Parliament urged to fasttrack amendment of rent law

Mediators at the Ashaiman Central Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (ADR) has appealed to Parliament to fast-track the amendment of the country’s Rent Law Act 1963 and Act 220 to conform to modern day challenges.

The mediators noted that an amendment and enforcement of the law was needed to “save tenants from greedy landlords/ladies.”
         
The appeal was contained in an annual report on the operations of the ADR Centre for the year 2016. It was signed by Ms Justina Ativor, Mr Gabriel Atsu and Mr Kingsley Kutiame, ADR practitioners at the Centre.
         
According to the report, a total of 829 rent cases were handled by the Centre showing a decrease of 14 over the 843 received in 2015.
         
They stated that landlords/ladies often ignored appeals and advice given them by the ADR operatives leading to their call for the amendment and full implementation of the Rent Law.
         
Rent cases, which topped the complaints sheet of the ADR Centre, mostly emanated from unlawful rent increment, payment of rent advances, and political affiliations.
         
Utility bills settlements, especially for electricity consumption, was another cause of misunderstanding between landlords and tenants because tenants often accused the landlords of overbilling them.
         
The mediators added that some landlords complained of the failure of the Electricity Company of Ghana to bill them for years but when the bill arrives eventually, it is huge.
         
It stated that the situation had caused some landlords dearly as the accumulated bill were mostly released to them when the tenants who consumed the electricity had vacated their house.
         
The Centre, therefore, urged the ECG to put in place some pragmatic steps to update its data system to ensure that all postpaid consumers were served their monthly bills to eliminate such problems.
         
The Ashaiman Central ADR in 2016 handled 314 debt issues, 33 child maintenance, 12 marital problems, and 37 land litigations.
         
There were 26 family property disputes, six unaccepted pregnancies, four disputes between neighbours, 11 utility bills issues and 53 miscellaneous cases.

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