Tenants of Accra Mall are being bullied by the Mall Management. The past year has been a challenge for the Tenants of Accra Mall since the renewal of the new lease terms and introduction of new majority share landlord and their representative Mr. Johan Venter.
Accra Mall Management have been forcefully been trying to implement terms and practices from South Africa that are contrary to the rules and regulations of the Rental Act of the Republic of Ghana.
1. Rent paid in US Dollars – Which is against Bank of Ghana regulations, and tenants earning income in cedis, and as per BOG regulations we are not allowed to sell our services or goods in foreign currency.
2. Rent Escalation – Although average escalation should be between 2-5% Accra Mall is asking for 7% escalation bearing in mind that they are not exposed to negation exchange rate movement as our rent, service charge and even electricity bill is charged to the mall by ECG in Ghana Cedis is converted and charged by the mall in US Dollars.
3. Turnover – apart from the fact that all tenants are paying more than 100% increase from an average of $26 per sqm 5 years ago to an average of $55 per sqm which is definitely in contradiction to the rental act in Ghana. On top of that they are now asking that we pay an average of 7% to 8% of our GROSS Turnover (only exclusive of VAT) as part of our monthly rental payment. In short $55 per sqm or 7% of our gross monthly turnover whichever is higher. Failure on the part of the tenant to provide same will incur a penalty (please see sample copy of letter sent out to tenants who have breached this clause).
4. Security Deposits – Currently, security deposits have been taken without interest and put into the landlord’s own account. This should not be the case as all security deposits should be banked in an escrow accounts to benefit both partners and all interest borne on that account should belong to the tenant.
Security Deposit which is the tenants property and which should be kept in a secured account so as not to become part of the landlord’s capital, which would be affected, by liquidation or bankruptcy foreclosure of the landlord’s business.
5. Tenants are billed for the Mall’s late Payments – When the Mall default is paying their bills and are charged reconnection fees, this amounts are shared for tenants to pay.
6. Tenants being billed with Accra Mall Property Rate Charges.
7. Accra Mall Management – asking Tenants who are interested in Westfield Mall to Waive their Rights.
Since the introduction of the new lease agreement in 2012, the Management of the Mall is using bullying tactics and divisive methods by dismantling the Tenants Committee at the Mall, threatening letters of eviction to achieve their goals, even though most of the tenants have made them aware of their reluctance due to the fact that most of the clauses are contrary to the regulations of Ghana’s Rental Act.
The Landlord’s Representative Mr. Johan Venter who has a history of aggressive, divisive and bullying techniques has compounded the Tenants woes. It is well known fact that he was transferred from Broll South Africa to Broll Nigeria after an incident where he cut off a Tenants Necktie in a heated discussion.