“No landlord has the right to increase rent without approval of Rent Control” – Regulator warns

The Rent Control Department, an agency under the Works and Housing Ministry responsible for regulating rent and all its related activities has warned property owners to desist from an arbitrary increase in rent without first obtaining approval from the department.

“No landlord has the right to increase rent without approval of Rent Control” – Regulator warns

Pulse Ghana

The Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu said the practice whereby landlords increase rent rate without the prior assessment and approval of the Rent Control office is illegality for which perpetrators could be prosecuted.

He said this on JoyNews’ The Law, Sunday, emphasizing: “No landlord has the right to increase his rent without consulting the Rent Control office.”

Myjoyonline.com reported Mr. Hovey Kporsu as saying that all new rent rates must be approved by the Rent Control Department to ensure that they are reasonable and befit the condition of the premises that is being rented.

“Under section 19, (1) it says no landlord of premises shall collect from the tenant of such premises any increase of rate attributable to any increase of rate in respect of such premises unless he has notified the tenant previously in writing in a prescribed form, the amount of the old rate, the amount of the new rate and where part of any premises has been let, the amount of rate attributed to such part, the amount of the increase in rent and that from which the new rate takes effect,” he is quoted as having said on The Law.

“So. when you come to section 19 (3) that’s where it insists that no landlord should collect any increase in rate until that premises has been assessed.

“So, when we finish assessing and we give you the rate, that’s where you have to notify the tenant that from this month going, or from the next two months going, I’ll be charging you this new rate from this old one which I’m currently collecting. And this new rate has been approved by the rent control department or the magistrate,” he added.

Hovey Kporsu went further to stated that, landlords cannot implement new rent rates till the tenancy agreement with their tenants have been fully exhausted and even, in that case, the landlord is obliged to notify the tenant in writing of the new development.

A couple of weeks ago, the Head Pastor of Potter’s Family Chapel, Prophet Alex Armstrong called on the government to exercise proper oversight over the rental space to save suffering tenants from excessive exploitation by landlords/landladies.

According to the man of God, the state has been almost sitting aloof for far too long while house owners subject tenants to profiteering, with some of them increasing rents recklessly without recourse to any laws of the land.

“As a nation, where are we going? A nation that is not mindful of [legislations on] land, of apartments, that nation will suffer for a very long time. We should be able to control all these things.

“Sometimes you go to a compound house and you are told GH1200. If the government cannot control rental and anybody can wake up and change or increase rent; every six months they increase rent, if you don’t have that kind of money you will not have a better place to stay.

“How do you expect me to raise GH25000,” he quizzed.

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