The minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, in February this year said, the government is committed to the full implementation of housing programmes to bridge the country’s housing deficit and challenges.
Describing the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) data on housing that puts the national housing deficit at 1.8 million, a 33 per cent reduction from the previous 2.8 million as great news, he said the Ministry was focused on ensuring that the old-age problem was effectively resolved.
This situation has created an opportunity for landlords, landladies, as well as property owners to be charging exorbitant amount, far beyond the reach of many people.
The amount they charge is not as worrying as the two or three years advance that they ask for. Salary earners receive monthly salaries, but are expected to pay from one-year to three-year rent, the question of affordability will always arise and that it will continue to be a big burden on families, with a collateral effect on some landlords and property owners whose houses and properties lie fallow for several years due to the inability of most of those in need to afford the payment plan.
According to Ghana’s Rent Control laws, 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 was disclosed by the Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu on Newsfile on Joy FM.
He reiterated that, “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.”
Renting in Accra has become one of the major headache city dwellers have to contend with.
Government must intervene to regulate cost of rent to ease the burden on the citizenry.
It is obvious the Rent Control Law, is not working, as a newspaper we appeal to landlords to take it as a matter of voluntary action due to their moral suasions and conscience, to help alleviate the burden of tenants to enable them afford a decent accommodation.