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Rent Control Records 9,042 Cases   
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The Rent Control Department has expressed concern about the scramble for apartment and arbitrary charges by landlords as cases mount daily.

Between January and December 2011, the total number of rent related cases reported by landlords to the department stood at 4,000 while tenants reported 5,042 cases.

The total number of complaints stood at 9,042.

5,042 cases were amicably settled while 3,000 were struck out. 690 cases were referred to the Magistrate’s Court.

Presently the department is expected to resolve 3010 cases.

In an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE recently, Joseph Akpalu, senior executive officer of Rent Control Department, stated that complaints by from landlords mostly involved tenants’ non- payment of rent and utility bills, acts of nuisance by tenants or their dependants and absconding by tenants.

On the other hand, tenants complained about inducement by landlords and their failure to refund advance payments as well as expenditure on repair work done at the rented apartments.

Mr. Akpalu added that areas that recorded highest cases in the Greater Accra region last year were Teshie-Nungua, Kwashieman, Madina, Achimota, Pokuase, New Town, Ashale Botwe, Kotobabi, Dzowulu, Mallam, Russia, Mamprobi and Agege and many other areas.

The Rent Control Department is mandated to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants in the country.

The Rent Act was passed to protect tenants from arbitrary increases in rent and frequent evictions by their landlords, especially when the former are not able to cope with rent increases.

Under this law, a tenant is usually given reasonable time, usually three months to six months, to find a suitable place to relocate before being asked to leave.

They can only be ordered by the court to vacate the premises if the landlord demonstrates that the property is required for immediate family or personal use.
Source: Mary Asabea Ansah

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