The National Tenants Association says government’s intended policy of establishing a National Rental Assistance Scheme to support individuals, particularly fresh graduates, to rent a decent house, will not be feasible.
According to them, the policy needs to be well thought through to succeed.
The Association’s Secretary General, Frederick Opoku said the policy when implemented without proper consultation will disadvantage the majority.
“There are a lot of Ghanaians who wouldn’t benefit from this policy. Majority of Ghanaians in the informal sector are not going to benefit from this. Because at the end of the month, you will deduct it from their monies (fresh graduates), what about the informal sector?
“They [government] must come clear to tell us if really, they have an open policy whereby they’ll integrate the poor into the policy and benefit. If not, it’ll be a misplaced agenda or policy,” he noted.
During the ruling New Patriotic Party’s manifesto launch [August 22, 2020], Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia indicated that the next NPP government, when given the nod on December 7, 2020, will grant loans to young people to rent decent homes.
According to the Rent Act 1963, Section 25(5) of Act 220 states that “any person who, as a condition of the grant, renewal or continuance of a tenancy, demands in the case of a monthly or shorter tenancy, the payment in advance of more than a month’s rent, or in the case of a tenancy exceeding six months, the payment in advance of more than six months’ rent shall be guilty of an offence and shall upon conviction by the appropriate Rent Magistrate be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.
However, Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Xove Kporsu said the implementation of the rent act is a collective responsibility.
This comes at the back of various reports, suggesting the negligence of landlords, in adherence to the rent act.
“First, what we do is to caution anyone who goes contrary to the rent act. But when we see that you’re a recalcitrant landlord, then we hand you over to the court to deal with you. So we call on all Ghanaians, especially tenants or prospective tenants, if you go to any landlord and he demands more than six months advance, quickly run to the rent control department, we have a process laid out, the landlord will be invited and where the law applies, we’ll implement it”, he added.
In 2018, the Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta-Akyea bemoaned the behavior of landlords who demand more than 12 months as an advance payment, exceeding the six-months ceiling and called on tenants whose landlords request more than one year advance to report them, for the law to deal with those individuals.