The Public Relations Officer of the Rent Control Department, Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu has revealed that it is illegal for landlords to increase rent rate without the prior assessment and approval of the Rent Control office.
According to him, all new rent rates must be approved by the Rent Control Department to ensure that they are reasonable and befit the condition of the premises that is being rented.
Speaking on JoyNews’ The Law, Sunday, Mr. Hovey Kporsu said, “No landlord has the right to increase his rent without consulting the Rent Control office.
“Under section 19, (1) it says no landlord of premises shall collect from the tenant of such premises any increase of rate attributable to any increase of rate in respect of such premises unless he has notified the tenant previously in writing in a prescribed form, the amount of the old rate, the amount of the new rate and where part of any premises has been let, the amount of rate attributed to such part, the amount of the increase in rent and that from which the new rate takes effect.”
He added that, “So when you come to section 19 (3) that’s where it insists that no landlord should collect any increase in rate until that premises has been assessed.
“So when we finish assessing and we give you the rate, that’s where you have to notify the tenant that from this month going, or from the next two months going, I’ll be charging you this new rate from this old one which I’m currently collecting. And this new rate has been approved by the rent control department or the magistrate.”
He further stated that, landlords cannot implement new rent rates till the tenancy agreement with the tenant has been fully exhausted.
He mentioned that in the circumstance where the new rent rate has been approved by the Rent Control office, the landlord is obliged to notify the tenant in writing of the new development.