Rent charges have become a perennial issue in the Ghanaian society, especially in the metropolitan and fast developing cities. The situation has grown to be worse calling the attention of all stakeholders of housing issues who incidentally have not done much to the situation any better.
The Minister in charge of Finance and Allied Institutions at the Office of the President, Fiifi Kwetey has bemoaned the perennial hikes in rent charges, attributing it to the ingrained quests by some landlords to amass profits at the expense of tenants.
Mr. Kwetey said, the situation in Ghana was quite debilitating and away from the norm as compared to other countries like Kenya and Nigeria.
Due to the situation of housing demand outstripping supply, many house owners and accommodation agents have gone exploiting home seekers in ways that are contravene the Rent Act (220) enacted in parliament as far back as 1963.
Mr. Fiifi Kwetey called for a critical look at the situation as this mentality of exploiting tenants and maximising profit in the short term, is gradually been ingrained in the psyche of business owners and captains of industry.
In recent times, calls have been made to review the aged Rent Act 220 due to its apparent ‘weakness and shallowness’. The state of the Act has made the Rent Control Department not able to carry out its constitutional mandate, leaving the poor renters at the mercy of some landlords who are not in any way ready to compromise with tenants in case of any misunderstanding(s) between the two, a situation Mr. Kwetey believes is unacceptable.
According to the Chief Rent Officer at the Rent Control Department, Addo Soin Dombo certain aspects of the Act need some amendments to make it more functional and relevant to the current rent situation in the country.