Rent Control Department demands prosecutorial powers

 The Rent Control Department is calling for prosecutorial powers to check and control the rampant increment of rent by landlords. 

This, according to the Department, would guarantee its effective functioning and reduce the problems in the rental sector of the country. 

Mr Ebenezer Ewusi Wilson, Bono Regional Manager of the Rent Control Department, who made the call, explained that until the Department was empowered or granted autonomy to deal with such matters, landlords or property owners would continue to take advantage of tenants with flagrant disregard of the law. 

Mr Wilson acknowledged that although the rental system was fraught with many challenges, a possible solution was to apply drastic measures such as prosecution to bring some sanity into the sector. 

He was speaking with the Ghanaian Times in Sunyani yesterday, when approached to ascertain what the Department was doing on public complaints about the astronomic increment of rent charges in the Sunyani Municipality and its environs. 

The Bono Regional Rent Control Manager told the Ghanaian Times that his outfit was currently powerless in that regard. Until it was empowered  by law to check the arbitrariness going on now, his outfit cannot do anything. 

 Mr Wilson disclosed that the outfit recorded 66 cases involving landlords and tenants within the first quarter of the year, averagely 22 cases in a month. 

The cases, he said, included rent arrears, recovery of possessions, and refund of rent balance.

He said all cases were resolved by his office with the exception of two cases that went to court. 

The rental sector, Mr Wilson noted, was a big industry the government could rake more revenue should the right structures be put in place. 

He said for instance, agents who made 10 percent of advance payment were not regulated to pay tax to the government for their earnings.  

Mr Wilson called for the speedy passage of the Rent Bill currently before Parliament into law in order to properly regulate the sector.


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