The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources, Works and Housing, David Tetteh Assuming has stated that the high rent advances demanded by landlords in most urban areas in the country, especially Accra, was of concern to his committee and by extension Parliament.
He has therefore appealed to landlords in the countryï¿½s cities to be circumspect in their demand for such astronomical rent advances.
ï¿½My appeal to landlords and landladies is for them to be generous. I mean they must consider the economic situation at large when charging prospective tenants so we donï¿½t overburden everybody,ï¿½ David Assuming told The Globe newspaper in an interview.
Whilst acknowledging that the housing shortfall was to blame for the situation, Mr Assuming indicated that the right conditions existed for private developers to bridge the gap. He pointed out that the situation where landlords and landladies charged prospective tenants far above the allowable rent allowance in the rent laws was unacceptable but admitted it was impracticable to deal with the situation by just pointing to the existence of the law.
ï¿½The situation where people are charged way above the allowable rent allowance of six months is unacceptable but it is hard to blame the landlords and landladies because it is demand which is driving the market. In view of the huge shortfall in the housing sector landlords and ladies are charging exorbitant prices for houses in this country and that is uncalled for. In the light of this Government must partner the private sector to deal with the situation,ï¿½ he told The Globe.
The Rent Control Department, which is supposed to regulate the operations of landlords is woefully understaffed and under equipped, compounding the situation. The Committee chairman told The Globe: ï¿½Recently we met with them to discuss their budget estimates and we realised that they have a serious handicap in terms of monitoring these issues. They donï¿½t have adequate computers amongst others so we even had to make an appeal on their behalf to get such equipments. ï¿½
A survey by The Globe indicated that almost all landlords and ladies especially in Accra were demanding exorbitant and in some cases outrageous rent allowances which span periods between three years and five years.
Most of the residents interviewed by The Globe also related how they had fallen prey to self styled house agents who duped unsuspecting persons in need of shelter.
ï¿½The current situation is of huge concern for all members of Parliament thatï¿½s why during the assessment of the budget estimates for the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing we identified the problem with the rent control unit,ï¿½ Assuming stated.
He explained that Parliament has already urged the Ministry through his committee to mobilise the necessary funds to complete the affordable housing projects started by the previous administration but left unfinished as a matter of urgency.
He said if these and some high rise building apartments were put up, the situation was likely to improve but called on all stakeholders to ï¿½come together so the problem is addressed, especially the shortfall in the housing industry. ï¿½
Source: The Globe newspaper
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