The Rental Housing Association of Ghana (RHAG) has expressed their disappointment in Government for decided to pay 2 years advance on behalf of tenants to landlords in the new rent scheme introduced to protect tenants in the country.
According to RHAG, the initiative taking by government is indeed loudable and are in support except that, the 2 years advance to be paid to landlords is against the Rent Act which says that, landlords cannot demand for rent advance of more than 6 months.
Speaking at a press conference, the President of Rental Housing Association of Ghana (RHAG), Madam Regina Ekua Christian Koomson said, the decision to pay 2 years advance to landlords defeats government’s own Rent Act law of 6 months advance set up to protect tenants from the abuse of landlords.
“In respect to the recent launch of the novel National Rental Assistance Scheme for example, we applaud the President Nana Akuffo Addo for the initiative. We also applaud the minister for Works and Housing Honorable Francis Asenso – Boakye and his team. However, certain arears of the Scheme must be looked into. Since the launch of the scheme, the association has been bombarded with telephone calls from tenants who are under the impression that we are somehow involved with the operations of the scheme”.
She said, if government go ahead and pay the 2 years advance, then they should have allowed landlords to continue taking their 2,3 or 4 years advance from tenants.
“According to current rent act , landlords cannot demand for rent advance of more than 6 months. Yet, the Scheme provides funds for landlords to be paid rent advance for even up to two years as a lump sum. This is total confusion and creates room for landlords to break the law. RHAG is however also committed to educating all prospective tenants as well, to desist from offering landlords more than the required 6 month rent advance”.
She thanked Government for the approval of the draft rent bill by Cabinet adding that, the Association look forward to see it being passed into law by parliament within the shortest possible time.
Ghana, Madam Regina Ekua Christian stated, currently has a housing deficit of 1.8 million with tenants being on the receiving end of the difficulties.
She assured of the Association’s commitment in educating landlords on issues such as tenancy agreements, issuing of receipts after rent payment, wrongful termination and eviction processes and all other issues that arise out of rentals.
“The passing of the rent bill into law, would solidify all the above mentioned, as it seeks to empower the Rent control department to act as the facilitating body”.
Madam Regina bemoan the current status of the Saglemi affordable housing project, and call for a speedy resolution to enable its intended purpose of creating affordable housing and further reducing the housing deficit.
She appealed to Government to create space for facility and property managers in the rental housing industry saying, RHAG stands out as an available resource to get that done.
“It is however unfortunate, that the Rent Control department is not as adequately resourced as it should be with human resource as well as logistics to carry out its mandate”.
The Rental Housing Association of Ghana was established in September of last year and duly launched on the 27th December, 2022.
RHAG is an organization committed to bringing all rental housing professionals together in Ghana, in order to enrich the rental housing industry and re-birth professionals that can aid in the stability of the industry through education, collaboration and advocacy which are our core pillars.
RHAG however, signed an MOU with NATUG and then GAREB to work hand in hand in other to fight for the interest of tenants in the country.