COVID-19 lockdown: Don't evict tenants; postpone recovery of rent payment - Mahama to landlords

With businesses falling apart and people losing jobs amid the lockdown due to COVID-19, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has asked house owners to consider deferring the recovery of rent payment for a few months.

John Mahama

He said that the market, factories, and overall businesses have slowed down due to COVID-19 lockdown and it has affected the employment of several people, while many have lost their source of income.

He also asked the government and property owners to come to some agreement to give respite to tenants and put a freeze on evictions as part of measures to mitigate the hardship on Ghanaians.

He made this known when he visited communities on the outskirts of Accra to present food items to some households.

He said: "From my interactions with the people, one that struck me most was the concern of a young woman that her landlord is demanding the rent for February and March or she faces ejection. She’s been home for a while due to the lockdown and cannot raise the funds to pay. Rent, as we have learnt from other countries is one of the key areas government intervention is required in mitigating the impact of COVID-19."

"In Ghana, properties are privately owned and rents are paid for several years in advance. Government and property owners would have to devise a scheme to come to the aid of tenants who are unable to pay their rents. A moratorium on ejections as a first step will be helpful to many who have lost their daily income as a result of the lockdown. In return, I believe Government can compensate landlords and landladies for any income lost through tax reliefs, exemptions among others," he stated.

However, the coronavirus outbreak has killed nine out of the 834 confirmed cases in Ghana.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh