Tuesday, 23 July

Pass Rent Bill 2022 before dissolution - Tenants urge Parliament

General News

Tenants across the country are calling on Parliament to pass the Rent Bill 2022 before the 8th Parliament is dissolved.

The National Tenants Union of Ghana has expressed shock at the high cost of rent and the challenges faced by indigenous businesses and tenants due to demands for rent advance payments exceeding six months, which is prohibited under Section 25(5) of the Rent Act, 1963.

The Union criticized landlords for disregarding rent laws and acting with impunity while the Rent Control Department remains passive.

They highlighted the increasing difficulty of doing business in Ghana, citing unlawful extra charges called ‘Goodwill’ for leasing properties for 10-15 years without providing receipts, in violation of Section 25(5) of Act 220 (1963).

In prime areas like Osu, Labone, Ridge, Airport, Spintex, and others in Accra, commercial tenants according to the Union are reportedly forced to pay illegal non-refundable charges (Goodwill) between $45,000 and $70,000, further breaching the law.

The Rent Bill 2022, which aims to address these issues, was approved by the cabinet in November 2022 and subsequently submitted to Parliament. In 2023, the bill was read for the first time and referred to the Housing Select Committee for further action. However, there has been no progress for over 15 months.

As Parliament resumes today, June 11, 2024, the Union in a statement is appealing to legislators to prioritize and fast-track the passage of the Rent Bill.

They urge that it be passed and assented to by the President before the 8th Parliament recesses in December 2024, warning that failure to do so would necessitate restarting the entire process.

Source: Classfmonline.com/Emmanuel Mensah