NATAG, an umbrella organization representing tenants in Ghana, was established to assist tenants through education, provision of legal information on rents and lobbying for tenant’s legislation especially Social housing and tenants rights.
Undoubtedly, shelter (Housing) is one of the basic necessities of life and thus must be accorded its rightful place by society. It is therefore surprising that policy makers threat the provision of housing with contempt and no regard for what ever reasons best known to them.
Ghana is the only country in West Africa that rent advance charged by landlords go beyond more than a year, though the law frowns at that. According to the rent law of Ghana, property owners and for that matter Landlords, are prohibited from taking rent advance beyond 6 months period.
Unfortunately, impermissible arguments advanced by Government, the public, and sector ministers of Housing since 1992 have been that, demand exceeds supply and for that matter make it impossible for the Rent Act to be implemented fully, and to perform its rightful duty as the law requires.
The end results of this mishap brings unto tenants untold hardship as they have no alternative than to resort to banks for loans with high interest to enable them pay off their rent charges whenever it is due.
Tenants who are unable to pay their rents after their rent charge has expire are thrown out without being given any time to search for money to repay for the rent.
Many a time, tenants are forced out from their home by landlords because they are unable to cope with an astronomical unexpected and unnegotiated increment of rent only to induce tenants to vacate the premises.
According to the law, I mean the Rent Act, it is illegal for a landlord to induce a tenant to vacate a premises under false pretense, but what happens if such situation occurs.
The rent control, the authority required by the law to regulate the activities of Landlord – Tenants matters is now a toothless bull dog incapacitated to perform its functions. From the Department boss, Mr. Addo Dombo, the chief rent officer, he has in a number of occasions lamented that Government is the cause of their ineffectiveness and for that matter all blames regarding the inefficiencies should be put at the doorstep of the Ministry of Housing, Works and Water Resources.
He went on to say that, their funds from the National budget from the Ministry of Housing is not released on time and cited an example using the 2012 budget, where as at the last quarter of 2012, the agreed funding of Ghc 600,000 had not been released.
Country men and women, if you care to know, we would say that, the rent act has outlived its usefulness and to review it, the Rent Control needs Ghc 5000 to support an activity but the Ministry is unwilling to throw it weight behind them. Why?
With all sincerity, we would like to call on the newly appointed Minister of Housing, Hon. Collins Dawada and the Government to do something about the Rent Act before things get out of hands.
Tenants Association of Ghana, will monitor development in the housing sector and respond to it accordingly. We can assure Government that we will enure that the promises in their manifesto in the housing sector is implemented to it logical conclusion.
If attitudes and Government policy on housing do not change for the better, nothing less than demonstrations in all the ten regions in Ghana should be expected, and when it happens let no politician dare politicize it because NATAG, is a non-political, non-religious social movement advocating for the interest of its members.
Secretary – General
National Tenants Association of Ghana (NATAG)