Law is reviewed by Parliament the demand for huge rent advances by some landlords would be a thing of the past.
The Difference checks reveal that a similar situation of long-term rent advances also operates in Nigeria which makes things most difficult for tenants also.