Landlords who demand more than six months advance from their tenants before renting out their property are liable to a two-year jail term.
This is according to Ghana’s Rent Control laws.
The Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu on Joy FM’s Newsfile stated that property owners must not exploit tenants to recoup their investments.
According to him, “any person who as a condition of the grant, renewal or continuance of a tenancy demands in the case of monthly or shorter tenancy, the payment in advance of more than a month’s rent or in the case of tenancy exceeding six months, the payment in advance of more than six months’ rent shall be guilty of an offense and shall upon conviction by the appropriate rent magistrate be liable to a fine not exceeding 500 penalty unit or in default imprisonment term not exceeding 2 years or both.”
Mr Kporsu, therefore, cautioned the property owners to lease their assets in accordance to the law adding that “The law says don’t demand and don’t receive, so if you don’t demand it.”
A section of Ghanaians, particularly the youth have raised concern about housing deficit in the country and called on the government to convert the Saglemi Affordable Housing project to a social housing project for rental accommodation for the poor.
They also questioned the country’s laws in the acquisition of affordable housing, its challenges, and possible solutions to resolve the country’s housing deficit.
Giving more insight, Mr Kporsu said the tenancy agreement must take into account the fundamental human rights of tenants.
He also added that before a landlord puts together a tenancy agreement, sections in the rent act must be considered to prevent one from coming out with a fictitious tenancy agreement that infringes on the rights of tenants.
“In writing the tenancy agreement you should take into consideration the universal consideration of human rights. You have to take into consideration Article 12(2) of constitution which spells out the fundamental human right,” he said on Saturday.
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