Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu has cautioned landlords to not advertise their rental property without first getting an assessment certificate.

According to him, doing so is a breach of the Rent Act and landlords could face severe sanctions.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, Hovey Kporsu said, “People just wake up, they build and they put ‘For Rent’ on it without going through the legal process.”

He stated that immediately after a landlord makes up their mind to rent their property, they need to go to the Rent Control Department to invite them to have an assessment of the property.

“If you look from section 10 to section 19 of the Rent Act specifically Section 10, it says ‘an application of assessment of recoverable rent by an appropriate rent officer’, which means the first point of course is to come to the Rent Control Department, apply for this assessment of recoverable rent.

“The recoverable rent is the rent you want to charge for the premises. We will come in as a Rent Control Officer or the rent magistrate to assess the place, look at how nice you’ve built your place, the material you used, the fittings and the features and then we’ll come out with an assessment certificate,” he said.

He explained that the assessment certificate details the amount the landlord is required to charge as rent for a period of two years at the end of which, the certificate would have to be renewed for a new rent rate to be issued.

“That assessment certificate will detail how much you are to charge as rent for a period of two years.  So after two years you’ll come in and apply for what we call reassessment. There are some ingredients that we take into consideration when doing the assessment.

“The first is the property rate you pay; the value of the land on which you’ve sited your premises, any rate you pay we all factor all this into it. Then when we come out with the assessment certificate we issue into it how much you’re to charge for a period of two years,” he said.

He added that, “When you get the assessment certificate, the first thing now you have the authority to do is to advertise for your premises. So until you get the assessment certificate, you don’t have the right to advertise your premises.

He further stated that, the landlord could either use an agent to advertise their product or simply register their property at the Rent Control Department’s vacant premise registry for potential tenants who visit the Department to easily reach them.

“You have two ways of advertising. The first one is the agent of which they are to take only 5% of the rent advance that has been paid to the landlord as a commission but they’re flouting it.

“The second avenue is the vacant premise register we have at our offices which majority of Ghanaians are not aware that you can register your vacant premises at the Rent Control Department so that the prospective tenants, those roaming about looking for an apartment, when they come and see that an apartment located at this point suits me, we call the landlord, we call you as the prospective tenant, we bring you together to go and document your processes,” he said.