The rent system
Thursday, August 09, 2012
we write on the page about the exploitative nature our rent system and always
call on landlords to be humane and respect the Rent Decree of 1995 and also for
the rent tribunals to assist in ensuring that landlords do not charge
However, regardless of our constant cries and appeals, renting fees are skyrocketing and landlords are still demanding an advance payment of between six months and two years with some demanding foreign currency in payment. Such acts tantamount to exploitation and also contravene the 1995 Rent Decree.
candid analysis, the actions of these landlords could best be described as
sheer greediness and wickedness bothering on megalomania. When approached for
an explanation to justify their actions, most of them claim they have to
increase their renting fees because of the high cost of building
materials.There is no doubt that
such an excuse is not at all credible.
A house built today is a permanent investment that will continuously generate income for the owner for as long as he/she lives, and also passes on to the person's children, who will also continue to collect money from the tenants. So, there is no justification whatsoever in charging such horrendous amounts as rent. We are also aware that it is not only the rent of newly-built houses that are being hiked. That of houses built many years ago are also being increased.
Gambia, as in any other country, workers are paid on a monthly basis; one then
wonders how landlords who demand for six, one-year or two years rent advance
expect people to be able to pay such bulky amounts. Such shylock acts would
deny the poor a decent housing and can force people into dubious activities
just to meet tenancy demands.
The government, which spent so much to provide basic amenities, went to the extent of reducing tariffs on some social services, all in an effort to make life very easy for the people. It is rather sad that the landlords who themselves are also enjoying such amenities are making life extremely difficult for their fellow countrymen.
We are therefore
once more appealing to the concerned authorities particularly the municipal
councils to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and bring the
culprits to justice. This is why the Rent Tribunal was established. Each local
council has a Rent Tribunal that looks into rent-related issues. We have gone
far in our struggle for development; unscrupulous elements in our midst should
not be allowed to taint the already existing humanistic environment.
government on its part is ensuring that development reaches everyone's
doorstep; it is we the people who have to be each other's keeper so that
overall societal advancement can be achieved.Besides, it is a fundamental human right to have access to a
house to lay your head. If house rent continues to skyrocket, many of the
average persons who may not be able to afford the high fees would be pushed
onto the streets; something that issharp contrast of our national development aspirations and the objectives
of our dynamic leadership.
We therefore hope that the concerned authorities would sanitise the rent system as soon as possible. They have to remember that controlling the rent system would definitely make people, majority of whom are contributing their quota to national development, have a place to lay their heads; this would in turn enable them to maximise their productive capacity when at work, the multiplier effect of which would be a plus in our development process.
We also wish to recommend that people be vigorously sensitised on the rent decree. This would make landlords aware of the implications of what they are doing.
Author: Daily Observer