In the past four years, landlords and renters have submitted a total of 73,352 cases to the rent control department.
The government reports that the most instances—20,221—were received in 2021, followed by 20,080 cases the previous year, 18,069 cases in 2019 and 14, 982 cases of landlord-tenant disputes in 2020.
Emmanuel Hovey Kporsu, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Rent Control Department, gave a breakdown of the cases, stating that 60,622 of the 73,352 cases were resolved, 5,038 cases were still outstanding, and 1,662 cases had been dropped.
He said that 1,578 of the cases had been referred to the legal system and that 4, 452 of the complaints had been dismissed.
Mr. Kporsu said the recent economic downturn had harmed landlords and tenants’ relationships as many tenants were finding it difficult to meet their payment schedule, ultimately leading to litigation. He was speaking to the Ghanaian Times in an exclusive interview in Accra last Thursday to highlight rent issues in the nation.
According to him, 73 percent of rent arrears were due to nonpayment, with the remaining 27 percent coming from tenants suing landlords for things like forcible eviction, arbitrary rent increases, and failure to promptly refund a tenant’s advance rent if the property turned out to be subpar.
According to Mr. Kporsu, the government created the National Rent Assistance Scheme (NRAS) at the beginning of the year to help reduce rent cases by offering rent loans to both formal and informal sector employees with regular income.
He said that in order to qualify, a person must be a citizen of Ghana, have a current Ghana Card, be at least 18 years old, have verifiable proof of work and income, such as a bank statement or mobile money statement, and the amount of rent due cannot be greater than 30 percent of the household’s total income.
860 individuals from all throughout the nation have so far benefited from the program.
Greater Accra had 536 beneficiaries, or 63.3 percent, the Ashanti Region had 151, or 17.6 percent, Bono East had 87, or 10.1 percent, the Western Region had 67, or 7.8 percent, the Eastern Region had 11, or 1.3 percent, and the Northern Region had eight, or 0.9 percent.
In order to secure a home, he recommended residents who want to rent but lack the funds to pay the maximum rent advance to register with NRAS and follow the applicable processes.
As all new rent rates must be approved by the Rent Control Department to ensure that they are reasonable for both parties, Mr. Kporsu pointed out that it was unlawful for landlords to raise rent prices without first assessing the situation and receiving their consent.
“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 noted.